Half Brother … Munipalle Raju, Telugu Indian

(There are very few short story writers in Telugu that can match international writers of repute and Sri Munipalle Raju is one of them.  He has extraordinary memory and refined taste for excellence in literature. He has fine sensibilities  and could capture his real life experiences and the anecdotes he heard during his military service into some of his stories.)


మునిపల్లె రాజు
Munipalle Raju
Image Courtesy: వెనుక పేజీ
మునిపల్లె రాజు అత్యుత్తమ కథాకృతులు,
కణ్వస గ్రంథమాల, హైదరాబాదు, 2012

It’s a common experience for the regular visitors to the Officers’ Mess of Artillery Regiment to find it teeming with people. It had a very large compound, a beautiful lawn in the foreyard and, more than that, a number of very large old trees from the British times. The onlookers would easily guess that even the building was of colonial make with its long wide corridors, and the three feet radii mortar pillars of the Robert Clive era used in construction of Forts.

In the tennis court behind the trees, Captain Tiwari (Tiks) and Narayanan (Niks) were playing singles. In the veranda, Rastogi (Rats) and Puri (Pickles) with their occasional shouts of ‘hurrah’ seemed enjoying tennis more than the caroms they were playing. Almost everybody had one nick name or the other. Even the Commanding Officer Colonel Jagannath, who was in his fifties, was jimmy for these youth. Of course, they would never utter the word in his presence.

Major Murty had just returned from the regiment’s playground with his white short and shirt soiled. He had great interest in the games of jawans. Selections were held for volleyball and football that evening. Being a very senior Officer, Major Murty would occasionally be given such additional responsibilities. Besides, he was a good player himself.

He being the Mess Secretary for the month, Murty gave orders to the Head-cook, Masalji, Bearers and the Boys after a brief discussion. That night it was a Mess-dinner night.  All the officers of the Regiment would attend with families. As per the military convention, even the officers living with their families in the quarters are members of the Mess. There was a film show after the dinner. Everybody hated the meaningless selection of commercial pictures by Leela Jagannath, elder daughter of the Commanding Officer. This time, Captain Devgan was successful in convincing them for staging a Russian picture with sub-titles. Murty also liked art films. Though he was Secretary for both the Regimental Film Club and the Mess Library, he held the tastes of Devgan in high regard.

How could Murty not have a nick name for him?  He’s “Deccans” for Dakshina Murty being his name in full, and additionally, “bookworm” for being a voracious reader.

The Russian movie was wonderful.  It was only 100 minute long. The movie was “Sisters” based on the story by Vera Fedorovna Panova. Everybody acclaimed that the story line, the acting and the photography were unparalleled. If Colonel patted Murty on his shoulder, in turn, Murty patted Devgan’s.

Murty was lost in thoughts for some unknown reason. Why unknown? The movie was just a picturization of some of the events of his life. The difference is only in gender… the heroine therein was Galya, a young lady. If Galya was replaced by Murty, a young man, the story would still be the same.


Galya was a tender comely girl.  Her mother’s untimely death cast gloom over her life. Her father was a great dreamer. He pampered her so much. He thought that the child needed a woman’s care and so married again. That was the grave mistake he did.

Her step mother was a fatty brunette. She was also a lazy bug. The moment she entered the house, she started entrusting Galya with some work or the other always. Not the routine chores. But, some hard jobs beyond her age.  She never kept home neat and clean. Neither was she herself tidy nor allowed others remain tidy.  In the beginning, Galya’s father tried to censure his wife. But once she started mothering his children, he changed. Now, he remained indifferent when Galya was either rebuked or abused.

Galya was getting good marks at school. She was performing on the stage as well. Her teacher Elizabeth Andre Yevana had been a great encouragement to her. The school librarian treated her with great affection. She could complete higher education against all odds. Her step mother did not want her to study any further.  Her father, however, was in favour but did not express it openly. She was desperate to get out of that rotten place. With the encouragement of her teacher, Galya left from a small village near Seorophol to the theatre school in Moscow. Her only regret was about leaving behind her step sister who was as beautiful as her and also very careful. She was very concerned and worried that, left to the care of her step-mother, her sister might turn out rude and rough in her manners like her mother. Yet, she had first to get away from the nightmare.

Galya’s innate talent, creativity, and acting skills blossomed full like a flower in dew.

But somewhere in her heart she felt a nipping pain. She witnessed her father becoming a slave to drinking and occasionally her step-mother joining him.  Though they were not born to the same mother, what would happen to her half-sister was the cause of her pain.

Galya enacted great roles on stage; Collected fat cheques. She even acted in one or two movies. Though she did not intend to migrate to the silver screen from the stage, it became imperative.  She went out on a long foreign tour for theatre festivals and returned after few months. The day she returned she saw a three-month old letter in her sister’s hand. It read: “Father had ulcer in the liver.  He neglected it. Finally, he passed away on the operation table. He yearned to see you in his last moments.”

The nightmare reappeared… that rotten place… her wrestler-like step-mother with her ruddy eyes; and the death of a father who could not protect her. Somehow, she could make it to her place in flight for the anniversary of her father with small presents to her sister, her step-mother, for her teacher who now retired and to the librarian. She recalled her last conversation with the librarian requesting to issue her sister library books without any restriction. She was not sure if her sister was continuing with her studies for these ten years. She did not think fit to remember those things in her life full of insults and swept them away into the recesses of memory.

