Although short, Siddhicharan Shrestha in his poem "No Smoke From The Chimneys" depicts the reality of people battling for their lives against the inhuman acts cast toward them. This poem indeed recollects the struggling experiences of people during the Rana Regime. People were enslaved by the supreme Ranas and they were treated no better than an animal without a proper identity. People were compelled to do things against their will and perform as directed by their so called leaders. The poet reckons the time of movement against Rana Regime- the time when innocent beings were murdered without any hesitation and blood surrounded the entire country. The poet exclaims how he had no time to wipe blood from his broken head because the war had progressed to an extreme level. Death was inevitable, but he had to survive to end the war in peace. He could not compromise his life when it was the last thing needed to stop the compromises the country had been making.
He calls out the "lady" to stop diverting his footsteps away from his ambition and exclaims her gestures of attraction were no longer considerable. The lady here may refer to "death" or any factor causing disturbances in his path of attaining peace. To end the brutality and exploitation against innocent lives was the only way to end the war in peace. The Rana Regime had to fall and in prior to the goal; people were stretching their arms, accepting bullets in their chests and firing the shots of their aggression. Hunger was the last thing that came to anyone's mind. The people were all destined to bring justice and find the identity that they truly deserved.
The poet centralizes the poem to a scene where people were fighting for justice and freedom against the power of Ranas. This poem tells how death followed their way to justice but people had no fear about what they were followed by. People desired for peace and they neglected every excuses to get diverted. This poem justifies the unified and unbroken will of people to fight for their desires. This poem pictures the legend of Nepal where the aspirations of Nepalese had contributed in what Nepal has now become.
The idea of the poem about democracy and freedom lying superior to any fears and hunger is very convincing. However, the question of how long a man can resist hunger can be raised by many fellow readers. Critics may also raise questions upon the term "lady" used in the poem which may have represented the image of death. The "lady" in our general society represents a figure of beauty and kindness. However, the poet fails to correctly relate death with the correct description of "lady". The other unconvincing part is the title of the poem which does not have a significant relation with the poem or may be the poet is unable to make a proper effort to resemble the title with the content of the poem.
After reading this poem, one can come to conclude that Nepal has had a rough history where people fought fearlessly for the peaceful lives we seem to be living. The courage of Nepalese to bring democracy is itself a reason that Nepal still remains unified despite the disturbances put forward by politics and international dominance. People may have to take a thorny path but what actually matters the most is building fate of the nation and lying rigid to the ambitions.
Nissani, Moti and Shreedhar Lohani. No Smoke From The Chimneys. Ekta Publication, 2013.