అనువాదలహరి

ఋతుచక్రం … తావో చిన్, చీనీ కవి

చంక్రమణం చేస్తున్న ఋతువులు స్వేచ్ఛగా పరిభ్రమిస్తున్నాయి.

ప్రాభాత సమయపు అద్భుతమైన ప్రశాంతత నలుదెసలా ఆవరిస్తోంది

వసంతఋతు సూచకములైన దుస్తులు ధరించి

నేను తూరుపు పొలాలను కలయతిరుగుతున్నాను.

హేమంతపు తుది మొయిళ్ళు పర్వతాగ్రాలను తుడిచిపోతున్నై.

సాలెగూడువంటి సన్నని తెలిమంచు అకసాన్ని మరుగుపరుస్తోంది.

ఇక కొద్దిరోజుల్లో, దక్షిణగాలి తగలడమే ఆలస్యం,

పాలుపోసుకున్న గింజ  రెక్కలు అలలుగా విచ్చుకుంటుంది.

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తావో చిన్

(365 – 427)

చీనీ కవి

.

Turning Seasons

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Turning Seasons turning wildly

Away, morning’s majestic calm

Unfolds. Out in spring clothes,

I roam eastern fields. Lingering

Clouds sweep mountains clean.

Gossamer mist blurs open skies.

And soon, feeling south winds,

Young grain ripples like wings.

.

T’ao Ch’ien

(365 – 427)

Chinese Poet

Poem Courtesy:

https://archive.org/details/mountainhome00davi/page/12/mode/1up

ఒక సాయంవేళ … చియా తావో, చీనీ కవి

చేతికర్రమీద ఆనుకుని చూస్తున్నా. మంచు స్పష్టంగా పేరుకుంటోంది.

మేఘాల, సెలయేళ్ల దొంతరలు మేటువేస్తున్నట్టున్నాయి.

కట్టెలుకొట్టి జీవించే వారు ఇంటిదారి పడుతున్నారు.

కొద్దిసేపట్లో వాలైన కొండకొమ్ములలో చలిపట్టిన సూరీడు అస్తమించబోతున్నాడు.

కొండల అంచున ఎండుగడ్డిమీదనుండి దావానలం వ్యాపిస్తున్నట్టు ఉంది.

రాళ్ళ మీదనుండీ, చెట్లమీదనుండీ తెరలు తెరలుగా పొగమంచు పైకి లేస్తోంది

కొండమీది ఆరామానికి మలుపుతిరుగుతున్న దారిలో

సూర్యాస్తమయ సూచకంగా మ్రోగుతున్న ఘంట నినదిస్తోంది.

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చియా తావో

(779–843),

చీనీ కవి

.

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Evening landscape, Clearing Snow

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Walking-stick in hand, I watch snow clear

Ten Thousand clouds and streams banked up,

Woodcutters return to their simple homes,

and soon a cold son sets among risky peaks.

A wildfire runs among ridgeline grasses.

Scraps of mist rise, born of rock and pine.

On the road back to mountain monastery,

I hear it struck: the bell of evening skies.

.

Chia Tao ( Jia Dao / Langxian ) 

(779–843),

Chinese Poet

(From :

Mountain Home ,

The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China ,

Selected and Translated by David Hinton,

Counter Point, Washington DC

Copyright 2002 by David Hinton)

In his introduction to the book, My. Hinton says:

Originating in the early 5th Century CE and stretching across two millennia, Chinese tradition of  Rivers and Mountains  (Shan-shui) poetry represents the earliest and the most extensive engagement with wilderness in human history. Fundamentally different from writing that employs the “natural world” as the stage or materials for human concerns, this poetry articulates a profound and spiritual sense of belonging to a wilderness of truly awesome dimensions.  This is not the wilderness in the superficial sense of  “nature” or “landscape,”  terms the western cultural lens has generally applied to this most fundamental aspect of Chinese poetry. Nature calls up a false dichotomy between human and nature, and “landscape” suggests a picturesque realm seen from a spectator’s distance- — but the Chinese wilderness is nothing less than a dynamic cosmology in which humans participate in the most fundamental way.

The poetry of this wilderness cosmology feels utterly contemporary, and in an age of global ecological disruption and mass extinction, this engagement with wilderness makes it more urgently and universally important by the day. But however contemporary this poetry feels, the cosmology that shapes it is not immediately apparent, as this poem by Chia Tao, fairly representative of the rivers-and -mountains tradition makes it clear.