Galya paid obeisance before her father’s grave. She paid visit to her old teacher.  Librarian was not there, of course. There was no change in her step-mother; she was more interested in her presents than her. That night the two sisters shared Galya’s bed. They were talking through the night endlessly… her sister talked about the last days of her father, about her school, the economic condition of the family, how they had to live in a veranda renting out the whole house to tourists and lastly, about her own future.  All her hatred melted away listening to her step-sister. Galya was afraid to think further about her sister, who was already showing signs of breaking and turning coarse, should she live there any longer.

“I must take her with me to Moscow. She should obtain a good graduate degree in literature and become a lecturer there. She is so crazy about literature. She should not be deprived of it,” She had decided.


Major Murty went into his room thinking, ‘the cinema was over, but my life has just begun.” He could not get sleep. All his fellow Officers were in deep sleep in the annexes to the Mess. Sometimes, even silence would not allow him to sleep.


Besides the two nick names at the regiment, there was another nick name Major Murty had at the military hospital.  Specialist surgeon colonel Kalyana Raman and Officer Commanding Brigadier Dhawan called him “Bubbles”.  He thought that he got it for his multi-lingual abilities like cutting jokes in Tamil with Kalyana Raman and in Dogree with Dhawan. In fact, he knew all dialects of Hindi… like Magathi, Khadi Bolee, Maithili, Rajasthani, and Pahadi etc. But that was not the reason why the military doctors called him “Bubbles”. There were two one-millimetre-deep injury marks on his right temple. Though they now disappeared under his new hairstyle, they presented quite a formidable challenge ten years back when he first appeared before the Medical Board at Allahabad after passing Services Selection Board Examination. One specialist on the board referred for detailed tests suspecting that the cause of the injury might have had its affects on his brain. That was when he perspired profusely and thought there was no light at the end of the tunnel for him.

Though they ultimately ignored the bubbles declaring them as minor playtime injuries, he knew how they were sustained: his step-mother dashed the pincers against his head while she was cooking. He remembered hoe blood streamed down from the injury. But was he aware that he fell unconscious? No.  But it was a shriek… a heart-rending shriek “Father! Brother is dead” by his half brother looking at the flow of blood that brought him back to senses. Anguish! That was his life… his childhood… his youth. Anguish… an appeal! That’s why sound would wake him up; Silence won’t let him slip into sleep. A pair of wave-like marks… bubbles!

Those bubbles had taught him not to be afraid of life but wage battle to survive. Whenever he was depressed, whenever he grieved all alone, whenever he felt he was disintegrating into parts, whenever he was afraid and concerned about his future, he used to get recharged with energy and wisdom when he combed his hair with his fingers and caressed those bubbles. Whenever memories haunted him, he passed his fingers over the bubbles. That habit endured with him till he passed the second Defence Course. When it disappeared he was not aware, but then it reappeared this night… with that heart-rending shriek of a child:  “Father! Brother is dead!” In the wee hours of night it woke him up untimely.

He thought it might be better to have a check up at the military hospital after taking an appointment over phone.

He did not know when his father died…nor, anything about that shrieking boy.  All that he was aware and remembered was his step-mother’s bringing up. His mother’s was an ethereal form through a veil of smoke … sitting in Padmasana and meditating. His mother breathing her last in that posture was his faintest memory. He consulted an army psychiatrist, when he was doing a course, about his mother’s death and about her form peeping through his childhood experiences. “Get married. You can see your mother in your wife,” he advised.  He was not going to follow that.

Who would he marry? Leela Jagannath who had great liking for him? Younger sister of Kalyana Raman? She would give him unending lectures on “Silappadikaram”. Or, that tribal girl he saw at Almora, sister-in-law of Major Noutiyal?

He was the Galya of the movie.  Galya at least had Elizaveta Andreyevana to throw some light in her life. His light was at Joshi Math… his guru Narayandutt Joshi of the Himalayas. His guru appeared for the first time in front of Triyuga Narayana Mandir on the way to Badrinath, and protected him from cold with his shawl.  He was a father-like figure for him. But, even that man was not alive now! Why did he go to Himalayas at all? Barefooted, with just a towel and knickers on, his Matriculation pass book and the chapatti packed by the Math people at Hrishikesh in his satchel, and with unflinching confidence at his heart he set out.

Running away?…There were timid who run away from the war front… there could be spineless fellows who run away from their lovers … but who is so powerful as not to run away from the fine, endless onslaught of memories!

Murty switched on the light in the library and selected a book…

From Jawan to Officer … everyone in the military service had annual leave up to two months, a free warrant to Home or Home town; in case of Officers they would have in addition a free warrant to home village once in two years and concessional warrant another year. They need not spend their leave at home town. They could go anywhere. That’s called LTC… Leave Travel Concession.

Major Murty never had a track record of having availed leave for more than twenty days in a year. Duty… duty… duty. Where did he have his home? What was his home village? Books in the library were his only friends. His bosom friends! Whenever an Officer appearing for examinations approached him to clear his doubts, he could speak effortlessly and endlessly on all kinds of designs and war strategies from Alexander the Great to the latest, the liberation of Bangladesh.

From “Timur, the lame”, Babar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Wellington, Eugen Rommel, Eisenhower, Zhukov, Kornilov, to our Field Marshall Manekshaw… he would speak, and more so, about the artillery specialists Napoleon, Marshal Joachim Murat and Jean Baptiste.  Zhukop capped them all… he hoisted the red flag in Berlin. Though some of his lectures he delivered about these people while he was instructor were taped, his notable speciality was his ability to speak about every war Israel had engaged in and how, in spite of it being such a small nation, it could fuse science, daredevilry with weapon strategy.


