Haris Adhikari

On the poem 'Buffalo dream' & remembering my maternal uncle

The poem “Buffalo dream” is the result of how I eventually came to realize that the supernatural might possibly exist in a world next to our understanding, and that is why, it occasionally makes claim of its presence in many weird forms like dreams and natural signals.

I remember the Friday night of Royal Massacre in Kathmandu, Nepal. The night was unusually still and covered with almost all red, burnt clouds with some clear sky patches all across – peeping below. Also, it felt like it might rain. My brother’s friend Madhav and I were amazed to see such an unusual manifestation of nature while we were discussing literary theories and postmodern poetry on the roof top of a five storey building late that night at Anamnagar. The same night had witnessed the never-imagined assassination of all members of the Royal Family.

Likewise, traditional Nepali belief about “buffalo dreams” is that somebody close is going to be taken by Yamaraj, the ruler of the underworld. Buffalo is his ride that comes to give signals of death. And this is exactly what I myself saw… and was chased in the dream – buffalo dream.

The day after next day I saw the dream, my maternal uncle left us all.

It is further interesting that my aunt’s daughter Karuna, as she said, had seen a few people dragging long, fresh green bamboo plants in a dream one or two days before he passed away. Such a dream is taken as very ominous in most Hindu communities. (They use fresh green bamboo plants to make a stretcher for the dead body which they first wrap in a white shroud and place it on the bamboo stretcher and carry it to the crematorium, followed by mourners in the procession.)

I find it further more interesting that such and such inexplicable dreams or signals hint at the supernatural power, most often through the means of cultural beliefs and practices.

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