Soft Storm by Abhi Subedi || Summary, Notes, Exercises || Grade XII Notes


5. Soft Storm

About the Poet:

A prolific poet, playwright, and critic, Abhi Subedi (1945) has remained one of the eminent personalities in the field of literature in Nepal. Born in Sabla village of Terhathum district, Subedi has written several plays including Dreams of Peach Blossoms (2001) and Fire in the Monastery (2003). Subedi, who taught at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, for around 40 years, has poetry collections like Manas (1974) and Chasing Dreams: Kathmandu Odyssey (1996) and Shabdara Chot (1997) to his credit.



Abhi Subedi's Soft Strom' is depicted in free verse with a beautiful blend of natural and social description. On the surface level, it depicts the journey of the speaker through narrowlane and lightening of Kathmandu city at night but in its deeper sense, it projects people's indifference feelings towards miserable conditions and sufferings of the people, male practices, tumult atmosphere, chaos in the Nepalese society. In the opening stanza, the poet first portrays environmental disorder in the Nepalese society through words like tumult, eerie etc. and then he moves to hopeful situation with the phrase "sky grew like crocuses' indicating blooming of Irish flowering family plants over stones. These plants grow five inches taller. When the moon is about to pass away, he speaks the language of posters and politics and about several social activities. It means to state people's discussion about social activities as they present in front of each other. By combining both natural and social atmosphere, he becomes soft again as he sees the softness of rose like a gale' from his roofs. Through this simile, he combines two opposite ideas like softness of rose and a strong wind and attacks over the several social malpractices of the people in the society. Then, he presents singing of the moon and lightening with seamless city which means city with easy and comfortable atmosphere for some people. 


In the second stanza, he presents homeless and parentless children in grim poverty and crying for food and shelter in Thamel. Through this, he attacks the corrupted political leaders who just think of themselves and their families, not of their poor citizens and orphans. These future pillar are in risk and in miserable conditions. Social evils prevailed in the country is one of the major causes of all this. 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 recollects his past days when people were free to enjoy real spirit of freedom. larthe third stanza, he becomes soft hearted again as he visualizes a forlon (sad and hopeless) child carrying a transistor around his neck is wailing and is searching for his mother here and there. The child is panic. A man is beaten mercilessly before his family members for no specific reason. It states that in this modern era people are indifference to each other and dominance is prevalent everywhere. These lawless activities makes the speaker rebellious against the system. In the fourth stanza, the poet talks about a man with blood-stained shirt and bruised human lips is unable to speak any thing as his voice is locked by the powerful inhabitants in the night time. The game of hide and seek is associated with the landowners and the workers. In the fifth stanza, he states about the words, not listened and storms but not waited for its Leela or a divine play. 


In the sixth stanza, the poet states optimistic feeling for the inhabitants through grown up Irish flowering plants over the stone, storms moving to the public places and the sun shining with its different colours like rainbowThe other references like soft storm, silent pages, forlorn shirts, celebrations for the gods etc are chaotic situation as they are under control of disturbing rulers of the nation. • In the seventh stanza, he presents several causes of his soft heart such as invaluable things, indifference and selfish activities of the modern men, lawless activities, disturbed and spoiled mother earth due to human misbehaviors, and painful life of other poor creatures In the last stanza, the speaker concludes the poem stating that he needs freedom not only for himself but also for all the creatures of this mother earth. He favours the beautiful and calm sky and wants to dance freely without any social restrictions with natural sweet music of soft storm and melodious singing of the birds making a circle round and round VLLOGU

Understanding the text

a)    When does the speaker grow soft? Enlist the occasions when he grows soft. 

The speaker grows soft in several occasions such as when he hears the tumult, the sky grows like crocuses, the moon skids down, homeless children cry due to hunger, a forlorn child cries and searches for his mother, a man beaten mercilessly and so on. b. What do you understand by 'this seamless city'? By this seamless city' means a city where inhabitants can walk freely without any social interruptions or problems and realize the real fruits of freedom and happiness beyond partiality. c. Describe the poor children portrayed in the poem. Poor homeless and parentless children cry due to hunger and poverty under the bat-bearing trees of Kesharmahal in Thamel. They are deprived of their fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution.

b)    What do you understand by ‘this seamless city’?

In this poem the phrase ‘this seamless city’ means the place having no awkward transition and interruptions.

c)    Describe the poor children portrayed in the poem.

The poor children cry with hunger in the street of Thamel.

d)    What do you understand by the unwedded gardens of history'?

By 'unwedded gardens of history' means the past unflourished incidences of the society which literally means lawless disturbed chaos situation created by social and political hegemony in the Nepalese society. e. Why was the forlorn child wailing? A forlorn child was wailing because he found his mother and other kins and dear ones missing in the contemporary society. f. What do you understand by 'soft storm'? The two opposite words 'soft storm' combined by Abhi Subedi title to his peom, means inner disturbed feelings of the poet du lawless society and chaos environment. A storm simply means bad weather but connecting soft with it means tumultuous atm which the poet sees in the contemporary society.

e)    Why was the forlorn child wailing?

The forlorn child was wailing to find his mother in the corridors of the violent history.

f)     What do you understand by ‘soft storm’?

By 'soft storm' we understand the inner turbulent feelings of the speaker in an environment of chaotic society and chaos.  Storm simply means bad weather but to associate soft with it means turbulent times which the poet sees in contemporary society.

g)    Why does the speaker call our time 'mad time'?

