I don’t know when I was born
but I was annihilated on this very land
and since, passing through the cycle of birth and death.
I know nothing about the Theory of Karma
But I was raising over and over
On the very soil I was ceasing.
Melded into this expanse,
my land has become the Ganga-Sind plateau
when tears overwhelmed in my eyes
the rivers of this land have become perennial.
When elements oozed from my veins
this country has become prosperous yielding plenty
Eons before I was Sambooka
And twenty two years before
I was Kancikacharla Kotesu,
I was born at Kilavelmani
Karamcedu and Neerukonda.
But now, the name that the hardened feudal cruelty
tattoos on my heart with its sharp ploughshare
From hence, Chunduru is no more a noun
but stands for a pronoun.
Every heart is a Chunduru now…
an open un-healing cancerous abscess.
I am a wound of the masses
and a mass of hurts
For generations immemorial
I have been a slave in a free country
subjected to insults and abuses
rape and torture.
I raise my head to uphold my ounce of self-respect.
In a reign of hubristic, filthy rich, arrogant blood
I just live to assert my protest
and for the sake of existence, I die every moment.
Don’t call me a sufferer
I am immortal!
I am immortal!! I am immortal!!!
To spare this world of its riches
the venom of famine
Standing the somersaulting dawn upright
I kicked the Sun on his face
I voice the words of anger
tempered in the furnace of my heart…
No! Spare your words of compassion
shed no tears for me.
I am not a sufferer
but a fluttering flag of contempt and disdain.
Pray! Shed no tears for me.
If it is possible for you
bury me at the centre of the city.
I grow into a great grove of bamboo
to play the tunes of life perpetually.
Put my dead body
on the cover page of this country
Into the pages of history
I penetrate like a promising future.
Quelled in the battle of torches
I will be born again on this land.
( October 25, 1964 – May 17, 2013)
Prasad was a front ranking Dalit Revolutionary activist and a popular lyricist whose poems found their way into Telugu filmdom. He was active in Jana Natya Mandali and Vi. Ra. Sam. (Revolutionary Writers’ Association) for long. He was editor for some time for various revolutionary magazines. Proficient in English and Telugu, he translated “The Menace of Hindu Imperialism” by Swami Dharma Theertha into Telugu which went into ten reprints and also many English poets. He also translated Arundhati Roy’s “God of Small Things”.