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From: “The Electric Bulb”

From: “The Electric Bulb” by Laxmi Prasad Devkota

No hairy ass…overloaded and overmiserable, drooping and dejected, dead spent and halting, in despair of life-energy, yet apologising to live, helplessly staring at the world with just a flicker of low level consciousness, a dying hide and a frothful mouth, presents a more pitiable plight of helpless inanity than the electric bulb in our room….

Our electric light is diseased…. Citizens in Kathmandu are denizens of twilight who have deserved a degree of light proportioned to their level of general civic consciousness….

I feel as if I were unworthy of democracy. One who cannot feel alive to the ugliness of one’s surroundings, to the presence of one’s powerful wants, one who shows no measurable degree of reaction to the denial of home light, be he ever so blatant about abstract political ideals, is never a true democrat, never a conscious citizen. Is it conceivable in any civilised system of democracy that not the majority alone but all the citizens of the capital never raise a voice against dying light, against visible darkness, that denies them possibilities of reading, writing and working during the night?... The protesting voice of conscious individuality is absent even in those who rule and command.

The fact is that we people require no light, or if we profess to be its lovers, flickers are enough for us philosophers of silence…. Silence is balm where demonstration is a fever…. Our democracy is a newly delivered puppy, still blind, still adjusting the slit in its eyes to the dazzling light of a new day.

The tungsten wire merely glows a dull red…. It must reflect the actualities of social life, the dullness of our municipal existence, the inanity of our present day democracy…. Electricity asks you to go to sleep on a soft pillow, without further nocturnal suicide. The sun is enough light for twentieth century at Kathmandu.

I felt like writing a lyric of despair about my literary plight, but I refrained from writing one lest it should run to the length of an epic. The degree of photo intensity in my room feels like a measure of public encouragement to my literary efforts….