The speaker calls our time as 'mad time' in the sense it i not under control of the constitution or the law of the nation. He finds corruption, partiality, political and social injustice among the people, animal laws in practice and degradation of nature everywhere in the society. h. What does the speaker want to do in "hard times"? The speaker wants to melt like a rainbow in 'hard times' because he is soft hearted by nature.

Reference to the context:

a)     The poet uses the word 'soft' with the words like 'storm' and 'gale', which generally refer to disorder and violence. What effect does the poet achieve through the use of such anomalous expressions?

A sentence that is syntactically well formed but semantically meaningless is called anomalous expression.

The best-known example in the poem is 'soft storm' and 'softness rose like a gale it is inconsistent with what is usual, normal, or expected and is paradoxical in nature. Through this, the poet obtains psychological, social, political and environmental effects. He connects two opposite ideas to express his inner experiences that he feels and realizes in the contemporary suppressed society. b. What is the speaker's attitude towards the time he describes in the poem? The poem has been set in the night time when the moon is shining in the sky which itself is shadowed or not as bright as shinning Sun. The speaker's attitude towards time is not as good as he finds no particular work in particular times conducted by humans. Time itself is mad in the sense it is cylindrical in shape and moves in round framework and is under control of none. He finds hard times everywhere, where ng Auto expected things take place. Thus, the speaker has not positive attitude with the time in the poem.

b)    What is the speaker like? Is he a rebel? Why? Why not?

The speaker looks like a rebel. His situation is as same as the animals in 'Animal Farm' by D.H. Lawrence as they are waiting for appropriate time to revolt and this nature of revolt is found in suppressed form. Social, familial political and environmental circumstances are responsible to be him so. As a rebel, he seems to challenge authority and break the rules every now and then but his rebellious nature is not presented in radical form rather it is presented in soft and suppressed form in the poem. Explain the stanza below in your own words : I became soft when I saw a blood-stained shirt speaking in the earth's ears with bruised human lips in the far corner under the moon of history and dreams playing hide and seek in open museums of human times. These given lines are from fourth stanza of the poem Soft Storm' by Abhi Subedi where the poet talks about a man with blood-stained shirt and bruised human lips who is unable to speak any thing as his Auto is locked by the powerful inhabitants in the night time. The game of hide and seek is associated with the landowners and the workers where the rights of the workers are under control of the land owners Miserable condition of the poor and marginalized ones is expressed through the given lines.


Reference beyond the context

a.     Write an essay, highlighting your dissatisfaction towards social, cultural, economic and political issues prevailing in Nepal at present.

                                    Social, cultural, Economic and Political Issues Prevailing in Nepal:

 A large section of the population in Nepal cannot access political participation and representation to public affairs and obtain social and cultural equality due to economic and social conditions, social stigma and lack of access to information among other reasons. Political Issues: I oppose this competitive multiparty democratic system of governance which is not stable by its nature and rule of law, human rights and fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution, only named independence and free and fair judiciary as these things are only projected in the documents, not in the practical life of the people. The political leaders are just playing the game of dirty politics violating the rights of the people and constitution Social and Economic Issues: Old caste system like Dalits is the most discriminated people under this system who suffer from restriction and economic opportunities in the society. I totally disagree with such sort of social system in the country. There is wide spread corruption everywhere and nepotism and favouritism are prevalent in the society. Although the UN estimates that poverty in Nepal has been dropping down gradually but a quarter of the population are still below the poverty line. Cultural Issues Auto-F Gender inequality, discrimination against women, girls trafficking, violence against women and many more are the obstacles of the current society I am not satisfied with. 

c)    Suppose you are a rebel, who wants to change the society by eliminating malpractices and anomalies prevailing in the society. Draft a speech outlining your vision for change.

Good morning, everyone!

 Respected ladies and gentlemen and my dear friends

 I am Sundar Shrestha and today we have gathered here against malpractices and anomalies being practiced in the society and how they are becoming hurdles for our country's development Some of the common social malpractices or social evils being practiced in our society are alcoholism, racism, child abuse, etc. Besides, Nepal is facing a large number of social problems such as caste system, child labor, child marriage, illiteracy, gender inequality, superstitions, religious conflicts and much more. Social evils are the issues opposed by most people of the society. In ancient days, our ancestors have divided classes according to their people's occupation like Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras are the most suppressed people. The other three castes people don't even touch them and even they were not allowed into the temples. These were the adverse effects. The second issue is child labor and child marriage. A child without education is a bird without wings. Without proper education, your child would face a lot of problem in this modern world. There is the right age to do everything. Make your children study until he is ready for the work. Illiteracy is also one of the social issues. Educated people like us have to bring awareness to the illiterate people. 

Poverty is a significant problem to be solved as quick as possible. The cause of poverty is illiteracy, caste system, and unemployment. The government should provide training for the unemployed. Sanitation and uncleanliness is also a social evil. The reason is people's carelessness and laziness. Every person must strive to make our country clean. Gender inequality and low status for women had become familiar. The reason for both of these evils is the narrow mindset of society. All these evils are interconnected. They stop most of our future citizens. To deal with these social evils, we have to get the right education with values. The government has to work more efficiently and try to eradicate these problems. To check all the issues, the first and the foremost step should be to educate people. A lot needs to be done to eradicate the shreds of a number of social evils still haunting our society. In Albert Einstein's words 'The world is dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it." With this, I conclude my speech. Thank you, everyone, and I wish you all the best and to get succeed in your objectives of eradicating these social malpractices from the society as soon as possible.








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