Note on Four Levels of Writing to 'The Clock Tower'

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The Clock Tower

Literal Comprehension-

Bhupi Sherchan in his poem “The Clock Tower” describes the life of a retired army who is now living his old age based on pensions. The old soldier now has very less of his military life- some of his belongings been rotten along with time, some tattered by rats, and others taken by family and friends. Among all the things he had lost with time, he keeps two souvenirs to his dignity, two undisputed mementos bringing him the memories to live in- a round pocket watch that he keeps hung around his neck and an ancient hat on his head. Nevertheless, Sherchan magnifies the details of this old pensioned vet as he goes to make an image of Ghantaghar, the Clock Tower with the similarities to the senior pensioner. With the watch ticking every second on its neck and a hat covering its head, the Ghantaghar in its old age stands on the bank of Ranipokhari like the old army having nothing but memories to lean on.

Interpretation-

The Clock Tower, Ghantaghar is a representative of the Nepalese history and its dignity. Bhupi Sherchan makes remarkable attempts to express the emotions of the dignified Ghantaghar through the life of a retired soldier. Like a young soldier turned old, the Ghantaghar has lost its youth and stands alone with the memories of the past buried within it. People bypassing Ghantaghar tend to see the clock hanging on its neck and the hat covering the head, but fail to understand the story behind it. Ages have past but the Ghantaghar stands rigid on the bank of Ranipokhari still pursuing the respect as given to a soldier who fought with no selfishness in service to the country. As per interpreting the poem, the poet satires how time turns a youthful soul with powerful enthusiasm into a dim and sad powerless old age; outlining how helpless everyone and everything is against time.

Critical Thinking-

The comparison between a pensioned senior and the Ghantaghar is well illustrated in the poem. It seems that life was brought into the non-living Clock Tower through Bhupi Sherchans’ words. The Ghantaghar is breathing with memories of the youthful past also showcasing the legends of Nepal. Bhupi Sherchan’s work is to be cherished for actually owning the legends buried within the still prevailing historical Ghantaghar in the poem. However, the poem would’ve been much more practical if it had mentioned about the preservation of this legendary monument from dying in old age rather than mocking it.

Assimilation-

After reading this poem, watching Ghantaghar would be like watching an old man living through time with so many secrets from the past yet to be unraveled. The Nepalese history is to be revised by the readers. This poem assures people to rethink about the mysteries hidden within the capped Ghantaghar wearing the clock in its neck.

Reference-

Nissani, Moti and Shreedhar Lohani. The Clock Tower. Ekta Publications, 2013.

 

  • Bhupi Sherchan is the poet of "The Clock Tower'.
  • A comparison is made between Ghantaghar a pensioned senior veteran.
  • The youthful days of both has been lost through time and what only remains are the memories.
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