After the death of his mother his father was remarried. It was his maternal uncle who took the initiative. His intention was not clear … whether he expected that the new bride would be able to arrest the losing string of his father at the game of cards, or thought that she would take proper care of him, the boy Murty. He was knocking at the doors of High School then. His step-mother was thirty at the time of her marriage. She might be conscious of the wasted charms of her youth. She might even have thought that the boy was responsible for her plight of second marriage. Not only had he reduced to a step-son, he had also become an avowed enemy to her. The game of cards his father had stopped briefly in the early days of remarriage, had become an easy route of escape for him later.

He did not take her chiding seriously in the beginning.  She had coffee ten times in a day. Decoction was always available on low heat on the stove. Only his father could tell which was more expensive… the coffee powder or the card game. Afraid of her, his father stopped talking to him. And in her presence, he did not even dare to look into his eyes.

After a prolonged and painful labour she delivered twins the following year. But both of them died. “This accursed fellow was the root cause of all evil”.

She made him wash the dishes, sweep the foreyard and sprinkle cow-dung dissolved water. He did not mind. He was beaten for asking money for a haircut. The following year she had another delivery. He was given double promotion and he joined High School. He was having only one knicker and a shirt with chinks under arms. When he was memorizing the sums in the sun lying down in a rickety cot, he was beaten with the broomstick for not responding to her call immediately. She never gave him an oil-bath to head. He never had new clothes for festivals along with his half brother. He was “Evil fellow! Saturn incarnate”.

That’s how his step-mother prepared him for the battle of life.  He never felt that he was fighting with any enemy. His fight was with himself… with his sums… and with his life… every day, every minute. Did he ever dream of joining military and really fighting with an enemy? But the very thought that he would ultimately succeed oneday excited him. And his confidence multiplied after he came to senses listening to the pathetic shriek of his half brother. He was sure he would never be humbled… never.

He reached his maternal uncle’s house once the injury healed with the encouragement of his friends. His books were his pals. Though his uncle did not utter anything, his aunt did not hide her disapproval. That year… amidst all tension… he secured first mark in mathematics and first rank. An artillery Officer should have a good grasp of projectiles. Where to position his gun… the approximate distance of the enemy target… the wind speed… flight direction of the cannon…since the cannon would describe an arc instead of going straight… everything needs precise mathematical calculation.  Perhaps mathematics is imperative in every walk of life!

His hopes at further study receded… but not his confidence in himself. The following year he got admission into a Vysya hostel with the recommendation of some Good Samaritan. Vysyas helped him up to his Matriculation. They even offered him employment in their shops competing with one another. No. He did not want to stop at that. He aspired for more… and more.

Pilgrims who stayed in the hostel once offered to take him with them to north. At Varanasi, where they returned, he bade them goodbye refusing their offer to take him back home. He walked barefooted in the Aryavartam… Walked through legendary villages Hardwar, Hrishikesh, Lakshman jhoola, and was back to Prayag for Kumbh Mela. What a great spectacle it was! Oodles of people flocking together with indomitable faith and unshaken determination.  He followed the village folk to a nameless destination.

Paradesi! Paradesi!” (Not a native! Not a native!”)

Meal was assured sometime during the day.

 “Child! Where are you going?”

On the way to Badrinath, he lost everything except his blanket, bowl and the Matriculation Marks Book. Whatever he left with was enough.  He was not sure why Narayandutt Joshi liked him. He learnt how to milk a cow. His house was a veritable trove of Sanskrit and Hindi books. The next turn in his life was the letter from Joshi to his elder brother in Varanasi. He was a Panda (Purohit) there. Panda was very rich. He had even an elephant and a Palanquin. His was a forty-room mansion with a continuous flow of pilgrims.

Panda asked him only one question: “What’s your Gotram (lineage of Rishis)?”

He replied.

“Your people for the last three generations had stayed in our house,” he said.

He was at ease reading Devnagari. He found the names of his grandfather and great grandfather under his Gotram in the books on the attic. It was with the recommendation of Panda he secured admission into the college… and into the University.  There again he faced challenging sums. But, he was never vanquished.

Panda even looked a bride for him. He politely refused and took leave. Panda was angry. He was back to Joshi at Joshi Math.

A friend of Joshi gave him a word of advice. That was his first application form … for the selection of Commissioned Officers in military. Joshi did not allow him to touch the form till he performed Ganesha Puja. Joshi performed his Upanayanam to make him eligible to perform the annual rites of his mother at Gaya.  And when he returned from Gaya he found orders directing him to attend training at Devalali. Training! Training!!Training!!!

His knowledge of mathematics came in handy everywhere. He was appointed Captain. He sent the first cheque from his salary to Joshi. And he took his army veterinary surgeon Srivatsava to Joshi’s house during his annual leave. The veterinary doctor examined the cows of Joshi and recommended buffaloes to run a dairy farm. He sent a separate cheque to Joshi for the purchase of five buffaloes. But Joshi returned half of it to him. He enclosed along with it his horoscope he received from Varanasi. He did not even give a cursory look at it and hid behind his books… between the pages of “Kamayani”.

He wrote a long letter to Panda seeking his pardon. He was not aware until then that he could write such good Hindi. He received a prompt reply… a Sanskrit Sloka.  It means: Only great people shall consciously cultivate the spirit of gratitude. The man who receives it, and can still remain humble shall rise higher still.”  That was followed by blessing: “Death shall keep its distance from you. I shall see you in a high rank in the military.”

He sent his German transistor and the two Assam-Monga blankets he bought in Nagaland through a special messenger, but never did his own house or people come to his mind. He was always referred to as the adopted son of Narayandutt Joshi. That Joshiji was no more now.

