• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 07

hiti manga

              succour flows downhill, through valleys
           until it reaches the quotidian thirst
        and vanishes again into stony crevices
     grandma used to talk of water from the heavens
  in bhaktapur, where home is but a figment
     spouting from the mouth of the hiti manga
           the ancient guardian of ageing dhunge dhārā
              the journey must have been arduous, i reckon
           amidst the drawing of lines through the hills
        thus, there are no hiti mangas in lapchu
     only plain cast iron pipes in father’s village
  ferns’ plexus, summer relief in another tongue
     tales follow feet but live only through mouths
        no one speaks of hybrid monstrosity there
           succour should have flown in all directions
              but streams dry up, like mistranslated fables
           there are no hiti mangas in calcutta either
        only a few lion-headed taps in mother’s city
     remnants of foreign hands in foreign lands
  derelict history, ferrous like blood in mouth
     parched supplicants burble along mud banks
        but, tonight, i glide on the hiti manga
           over the hanumante, the rangeet, the hoogly
              across all the lands it forgot to inundate
                 succour flows patiently, in wild haste