Sushma Ranahanma

 (Trans. from Nepali by Hem Bishwakarma)


An antique photograph

Faded innocent smile though

Or, tender youth my mother wore

I keep it safe!


She might have had a print

The photograph—

Shot in an eminent pose

Almost a couple of decades back


My mother, cosmetics illiterate,

Her youth might have won

The heart of a porter,

The merry youths—

Relishing the falls at hills

The bumblebees humming around flowers

Up at the ridges and down the lowlands

Reclining wayfarers at Chautari[1]

Rest-stations at mountain-pass


Though had her eyes stuck on young Soltee[2]s

When chorusing with Sakela[3],

Swapping the Sili[4]

Won she the heart of Aapa, the father

Then with the love

I was wombed!


Nurtured on her lap,

I seek happiness across the seas

She still keeps her patience unbroken

Along the wrinkle lines

The hug spreads hiding wishes in

Waits to cuddle with the hearts at a distance


An antique photograph of mother

Faded innocent smile though

Or, a tender youth she wore

I keep safe!


The photograph utterly mirrors me!


[1] A resting place under poplar and banyan tree

[2] Relation addressed by a woman to a brother’s or sister’s brother-in-law

[3] A cultural dance performed by the Rai community in Nepal

[4] Change in movements in Sakela dance



Sushma Ranahanma is a wonderful poet with emotions, and rebels against the devil in society. She has an anthology of her poetries, Aamako Taasphoto (roughly translates as a photograph of mother).