Just as his familiarity with literature increased, his familiarity with the country had also increased thanks to LTC for a homeless man like him. From Kajiranga to Kanyakumari… he was able to watch firsthand the sculpture and architectural beauty and the natural resources that influenced the history of this country through ages only because of his military service. Whether it is 150 MM gun or 130 MM Bofors it must bow its head before “Major Murty, Artillery, AVSM”. But after he understood Galya, the layer of pride with which he grew…that he was never vanquished … was slowly molting and, in the silvery moonlight was looking like his shadow in water.

A year-old letter from his half brother in an irregular hand. How could he secure his address! “Brother! Father expired. Lands were auctioned. Mother says that we are not solvent still. We are on hard times. Sister failed again.” And there was post script to it: “Brother! I long to see you in uniform”.

That letter did not stir any emotions in him… did not excite him. After a fortnight he sent a thousand in an Insured Cover. He did not enclose even a perfunctory courtesy note to it. Either when he sent his contribution to the Vysya Hostel or when he sent a draft for the six-month’ expenses to his maternal uncle, he did not remember his aunt, his half brother and the half sister he never saw. They just did not exist for him. But this Galya was an obstinate lady… she left his mind greatly disturbed.

In his search for sleep he consulted not one book … he picked “Vaitalikulu” by Muddukrishna, “Madhusala” by Duvvuri Ramireddy, “Sateesmruti” by Koduri Subba Rao, Vedula Satyanarayana Sastry, Rayaprolu, and Jashua from Telugu, which he purchased while he was at Golconda; Jayasankar Prasad, Mahadevi Verma, Dwivedi, Chaturvedi from Hindi… but no use. None of them helped him get sleep. Instead, they said: “there’s past … there’s present… and so there’s future. He who could not realise this is not a complete man”.


Major Dakshina Murty received his promotion orders late… as Lieutenant Colonel. He is Officer Commanding to a new Unit. He should take charge within one week. But he was in no hurry.


“Why do you need leave now” Colonel Jagannath asked Murty, unable to restrain his laughter. Because he knew Murty had always said ‘no’ whenever he was offered leave.

“Sir! I must join my brother in a decent school. He would come to nought if I were to leave him there,” said Major Murty.


Munipalle Raju

“Savati Tammudu”

Andhra Prabha Sachitra Vara Patrika (27.2.1991)

Translated by: NS Murty & (Late) RS Krishna Moorthy.



1400 th Post

పురాతనోద్యానం… రిచర్డ్ ఆల్డింగ్టన్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

(మొదటి ప్రపంచ సంగ్రామంతో ప్రపంచంలో నిరాశా నిస్పృహలు కమ్ముకున్న వాతావరణంలో, ఆంగ్లసాహిత్యంలో ఇమేజిజం అన్న ఒక సాహిత్యోద్యమాన్ని, లేవనెత్తినవాళ్ళలో ప్రథముడు… రిఛర్డ్ ఆల్డింగ్టన్.
ప్రతీకలద్వారా కళ్ళెదుట ఉన్నవస్తువుని పాఠకుడికళ్ళముందు రూపుకట్టేటట్టు ప్రయత్నించడం వీళ్ళ ఆదర్శమైనా, ఈ ఉద్యమంలోని కవులు సందర్భానికి పనికిరాని ప్రతీకలూ, అవసరానికి మించి, ఒక్క మాట అయినా ఎక్కువ వాడకూడదన్న నియమం కలిగిన వారు; కవి ఉన్నదున్నట్టు చెప్పినా విషయాన్ని మాత్రం వాచ్యం చెయ్యడు.
ఈ కవితలో ఎత్తుగడ Romanticism బాటలో ప్రకృతితో ప్రారంభించినా, ముగింపులో, చెప్పిన తెల్లదనం, పువ్వులూ, రాళ్ళూ, మృత్యువుకీ, సమాధులకీ ప్రతీకలు. ఇంత అందమైన ప్రకృతీ అనుకోకుండా కమ్ముకున్న ప్రపంచ యుద్ధమేఘాల తాకిడికి నిర్జీవమై మానవాళికంతటికీ ఒక పెద్ద శ్మశానమై మిగిలిపోతుందికదా అన్న భావన ఆపుకున్న ఏడుపుకి కారణంగా కవి చిత్రిస్తాడు.)


నేను ఈ తోటలో హాయిగా కూచున్నాను

నిలకడగా ఉన్న చెరువునీ, రెల్లుగడ్డినీ…

వేసవి చివరలో పొదరిళ్ళలోని

పలువర్ణాల ఆకులుని చెదరగొట్టినట్టుగా

ఆకాశంలో అలముకున్న నల్లని మేఘాలని

చెదరగొడుతున్న సుడిగాలినీ చూస్తూ;

కానీ, ఇవీ, వీటితోబాటు చెరువులోని కలువలూ

ఎంత ఆనందాన్ని కలుగజేసినా,

నాకు ఏడుపు తెప్పించినంత పని చేసినవి

గులాబులూ… మనుషులు నడుచుకుంటూ పోయే

తెల్లని నాపరాయి పలకలూ,

వాటి మధ్య రంగు వెలిసిన పచ్చగడ్డి మొక్కలూను.


రిఛర్డ్ ఆల్డింగ్టన్

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి.



Au Vieux Jardin

(The Old Garden)


I have sat here happy in the gardens,  

Watching the still pool and the reeds  

And the dark clouds       

Which the wind of the upper air         

Tore like the green leafy boughs         

Of the divers-hued trees of late summer;      

But though I greatly delight      

In these and the water-lilies,      

That which sets me nighest to weeping         

Is the rose and white color of the smooth flag-stones,      

And the pale yellow grasses      

Among them.


