Whither Sparrow?

(On the World Sparrow Day: 20th Mar)

Today in the newspaper (Times of India, Delhi edition, page 2) I read that 20th of Mar each year is being celebrated as World Sparrow Day. I admit, I was not aware.

News item stirred something in my mind that I had written a small poem sometime in 2004/2005 about little sparrow in Nepali while I was in my village to meet my mother.

I began a frantic search for my old Poem file. And with great effort I did manage to find it and also found the piece of paper in which I had jotted it down the poem with pencil. A scanned copy of the same is being place below for those who can read Nepali.

But for wider readership I thought to translate it in English. It’s a modest effort and I wonder if I have been able to do proper justice in doing so. Those who can help in improving it will be welcome and I will really appreciate. Please put it down in the comments.

Shiv Rana


English Translation

Whiter Sparrow?

Small bird, chirping on roof top
I don’t see it now.
Where has it gone?

Sparrow and human lived

and coursed their journey together
That small bird was dependent
for her food and nests on us

In good old times our ladies cleaned 

and threw shrivelled grains of rice and daal
which were food for these birds
They made their nests
in the roofs made of sedge grass

From egg to hatching and then,

baby sparrows were fed,
beak to beak by their parents
squeaking and squawking

An adult sparrow flew away 

from the parents nest
Taught us life cycle

But it vanished today. Whither?

Today we do not live in houses 

made of wood sod and sedges
Today we do not pick on shrivelled
and withered grains

Time is at premium

Therefore there are no sparrows

In changing culture

slowly sparrows have disappeared
And today’s generation is denied to
to watch the life science before them
And read only in books.

About Shiv Rana

Retirement life is series of transition: from Olive Green to civvies, being woken up a buddy to fetching morning milk from the milk booth. And now trying to adjust with new-normal due to pandemic - CORONA.
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