(Chunu Gurung is the name of a revolutionary women leader, a poet and a famous cultural activist. She wrote and sang many revolutionary songs. Her songs are very popular among the oppressed people of Nepal. She was the Central Committee member of ‘All Nepal People’s Cultural Association’, a sister organization of CPN ( Maoist) . During the People’s War, she was captured by Royal Army and was brutally assassinated in custody. In the occasion of March 8, we are posting her famous poem ‘Belisara’. It describes how a ordinary village girl Belisara turned into a guerrilla fighter.)
Days ended before one had time to breathe
Before one had time to rest, at the slope of Kashughat2
Who are coming down: are they cattle or cattle-grazers?
Day and night loiter the gang of killers in the village
Things at the bottom of doko3, covering with dry leaves
The pile of firewood on the top
Carrying on head, arranging the blade of namlo3
Belisara, covering herself with a dusk-colored shawl
Walks along her path as usual
Faces the murders that have asked the price of life
Many times, walks without fearing a bit
Belisara’s mind itself has changed
She says her courage comes to rise
Her boldness comes to rise
Sometimes the goods at the bottom of doko3, tomato on top of goods
Carrying the leaves of oil-seed Belisara reaches the local market
Safely delivers goods at the place of hiding
Belisara is a female laborer
She is the wife of a poor
Roams about the streets ever with her job
Carries tomato to every house, delivers vegetables
Receives implausible price
Earns the price not of labor but of labor-force
Belisara has ever lived a life of deficit
Why is a master’s life more comfortable than a worker’s?
A concern has entered her mind
Belisara needs to know all these
Really, Belisara these days
Walks at the risk of her life
Says she has got the price of life in the risk
Carries arms and ammunitions frequently here and there
Delivers message: brings it
Selling vegetables, she reaches every place
What against the people is happening at the enemy’s headquarter?:
She reports immediately
Scratching legs infected by rainy-clay
Shedding blood from the body sucked by a leech
Bathes in sweat, smelling sour
Goes out into the working field
Sings a new melody in many a working field
Sings a song that frightens
Sings a song that agitates
Sings a song that pleases the field-workers very much
After working the whole day she comes home in the evening, Belisara
At a time of tiredness
Children want more maize to be fried
Belisara gives birth to future boatmen, who get their fill
Licking nose mucus
Swallowing a lump of soil
Tucking those part of heart into her lap
What does she do the whole night these days?
She makes a new plan
Lighting an oil-lamp, the papers tucked under the pillow,
The document of a lovely world,
Wraps around the girdle, thickened with dirt
Then before the cock crows
Takes it from one place to another
Belisara participates in every field
What would you do to Belisara, should you have the guts to find her?
Maybe make her undergo many an inhuman torture!
Scratch her body making it bare; take her life perhaps!
Chew Belisara’s flesh chopping it into pieces!
What punishment can your search campaign give to Belisara?
Belisara has played with death, already, she fears not
You fear yourself with defeat of your own crusade
Belisara walks carrying bomb inside the grass
Wearing garland of bullets around the neck
Many a time Belisara has fought in the war
Where is a dishful of food for us albeit tasteless?
Where is a dress for our body albeit worn-out?
Where is our cottage albeit a leaking one?
Had you but worked for our interest?
Do you think we shouldn’t speak against you?
Have you allotted any right to us?
Why shouldn’t we retaliate against you?
1. The name of a typical rural Nepali girl.
2. A place name.
3. Doko is a basket with big eyes all around it which the Nepali farmers use to carry things in. this basket is carried on head with the help of a rope called namlo.
From : Poems of People’s War