Richard Aldington

8 July 1892 – 27 July 1962

English Writer and Poet;  Architect of Imagism movement in 20th century literature  along with  Ezra Pound and HD (Hilda Dolittle)  

Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.

Ed: Harriet Monroe,  (1860–1936). 


సౌందర్యం… ఆర్మెల్ ఒకానర్, అమెరికను

(… మన అవగాహన పరిధి దాటి సృష్టిలో కనిపించే మంచిదనమే… ఏకకాలంలో అందానికి లక్షణమూ, జన్మస్థానమూ కూడ: ఈ ప్రాధమికమైన సౌందర్యం, ప్రాధమికమైన మంచిదనం రెండూ ఒకచోటే ఉంటాయి… అందుకే మంచిదనాన్ని ఆశ్రయించే అందం ఉంటుంది… ప్లాటినస్)

సూర్యుడు ఏకకాలంలో చాలాచోట్ల ప్రకాశిస్తాడు,
సౌందర్యం అంతరాంతరాల్లో దాక్కుంటుంది.
ఒక్క వెలుగే ఎన్నో ముఖాలని దీపించి
లోపాలు చూపి ఉత్కృష్టసౌందర్యాన్ని నిరూపిస్తుంది
ప్రతి పర్వతం, ఆకాశం, నదీ
“భగవంతుడు ప్రసాదించే ఏ వరం నాశనంలేనిది?” అని
పదే పదే నే నడిగే ప్రశ్నలకి
దేముని సమాధానాన్ని చెబుతున్నట్టుంటాయి;
అయినా నేను సందేహాలతోనూ, సరిపోలికలతోనూ
నా అలౌకికమైన ఆనందాన్ని ధ్వంశం చేసుకుంటాను.
భగవంతుడే అవిచ్ఛిన్నమైన సంపద…
కాలాతీతమైన సౌందర్యం నా పాలు.

The Catholic world పత్రికలో ప్రచురితం
ఆర్మెల్ ఒ కానర్




(… and The Good, which lies beyond is the Fountain at once and Principle of Beauty: the Primal Good and the Primal Beauty have the one dwelling-place and, thus, always, Beauty’s seat is There.—Plotinus.)

The Sun shines bright in many places,

Beauty stoops into the vault;     

One Light illumines many faces,         

Shows perfection through the fault.    

And every mountain, sky or river       

Holds one heavenly reply         

To my questions, from the Giver        

Of the Gift that cannot die.       

Yet I destroy my purest pleasure        

While I hesitate, compare.         

God is the undivided Treasure …       

Timeless Beauty is my share.


  (The Catholic World)


Armel O’Connor

Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962). 


My Life is a Newborn Baby… Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu

You will be surprised if you look at me now

Wondering why I am circumambulating.

Like a young bride making revolutions

About the Peepul seeking a child…

Hoping for a fruitful life, I make

revolutions about this Peepul Tree.

Time revolves round me. And

I run around the rounding Time

To hold aloft in my palm

Time’s timeless secret.

By the time I complete the revolutions

A sprout shoots through the seed;

Endowing a form to my intentions

The dawn confers it with life.

With the flora as witness

My life becomes a newborn baby

When I put this child in the cradle

I shall send you invitation.


Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu

Telugu, Indian

Vadrevu  Chinaveerabhadrudu

Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu

Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu is a versatile poet, translator,  literary critic, and painter apart from being a senior civil servant occupying a key position as Additional Director in Gov. of AP.  He has special interest in Chinese poetry.  He has several publications to his credit  including his poetry collections “కోకిల ప్రవేశించే కాలం” (The Season of Cuckoo) and  నీటిరంగుల చిత్రం (A Water Color on Canvas).

నా జీవితమొక నవశిశువు

ఈ వేళప్పుడు నన్ను చూస్తే ఆశ్చర్యపోతారు

ఎందుకోసమిట్లా ప్రదక్షిణాలు చేస్తున్నావంటారు.

గర్భంతాల్చాలన్న మొక్కుతో నవ వధువులు

రావిచెట్టూ చుట్టూ నూటొక్కమార్లు తిరిగినట్టు

జీవితం ఫలించాలని ఈ అశ్వత్థం చుట్టూ

వెయ్యిన్నొక్కసార్లు తిరుగుతున్నాను.

నా చుట్టూ కాలం పరిభ్రమిస్తోంది

పరిభ్రమిస్తున్న కాలం చుట్టూ

కాలాతీత రహస్యం కరతలామలకం

కావాలని నేనూ పరిభ్రమిస్తున్నాను.

ప్రదక్షిణాలు పూర్తయేసరికి బీజం

అంకురంగా పొటమరిస్తుంది

నా సంకల్పానికి ఒక ఆకృతి సంతరించి

ప్రాతః సూర్యకాంతి ప్రాణం పోస్తుంది.

చెట్లు సాక్షిగా నా జీవితమప్పుడొక

నవశిశువుగా రూపుదాలుస్తుంది.

బిడ్డను ఊయెలతొట్టిలో వేసే రోజున

మీకందరికీ సంతోషంగా కబురంపుతాను.


వాడ్రేవు చినవీరభద్రుడు


ఇంటిదారి… జోసెఫ్ ఆస్లాండర్, అమెరికను

దూకే చేపపిల్లకి చంద్రుడొక కంపించే వలయం
నిశ్శబ్దంగా నీరు కదులుతోంది
ఇంటిదారి పట్టిన అనేక పడవలకి
రాత్రి … ఒక లంగరు.

