In the modern Nepali poetry, Bhupi Sherchan is a brilliant personality. Bhupi is one of the most popular and celebrated poets in the modern era as he brought about a new revolution in the genius of Nepali poetry in general and prose poetry in particular. His unique style, forceful expression, simple and lucid language, clear message, sharp attack on the decayed social and cultural practices and high degree of satire have earned a high respect among the Nepali speaking population both at home and abroad.
Bhupi Serchan was born in 1992 B.S. in Thakkhola, Mustang, a remote Himalayan district. His original name given by his parents is Bhupendra Man Sherchan. But he chose Bhupi after he grew up.
His mother died when Bhupi was just a five-year old boy. This incident brought about a big shock in young Bhupi’s mind. Although he was well taken care by other members of his family, Bhupi always missed his mother, which made him rebellious right from his young age.
Bhupi SerchanHe walked up and down on the icy slopes of the mountain in the Himalayan district of Mustang. During his youthful age, Mustang was very backward as no modern facilities were available. The condition of ordinary people was very pitiable. Bhupi’s family was wealthy and he did not have to experience any kind of hardship. But he saw very closely the pains and plights of the poor people who had to shed their blood and sweat from dawn to dusk just for survival. The harsh climatic and geographical conditions made life of the people further worse. Even after working long and hard, the people hardly had two meals a day. He saw extreme poverty, inequality, exploitation, discrimination, torture and trauma of the people in the villages. The poor were getting poorer and the rich richer. The exploitation and discrimination were perennial and unabated. These conditions touched the tender heart of young Bhupi. As a rebellious boy right from the childhood, he then turned to be a revolutionary supporter of the communist ideology. Mustang did not have good schools and colleges and Bhupi’s father sent him to India for higher studies from where he completed Bachelor’s degree. During his stay in Gorakhpur and Benaras of India, he got acquainted with some revolutionary and leftist people. Their company made Bhupi a staunch communist supporter. During those days, communist movements had gained momentum in different parts of the world. In our northern neighbour—China, communist regime had already been established through an armed revolution. Even in India, the communist ideology had attracted many youths. Influenced by the burgeoning communist movement in the world including our neighbours, some Nepali youths had formed a communist party in Nepal, as well. Inspired by the revolutionary spirit among the youths and touched by the perennial poverty and backwardness in Nepal, Bhupi became an active member of the communist party. Some critics are of the opinion that although he was emotionally a communist, his life style never matched the ideology he believed. He was a romantic person and his early life was full of romance. He liked girls, alcohols and friends. When he was drunk he used to become pessimist but once the influence of alcohol was gone his original spirit of revolution and optimism would again revive.
Moreover, the deep rooted poverty, inequality, discrimination and exploitation that had remained in practice for centuries had always disturbed Bhupi’s mind. He was of the belief that emancipation from the chain of poverty, injustice and discrimination could be possible only in the communist system of governance.
He started writing poems in Benaras in course of his active involvement in political activities. In the early days he wrote folk songs and poems in folk verse to express the rebellious and revolutionary feelings that had been deeply rooted in his heart. He also wrote stories and plays. He chose literature as a tool to express his revolutionary and radical feelings.
After completing Bachelor’s level in Benaras, he returned to Kathmandu and roamed around the alleys and gullies of Kathmandu Valley, a wanton boy chasing his dreams. But he failed to get one of his choices. It is this period when he saw the yards of Kathmandu and wrote the poem “My Yard” as the reminiscence of his difficult days. In this poem, he has used imageries and metaphors in an artistic way not only to depict the real situation of that period but also brilliant used satire on the tendency and attitude of the society.
At one point, he found it difficult to survive in Kathmandu as he was nothing to earn his living. He then went outside of the Kathmandu valley to take up his family business. A poet and revolutionary person could hardly be satisfied to work as a construction contractor. When he was in Bhairahawa working as a contractor, he expressed his frustration like this: “When in Kathmandu, I used to count the stars and looked at the attractive damsel’s face; Here I count bricks and look at the beauty of brick dust” He soon quit this business and established a school in Pokhara where he stayed for a long time. Apart from running the school, he got associated with several social organizations and social work. The social work gave a sense of solace to poet Bhupi, to a certain degree.
