Dreams of the old house

102-0265_IMGAbout 20 years ago, I was chatting with my wonderful Newari family in their newly constructed home in Patan that they shared with my family. They were remembering the old house they used to live in, and how they slept so well and had so many good dreams when they lived there.

Some say its just unlucky if you get caught in an earthquake, and they dont discriminate but the reality is they hit the poor and the old buildings most of all, and as another major earthquake hits Nepal today, I want to share these words that never quite turned into a song, but which seem to be written for these difficult times – apologies to my Nepali friends for the probably terrible Nepali !

THESE ARE OUR DREAMS OF THE OLD HOUSE

These are our dreams of the old house
These are our dreams of the old house
When all our schemes seemed so
Sure to come true
When all our love was living in you

We lived on the chowk
And made games out of mud
With our friends and our foes
We were one flesh and blood
Looking out from carved windows
At the gods made of gold
We laughed at the old men
What stories they told !

          kasto ramailo samaya thiyo
          kina haamro ghar puraano bhayo ?
          aajako sapaana timro sadhai
          kina jiwanmaa milne saaThi chhoDhai ?
          timi gaetaa pani masanga baseko
          bhatkinekole manlaai bigreko
          mero nayau: mayaa khojne bichaar
          timi justai painchha ? ma pataaudina

These are our dreams of the old house
These are our dreams of the old house
A hand cupped with rice for our evening meal
Caressed by the lamplight
How at home we would feel !

I used to hide behind mother
In the folds of her clothes
While my sisters buried treasure
In the cracks on the road
The morning sun would sparkle
And dance down the street
We’d chatter to strangers
And run rings round their feet

          kasto ramailo samaya thiyo
          kina haamro ghar puraano bhayo ?
          aajako sapaana timro sadhai
          kina jiwanmaa milne saaThi chhoDhai ?
          timi gaetaa pani masanga baseko
          bhatkinekole manlaai bigreko
          mero nayau: mayaa khojne bichaar
          timi justai painchha ? ma pataaudina

These are our dreams of the old house
These are our dreams of the old house
Some nights I wake to find you in my old room
But my eyes are playing tricks
I fall asleep again too soon

These are our dreams of the old house
We always dream of the old house !
These are our dreams of the old house
We only dream of the old house !