My father’s Nepali Topi is on his head
Or, in his sleep, by the pillow in his bed.
It guards his honor, protects his tonsure.
In the house, its presence domineers.
The Topi walks with my father
To the kitchen where it sits on his lap
Staring at him eat each morsel of meal.
The Topi hides the germs when he sneezes,
Wipes the tears when he screeches,
Sponges the forehead when he perspires,
Fans the face when he is hot.
When he is weary and takes a siesta
Under the shade of a tree,
The Topi also lays by his side.
At times, when it forgets
To go out with him,
It succeeds to his throne,
In his chair,
And watches me curiously
As if I missed something
Or I hurt its feeling.
The Topi has basked in the sun
Way longer than me;
It has walked the journey
Way further than me;
It has carried weights
Way heavier than me.
When wet with sweat,
It has been squeezed many a times.
It still walks with its head held high,
Never bows its head,
Never forgets to self-respect.
It is my father’s Nepali Topi.