చీకటిలో సొరంగాలు తవ్వే చిత్రమైన వారుంటారు
రంయిమని తిరిగి రాలిపోయే రెక్కలుంటాయి,
నిశ్శబ్దన్ని గూళ్ళుగా మలిచే సాలీళ్లుంటాయి
అందులోకి కీటకాలు అమాయకంగా అడుగుపెడతాయి.

గడ్డిమీద కదలాడే క్రీనీడలమీద అడుగులేస్తూ
ముఖానికి రాత్రి చిరుచలిగా తగలడం అనుభూతిస్తాను
నన్ను నిలదీస్తున్న రోదసి రాత్రి-కాపలాదారుని
తప్పించుకుని నేను ఇల్లుచేరుకుంటాను
జోసెఫ్ ఆస్లాండర్

11 October 1897 – 22 June 1965


Joseph Auslander




The Moon is a wavering rim where one fish slips,

The water makes a quietness of sound;

Night is an anchoring of many ships


There are strange tunnelers in the dark, and whirs

Of wings that die, and hairy spiders spin

The silence into nets, and tenanters

Move softly in.

I step on shadows riding through the grass,

And feel the night lean cool against my face;

And challenged by the sentinel of space,

I pass.


Joseph Auslander

11 October 1897 – 22 June 1965


Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.

Ed: William Stanley Braithwaite (1878–1962).


కీర్తికాంత … జాన్ కీట్స్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

 కాలు నిలవని పిల్లలాంటి కీర్తికాంత, ఆమెకు పాదాక్రాంతులై

సేవచేసేవారిని చూస్తే, ఇంకా సిగ్గునభినయిస్తూనే ఉంటుంది.

కానీ మనసులో నిశ్చింతగా ఉండే వెర్రివాడు ఎవడైనా ఉంటే

దాసోహమంటూ అతని వెంటే ఎక్కువగా తిరుగుతుంటుంది;

ఆమె ఒక సంచారిణి; ఆమె పక్కనలేకపోయినా

తృప్తిగా ఉండడం అలవాటులేనివారిని ఆమె పలకరించదు;

ఆమె ఒక మోసకత్తె…ఆమె చెవిలో ఎవరూ గుసగుసలాడరు,

ఆమె గూర్చిమాటాడేవారు అభాండాలు వేస్తున్నారని అనుకుంటుంది;

ఆమె అచ్చంగా సంచారిణే… నైలు నదీ తీరాన పుట్టింది

అసూయాపరురాలైన పోటిఫార్* భార్యకి సాక్షాత్తూ అప్పచెల్లెలే.

ఆమె ప్రేమకై తపించే కళాకారులారా! మీరు నిజంగా పిచ్చి వారు!

ఎంత గౌరవంగా వంగి నమస్కరించగలరో నమస్కరించి శలవుతీసుకొండి.

అప్పుడు, ఆమెకి నచ్చితే, మిమ్మల్ని అనుసరించి వస్తుంది.


జాన్ కీట్స్

31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి


పోటిఫార్ (Potiphar): Chapter 39 of  Genesis tells the story of Potiphar, an official of the Pharoh of Egypt,  whose wife flirts  incessantly with Joseph who serves there. Once when  Joseph leaves his garments behind to evade her advances, she shows the garments as evidence to claim Joseph had thrown himself upon her and gets him imprisoned.)

Image Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org
Image Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org


On Fame, I

Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy   

  To those who woo her with too slavish knees,      

But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,       

  And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;    

She is a Gipsy,—will not speak to those       

  Who have not learnt to be content without her;     

A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper’d close,

  Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her;  

A very Gipsy is she, Nilus-born,        

  Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;      

Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;       

  Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!   

Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,    

Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.


John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)

English Poet

The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.

 Ed: William Stanley Braithwaite.



కృషి… విలియం హేమండ్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

ప్రేమని మొదటగా పాదుకొల్పడానికి

ప్రేమలేఖలతో మొదలెట్టిన నేను,

వెర్రినై, తెలుసుకోలేకపోయాను, ముఖంచిట్లింపూ

కసురు చూపులూ ఆమోదసూచికలేనని…

నిర్లక్ష్యమనే చూపులకు బలై

ముక్కలుగా విరిగిపోయిన మనసు

చీదరింపులనే చట్రాలలో నలిగి నలిగి

విత్తు మొలకెత్తిస్తుందని తెలియనైతి.

సంకోచం ప్రేమని నిప్పులలోకి తోస్తుంది;

మంచుకురిసే నేలలు తమకితాము వేడెక్కలేవు:

అశ్రద్ధ దానిమీద ఆలోచిస్తూ కూచుంటుంది

హేమంతంలో విత్తుమీద మంచు పేరుకున్నట్టు.

మేమిద్దరమూ ఒకరినొకరు

కలుసుకోకుండా పంత పండదు

ప్రేమపంట ఒక్కటే సమృద్ధిగా పండి

చివరకి ఒక్కటిగా మిగిలిపోతుంది

మిగిలినవేవీ జీర్ణమయితేనేగాని

పోషణని ఇవ్వలేవు, దానికి విపర్యయంగా,

మితాహారంలో కూడా … ప్రేమ

దానంతట అదే అధికమౌతుంటుంది.


విలియం హేమండ్

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి



When I began my Love to sow,

  Because with Venus’ doves I plow’d,         

Fool that I was, I did not know 

  That frowns for furrows were allow’d.       

The broken heart to make clods torn   

  By the sharp arrows of Disdain,       

Crumbled by pressing rolls of Scorn, 

  Gives issue to the springing grain.    

Coyness shuts Love into a stove;        

  No frost-bound lands their own heat feed:  

Neglect sits brooding upon Love,       

  As pregnant snow on winter-seed.    