His first collection of poems ” Naya Jhyaure” was published in 2011 BS which contains mostly folk songs and poems written in folk rhyme. He wrote these poems highly influenced by communist ideology and contained political and communist slogans more than the real poetic justice. According to Ghataraj Bhattarai, the poems in ‘ Naya Jhyaure’ carry more political sloganeering, writer’s anger and fury rather than literary thought.
Bhupi’s second collection of poems is “Nirjhar” in which the poet appears to be more mature. The poems in this book demonstrate Bhupi’s poetic art and understanding. In earlier poems, Bhupi wrote being influenced by political ideology but the poems in his second book have shown that Bhupi wrote the poems from his heart spontaneously expressing his inner feelings in a poetic art. Coming to this stage, Bhupi has been able to do justice to poetry.
In terms of quantity, Bhupi may be considered as one of the writers whose contribution may appear to be less significant. He has written a very few books. But in terms of quality, Bhupi’s contribution in the Nepali literature particularly in the Nepali poetry is no less important than that of any other celebrated and acclaimed writers. He has written a drama called ‘Paribartan’ (Change) and a few short stories. But his dramas and short stories have made little impact on the society and Nepali literature. Although the theme and plot is strong in terms of message, the juxtaposition and development of the plot are weak and not cohesive in the drama ‘Paribartan’. Critics have said that it is more like a political slogan mongering rather than the pure literary art. In the drama, which is full of patriotic and progressive political feelings, he has championed the rights, interests and justice of the common people and unleashed a crusade against exploitation, injustice and discrimination that was in existence in the Nepalese society as a whole. The underlying message in this drama is that justice and truth would ultimately prevail and people’s power would triumph. The book is a testimony that the author wants to bring about progressive political change in the society.
Bhupi’s mastery is in poetry. His real talent and poetic art as well as full maturity are seen in the poems written after 2020 BS. A third collection of poems called “Ghumne Mechmathi Andho Manchhe’ ( A Blind Man on a Revolving Chair) was published in 2025 BS. This book is his literary masterpiece that has proved that Bhupi is an extra ordinary poet. This book contains Bhupi’s 43 poems and every single poem is excellent and brilliant. Although prose poems, they are written in both irregular and free verses. The language is simple, lucid but brilliantly meaningful with full of satire. These poems contain Bhupi’s political ideology but they are presented in a subtle but artistic manner. Through these poems, Bhupi has expressed his anguish against exploitation, and social and cultural discrimination, distortion and contradictions. He has described his poems as the expression of his feelings that gushed out of his heart like the rivers and streams that flow down from the Himalayas as snow melts due to earthly heat. The atmosphere in his surroundings and incidents that happen in the society in the name of social and cultural practices provided him food for thought that came in the form of poems.
The metaphysical conceit in Nepali literature is a borrowed tradition from Sanskrit literature, which was in vogue for long time until Nepali literature entered into a post modern era. With the emergence of Motiram, romantic era began in Nepali literature. The mix of metaphysical conceit and facile romanticism and aestheticism coupled with nihilism and experimentalism were the established tradition in Nepali literature with social and cultural continuum. Bhupi’s era was marked by literary anarchism and ultra liberalism, which was experimented by some of his contemporary poets—an influence of Freudianism and other western free thinkers. But Bhupi kept himself away from this brand of experimentalism, nihilism and anarchism. He chose materialistic, progressive, humanist and existentialist approach.
Gopal Prasad Rimal emerged as a path breaker in the modern era of Nepali literature and established the tradition of writing prose poems with progressive outlook. Bhupi carried this tradition established by Rimal to a newer height especially in the poetic credo. Commenting on Bhupi’s literary genius, critic Govinda Bhatta has said, “at a time when the Nepali poetry was taking the shape of political sloganeering, Bhupi transformed the political sloganeering into a sweetest and brilliant poetic form and enriched the progressive literature in Nepal with classical perfection”. Similarly, Professor Yadunath Khanal has described Bhupi’s poetic quality as “deep and solid expression of feelings and experiences with utmost honesty and civilized manner”.
His poems contain high degree of human values and satire against the existing social system. With Bhupi emerged a new era in Nepali poetic world which came to an end with his death in 2046 BS.