“In the ‘Safa Tempo,’ everyday whistles/ a chilled exhaustion of human struggle for survival/ Everyday, the smell of a burnt human hope / mingles with the unwashed dreams/ reeking old sweat and tired manure/ of the commuters unfulfilled wishes. Safa Tempo, a metaphor of survival/ reminding me of my villages/I had left behind/
the lips I’ve yet to kiss.”
- excerpt from Safa Tempo: Poems New and Selected(ISBN 8182500362)
I’ve always wanted to be a poet. But I started very late. In the year 2002, I wrote my first poem. I haven’t stopped since and I know I will never stop because poetry is, to me, the blood that circulates in my veins. It is the very foundation of my survival. Writing is no hobby for me. It is the way of my life. It is not merely a transient desire of my mind. It is the eternal desire of my heart.
Nonetheless, writing poetry is not only about statistics for me, it is about spreading the message of global peace, universal solidarity and love. I have always deeply cherished one particular desire and goal: that, by the messages that my poems convey, I may become instrumental in mitigating the woes and miseries of mankind. With this zeal, I wholeheartedly have engaged myself, day and night; in this primordial branch of literature Shelley called poetry.
When I wrote the poems that would become my second collection, “Safa Tempo”. I didn’t think of it as a book, but rather as a need to understand the basic questions that all human beings ask in their struggle for the existence: What is humanity? Why are there corruption, poverty and suffering? Where is democracy? What is the ultimate destination of our life? What is love? Where has all the foreign aids gone in Nepal? Why is there hyper unemployment in Nepal? These questions would arise in me in the form of poems, and in making the poems into a book, I tried to make transparent those questions.
Furthermore, what I attempted to do in “Safa Tempo,” – is to reach out simultaneously for new metaphors, new subject matters and images deep rooted in Nepal which was in one way or the other often ignored, deserted, and unseen, from a social, economic, religious, political, and a personal point of view. I believe the search for the oppressed became identified, in my poetry, with the very details of my own life: including the oppression of working-class people in the city of Kathmandu, where I came from.
"Safa" is Nepali for clean and "tempo" is the generic name for three-wheelers. Safa Tempos have been providing a cheap and dependable form of transportation to the people of Kathmandu. On average, 100,000 passengers travel by Safa Tempos every day. Reports suggest that the production of Safa Tempos boomed after the government decided to ban the polluting diesel-operated three-wheelers from the Kathmandu valley. Most of these polluting three-wheelers were converted into Safa Tempos.
Considering so, it is not too long before our corrupt and polluting politicians and bureaucrats metamorphosis themselves into Safa Politicians and Bureaucrats and make Nepal the most Safa Nation in the whole world. Let us hope so.