The harvest is not till we two    

  Shall into one contracted be;   

Love’s crop alone doth richer grow,          

Decreasing to identity.    

All other things not nourish’d are       

  But by Assimilation:     

Love, in himself and diet spare,

  Grows fat by Contradiction.


William Hammond

(fl. 1655)

The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.

Ed: William Stanley Braithwaite.   


సానెట్ 33… షేక్స్పియర్

ఇది షేక్స్పియర్ 400 వర్థంతి సంవత్సరము

నేను చెప్పలేనన్ని అద్భుత సూర్యోదయాల్ని చూశాను

మహోన్నత గిరిశృంగాలని రాజమకుటాలుగా రూపిస్తూ,

చిలకపచ్చని మైదానాలని పసిడి కాంతులతో ముద్దాడుతూ,

కళతప్పిన సెలయేళ్ళకు మహత్తరమైన దివ్య రుచులద్దుతూ;

అంతలోనే నిరాధారమైన నీలిమేఘాలు కూడబలుక్కుని

రోదసి రారాజు దివ్యవదనానికి అడ్డుగా తెరకట్టి

ప్రపంచానికి అతని వదనాన్నీ, వెలుగులని దూరం చేస్తే

పడమటకి అవమానభారంతో తను ఒంటరిగా క్రుంగడమూ తెలుసు;

అయినప్పటికీ నా సూర్యుడు ఒక రోజు ఉదయాన్నే

తన పూర్వ దీధుతులతో నా నుదుటన మెరిసాడు;

ప్చ్! ఏం లాభం, అదొక్క ఘడియసేపే, దాపునే ఉన్న

ఒక మేఘపు తునక నాకు తనని దూరం చేసింది

అంత మాత్రాన నా ప్రేమ అతన్ని ఇసుమంతైనా ఉపేక్షించదు

దివిలోని సూర్యునితోపాటే, భువిలోని సూర్యులూ కళతప్పుదురుగాక!



William Shakespeare



.Sonnet XXXIII


Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack, he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
   Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
   Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.





Poem Courtesy:



ఓ నా కవితా!… వాల్టర్ సావేజ్ లాండర్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

పద, ఆమె దగ్గరకు వెళ్ళు, బెదిరిపోకు

ఆమె అందాన్ని చూసి పురుషులు సంకోచించినట్టు;

నీ వైపు తీక్షణంగా చూడదులే,

నిన్ను చూసి ముఖం అటు తిప్పుకోదు కూడా.

ఆమె మనోఫలకం మీద నువ్వు నిలిచేలా

నీకు కొన్ని సొగసులు అద్దుతానులే,

ఒకటి రెండు లోపాలు కూడా కలగలిసిపోవచ్చు

వాటిని ఆమె నవ్వుకుంటూ క్షమించెస్తుంది.


వాల్టర్ సావేజ్ లాండర్

జనవరి 30, 1775 – 17 సెప్టెంబరు 1864

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

Walter Savage Landor Image Courtesy: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/walter-savage-landor
Walter Savage Landor
Image Courtesy: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/walter-savage-landor


To His Verse

Away my verse; and never fear,

  As men before such beauty do;

On you she will not look severe,

  She will not turn her eyes from you.

Some happier graces could I lend

  That in her memory you should live,

Some little blemishes might blend,

  For it would please her to forgive.


Walter Savage Landor

(30 January 1775 – 17 September 1864)

English Poet

Poem Courtesy:

The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.

Comp:   Arthur Quiller-Couch


సాయంస్తుతి… ఫిల్లిస్ వ్హీట్లీ, ఆఫ్రికను అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

సూర్యుని చివరి వెలుగులు తూరుపుని విడిచిపెట్టగానే

రోదసి  ఒక్క సారి ఘంటరావాలతో నిండిపోయింది  

అద్భుతమైన దృశ్యం! అప్పుడే వికసిస్తున్న వసంతపు

సుగంధాలని చిరుగాలి నలుదిక్కులా మోసుకొస్తోంది.

సెలయేళ్ళు గలగలమంటున్నాయి; పక్షులు నవరాగాలాలపిస్తున్నాయి;

గాలిలో వాటి సమ్మిళిత సంగీతం తెరలు తెరలుగా తేలియాడుతోంది.

ఆహ్! ఆకాశంనిండా ఎన్ని అందమైన రంగులు అలముకున్నాయి.  

పడమరమాత్రం ముదురు ఎరుపురంగును అద్దుకుంది

నల్లని చీకటి తెరలను దించడంతో పాటు

వెలుగులనూ విరజిమ్మే సృష్టికర్త సంకీర్తనలతో నిండి

అవనిమీద ప్రాణంతో స్పందించే దేవాలయాలైన మా హృదయాలు

సకల సద్గుణలతోనూ భాసించు గాక!

దివ్యమై, సంస్కారవంతమై ఉదయాన్నే మేల్కొనుగాక.

నిత్యనైమిత్తికాల జంజాటము పునః ప్రాంభమయినపుడు

వాటి ప్రలోభాలనుండి దూరంగా స్వచ్ఛంగా ఉండుగాక.

రాత్రి పదముద్రల భారానికి నా కళ్ళు బరువెక్కుతున్నాయి.

గీతమా! ఇక చాలు. తిరిగి ప్రభాతమయే దాకా శలవు.


