Subedi contemplates the absurdities of tumultuous times in the poem, “Soft Storm,” with a touch of compassion. Soft Strom by Abhi Subedi is written in free verse with a lovely blend of natural and societal depiction. On the surface, it depicts the speaker’s journey through the narrow streets and lights of Kathmandu at night, but in a deeper sense, it projects people’s feelings of indifference towards the miserable conditions and sufferings of the people, male practices, tumultuous atmosphere, and chaos in Nepalese society.
The poet describes an environmental disorder in Nepalese culture in the first stanza, using terms like a tumult, eerie, and so on, before moving on to a more positive condition with the phrase “sky grew like crocuses,” implying the blooming of Irish floral family plants over stones. These plants reach a height of five inches. When the moon is close to set, he speaks in posters and politics, as well as about a variety of social events. It refers to a group of people discussing social activities while they are in front of each other. As he views the gentleness of the rose like a gale’ from his roofs, he becomes soft again by integrating both nature and the social atmosphere. He uses this simile to mix two opposing themes, such as the softness of a rose and the strength of a strong wind, and to criticize various social malpractices committed by people in society. Then he shows the moon singing and lightning with a seamless city, which for some people indicates a city with an easy and comfortable atmosphere.
In the second stanza, he depicts homeless and parentless children in Thamel, begging for food and shelter. Through this, he criticizes corrupted political leaders who are only concerned with themselves and their families, rather than their poor citizens and orphans. These future pillars are in jeopardy and living in deplorable conditions. One of the major causes of all of this is the prevalence of social evils in the country. On the other hand, as he returns from such a melee (confusing place) where people were dancing with mad steps, parties and ceremonies in skyscrapers, big hotels, he recalls his past days when people were free to enjoy true freedom.
In the third stanza, he softens again as he imagines a forlorn (depressed and lonely) child sobbing and searching for his mother here and there while wearing a transistor around his neck. The child is terrified. For no apparent reason, a man is cruelly beaten in front of his family members. It states that in the present period, individuals are indifferent to one another and that dominance reigns supreme. These illegal behaviours cause the speaker to revolt against the system.
In the fourth stanza, the poet describes a man with a blood-stained shirt and bruised human lips who is unable to speak because the powerful residents of the night have silenced his voice. The landowners and the labourers are linked by the game of hide-and-seek.
In the fifth stanza, the speaker expresses his dissatisfaction with the words not listened to and not waiting for the storm for its Leela (play).
The poet expresses positive feelings for the inhabitants in the sixth stanza by using grown-up Irish flowering plants over the stone, storms going to public places, and the sun shining with varied colours like a rainbow. Other metaphors, such as soft storm, silent pages, forlorn shirts, celebrations for the gods, and so on, are in a chaotic state since they are under the power of the nation’s disturbing rulers.
In the seventh stanza, he describes numerous causes of his soft heart, including invaluable items, modern men’s indifference and selfishness, criminal actions, a disturbed and spoiled mother earth as a result of human wrongdoing, and the terrible lives of other helpless creatures. The speaker closes the poem in the final line by emphasizing that he needs freedom not just for himself but also for all the creatures of this motherland. He prefers the lovely and peaceful sky and wishes to dance freely, free of social constraints, to the natural soothing melody of quiet storms and melodious birds singing, in a circle that goes round and round.