గృహోన్ముఖం … Rajagopal Parthasarathy, Indian Poet
I am sorry I could not post for the last few days as I was travelling. I will be travelling till 10th August. Hence I shall see you all on August 11th)
ఇవాళ మధ్యాహ్నం నా టేబిలు శుభ్రం చేసుకున్నాను
నా మీద నేను నియంత్రణ సాధించే ప్రయత్నంలో
అన్నీ సరిగ్గా సర్దుకున్నాను
తర్వాత, నా నలభై ఏళ్ళ జీవితం
ఒక గ్లాసు బీరు సాయంతో ఒడ్దున పడడం
అయితే, నాకు నేను చేసుకున్న వంచనకి అంతులేదు
ఉదాహరణకి నేను నా స్నేహితులమీద బ్రతికేశాను
ఎప్పుడూ చెప్పే అబధ్ధాలే చెప్పేను
నన్ను పట్టి ఇస్తాయేమో నన్న భయంతో
నా కాగితాలన్నిటినీ తగులబెట్టాను
కొన్ని ఉత్తరాలు రోజులతరబడి తెరవకుండ ఉంచాను.
నేనిప్పుడు నిర్వహించవలసిన బాధ్యత ఏదీ లేదు.
రోజల్లా నుదిటిమీద తెల్ల వెంట్రుకలు తీసుకోవడమే.
ఉండీ ఉడిగీ ఒక సిగరెట్టు ముట్టిస్తుంటాను.
ఆ పొగతో పాటే నా వ్యక్తిగత ప్రయాణం లా
ఆర్. పార్థ సారథి.
This afternoon I dusted my table.
Arranged everything in order
in a desperate attempt to get hold of myself.
Later, I watched my forty years
swim effortlessly ashore in a glass of beer.
However, there is no end
to the deceptions I practise on myself:
I have, for instance, lived off friends.
Told the usual lies
and not batted an eyelid.
I have burned my files for fear
They’d close in on me.
I have even kept letters unopened for days.
I don’t have to complete anything.
Now I spend most of the day
plucking grey hair from my forehead.
Once in a way I light a cigarette. Follow
the smoke as though it were a private tour.
Indian Poet, Translator , Editor and Critic
R. Parthasarathy was born at Tirupparaiturai near Tiruchirapalli in Tamilnadu in 1934. He had his university education in Bombay and spent a year (1963-64) as a British Council scholar at the University of Leeds. He began his career as a lecturer in English in Bombay. In 1971 he joined the Oxford University Press as an editor.
Parthasarathy’s poems have appeared in several Indian and foreign journals and anthologies. In 1966 he was awarded the Ulka Poetry Prize instituted by Poetry India. In 1968, along with J J. Healy, he edited Poetry from Leeds.
Parthasarathy’s only collection of poems Rough Passage was published in 1976. Though it consists of several poems written through a period of twenty years, Rough Passage is treated as a single poem. “It should be considered and read as one poem. In it twenty years’ writing has finally settled,” says Parthasarathy. The three sections in Rough Passage are ‘Exile, Trial and Homecoming’. This framework has helped the poet to express the three stages of his intellectual and emotional development, ‘Exile’ places the culture of Europe against that of India and points to the poet’s loss of identity with his own culture. It begins with a search for roots. Trial celebrates love that passes through turmoils but nevertheless gives the poet a sense of belonging. The third part ‘Homecoming’ is an attempt to reconcile his urban self with his Tamil roots.
Parthasarathy began with an infatuation for English and England. However, after his visit to England he was disenchanted. The essential tension in his poetry lies in the dilemma caused by this disenchantment and his late awareness of a loss of identity with his own culture. His most striking poem Under Another Sky explores the problem of whether one becomes an exile in one’s own country by speaking and writing an alien language.
Parthasarathy’s poetry exhibits a sense of nostalgia; his comments on his country are half-ironic and often he indulges in self-satire. There is a sadness combined with contemplativeness visible in most of his poems. Parthasarathy is a consummate craftsman who possesses a highly sensitive and competent sense of language. He introduces surprising images and metaphors and his imagination endows them with symbolic and universal significance.
The poems included in this anthology represent the three parts in Rough Passage.
(Poem and Biographical extract are Courtesy: Gathered Grace— Indian Writing in English, a Project Gutenberg product)