 ఫిల్లిస్ వ్హీట్లీ

1753 – December 5, 1784

ఆఫ్రికను అమెరికను కవయిత్రి


Image Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org
Image Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org

ఫిలిస్ వ్హీట్లీ (1753 – 5, డిశెంబరు, 1784)

మొట్టమొదటి ఆఫ్రికన్- అమెరికన్ కవీ/ కవయిత్రి

ఫిలిస్ వ్హీట్లీ జీవితం చాలా చిత్రమైనది. తన ఏడవయేట నేటి సెనెగల్/ జాంబియాప్రాంతాలనుండి అపహరింపబడి “ఫిలిస్” అన్న నావలో అమెరికాలోని బోస్టను నగరానికి తరలింపబడింది. అదృష్టవశాత్తూ  ఒక ధనిక వర్తకుడు, ఆదర్శభావాలు కల జాన్ వ్హీట్లీ అన్న అతను తన భార్యకు సేవకురాలిగా ఆమెను కొనుక్కున్నాడు. అయితే వాళ్ళింట్లోనే ఆమె నేర్చుకున్న చదువులో అపురూపమైన ప్రతిభకనబరచడంతో ఆమెకు ఎక్కువ అవకాశాలు కల్పించాడు.  బానిసత్వం ప్రబలంగా ఉన్నరోజుల్లో, బానిసకు విద్యావకాసాలు కల్పించడమంటే, అందులోనూ ఒకస్త్రీకి, అది అపూర్వమే.  12 ఏళ్ళ వయసువచ్చేసరికి ఆమె ఇంగ్లీషుభాషే కాకుండా, గ్రీకు, లాటిను భాషల్లోని కావ్యాలను చదవనూ, బైబిలోని క్లిష్టమైన భాగాలను చదవనూ  నేర్చుకుంది. ఆమె మీద పోప్, మిల్టన్, హోమర్, వర్జిల్ ల ప్రభావం బాగా ఉంది. ఆమె త్వరలోనే కవిత్వ రాయడం ప్రారంభించింది. ఆరోజుల్లో ఒక తెల్ల కుర్రవాడు కూడ ఆ వయసులో సాధించలేని భాషా పాండిత్యానికీ, కవిత్వానికీ ఒక పక్క ఆశ్చర్యమూ, ఇంకొక పక్క అసూయతో కొందరు ఆమె రాసిన కవిత్వం  ఆమెది కాదని కోర్టులో వ్యాజ్యం వేస్తే, ఆమెను పండితులు పరీక్షించి ఆమె రాసినవే అని నిర్థారణ చెయ్యడంతో బాటు ఒక ధృవీకరణపత్రం కూడా ఇచ్చారు. అంత నమ్మశక్యం కానిది ఆమె ప్రతిభ.

ఆమె కథనే బానిసత్వ నిర్మూలనకు నడుము కట్టుకున్న వాళ్ళంతా, బానిసత్వానికి అనుకూలంగా మాటాడేవాళ్ళు చెప్పే “నీగ్రోలకు స్వంత తెలివితేటలు ఉండవు” అన్న వాదనను ఖండించడానికి వాడుకున్నారు.

విధి ఎంత దాఋణంగా ఉంటుందో చెప్పడానికి కూడా ఆమె జీవితం ఒక ఉదాహరణే. 1778 లో జాన్ వ్హీట్లీ  తను వ్రాసిన వీలునామాలో తన మరణానంతరం ఆమెకు బానిసత్వం నుండి విముక్తి ప్రసాదిస్తే (అప్పటికే ఆమె  యజమానురాలు మరణించింది) తను స్వాతంత్ర్యముగల  ఇంకొక నీగ్రోను పెళ్ళిచేసుకుంది. అయితే వ్యాపారం లో దెబ్బతిని అతను జైలుపాలయితే, ఉదరపోషణార్థం తను బానిసగా ఉన్నప్పుడు ఏ పనులయితే చేయనవసరం లేకపోయిందో, స్వతంత్రురాలుగా ఉన్నప్పుడు అదే పనులుచెయ్యవలసి వచ్చింది. చివరకి తన 31 వ ఏట దారిద్ర్యం లో మరణించింది.



An Hymn to Evening


Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
The pealing thunder shook the heav’nly plain;
Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr’s wing,
Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.
Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes,
And through the air their mingled music floats.
Through all the heav’ns what beauteous dies are spread!
But the west glories in the deepest red:
So may our breasts with ev’ry virtue glow,
The living temples of our God below!
Fill’d with the praise of him who gives the light,
And draws the sable curtains of the night,
Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind,
At morn to wake more heav’nly, more refin’d;
So shall the labours of the day begin
More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin.
Night’s leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes,
Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.


Phillis Wheatley

1753 – December 5, 1784

First African- American Poetess 

Poem Courtesy:



Wheatley was very likely kidnapped at the age of 7 from Senegal / Gambia and brought to British-ruled Boston, Massachusetts on July 11, 1761, on a slave ship called The Phillis. She was purchased as a slave by a progressive wealthy Bostonian merchant and tailor John Wheatley, as a personal servant to his wife Susannah. Wheatley’s, particularly 18 years-old Mary Wheatley, gave Phillis an unprecedented education. It was a luxury rarest of its kind for an enslaved person and more so, for a female of any race those days. By the age of twelve, Phillis was able to read Greek and Latin classics and difficult passages from the Bible. She was strongly influenced by the works of Pope, Milton, Homer, Horace and Virgil and she even began writing poetry. Wheatley’s work was frequently cited by many abolitionists to combat the charge of innate intellectual inferiority among blacks and to promote educational opportunities for African Americans.

 It was a quirk of fate that after 1778, when John Wheatley legally freed her from the bonds of slavery by his will, she was forced, while free, to do what she was exempted from when she was a slave… as domestic servant (and scullery) for survival. And she ultimately died poor at 31.

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