The only tangible indication in this poem that suggests the existence of such a cosmology is the monastery. Given the cultural context, it would probably point a western reader vaguely towards a Ch’an (Zen) Buddhist realm of silence and emptiness. The landscape of the poem does indeed seem infused with that silence and and emptiness, a hallmark of  Chia Tao’s genius, but the poem offers little more than this.  That is, of course, as it should be, for the poem naturally operates in the context of its natural cosmology and has no reason to explicate its terms. But for us, those terms should be understood before we begin to read such a poem at depth.

The poem’s native cosmology has its source in the originary Taoist masters; Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, who lived in the fourth and sixth centuries BCE. The central concept in their cosmology is Tao, or way.   Tao originally meant “way”, as in “pathway”, or “roadway” a meaning it has kept.  But Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu redefined it as a spiritual concept bu using it to describe the process (hence, a “Way”) through which all things arise and pass away. We might approach their Way by speaking of it at its deep ontological level, where the distinction between the being (yu) and nonbeing (wu)  arises. Being can be understood fairly in a straightforward way as the empirical universe, the ten thousand living and nonliving things in constant transformation; and nonbeing as the generative void from which this ever-changing realm of being perpetually arises.  Within this framework, Way can be understood as a kind of generative ontological process through which all things arise and pass away as nonbeing burgeons forth into the great transformation of being. This is simply an ontological description of natural process, and it is perhaps most immediately manifest in the seasonal cycle: the emptiness of nonbeing in winter, being’s burgeoning forth in spring, the fullness of its flourishing in summer, and its dying back into nonbeing in autumn. In their poems, the ancient Chinese poets inevitably locate themselves in the cosmology by referring to the seasonal cycle— ….(  …… ) deep wisdom in ancient China meant dwelling as an organic part of this ontological process.

The mechanism by which being burgeons forth from nonbeing is tzu-jan, The literal meaning of tzu-jan is “self-ablaze.”…..(……)… the ten thousand things emerging spontaneously from the generative source, each according to its own nature, independent and self-sufficient, each dying and returning into the process of change, only to reappear in another self-generating form.

The poetic significance of this cosmology is apparent in this poem.

A Stale Roti… Abd Wahed, Telugu, Indian

Hunger

Is much a like loan taken on compound interest;

The principal never gets cleared,

You perpetually pay the interest … in installments.

Forget just one EMI,

It will hit you on your tummy

Like the brute loan-collector.

With mushrooming hotels, restaurants,

And pizzas, burgers, and biryanis sold therein

A stomach un-famished

Can hardly relish a stale Roti like me.

For, I don’t bear that tang of tastelessness

Borne out of loss of appetite after an eating bout

To the point of throwing the food away.

After all, I am —

A very ordinary Roti

That means

A Roti

Covetously preserved by the coolies

To beat the fire in the belly

Of morrow… in installments

That’s why I look dry.

I, too, was soft and yummy

Ready to melt on the tongue

When I was first prepared.

Children wanted to take me in one go.

But the elders warned them of

Morrow’s hunger,

And they preserved me.

Children pleaded

Cried their belly was not even half-full.

They repeatedly complained of hunger.

The elders persisted that

They should get used to starving.

Poor kids!

Looking at me eagerly, yet consciously

Suppressed their hunger against their will,

And set me aside for tomorrow.

I changed hands

And deeply studied varied lines

hunger had drawn on every hand there…

One farmer raised a wheat crop for me

But committed suicide unable to beat the hunger.

At another place, a farm laborer, for want of work

Migrated to town to feed the hungry mouths of his children

I rode on the backs of coolies

Who bore the wheat bags

I greeted the hunger in their bellies

And the worker in the flourmill

Traded his living

For few handfuls of flour

And ignoring the hunger within

A mother’s hand had prepared me.

Scared of hunger, they saw me as insurance

And as they preserved, I became stale.

They did not even mind that

And wanted to take me after soaking in water.

But now, forget about their hungry stomachs

There was no trace of their bones.

As I lie between the sleepers, now

No hungry mouth looks longingly at me.

And praying for some hungry mouth to reach me

I gave up the last traces of my life.

Yes,

I am a dry, stale, lifeless Roti.

.

Wahed

Telugu , Indian Poet

Abd Wahed
Photo Courtesy: Abd Wahed

రొట్టె చచ్చిపోయింది

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ఆకలి – చక్రవడ్డీల అప్పులాంటిది

అసలు తీరడం ఉండదు

వాయిదాలుగా వడ్డీ చెల్లించాలి

ఒక్క వాయిదా మరిచిపోయినా

గుండా లాంటి లోన్ కలెక్టర్ లా

కడుపులో పిడిగుద్దులు గుద్దుతుంది.

హోటళ్ళు, రెస్టరెంట్లు

పిజ్జాలు, బర్గర్లు, బిరియానీలు

ఆకలెరుగని నోటికి ఎండు రొట్టె తెలియదు

ఎందుకంటే –

తిని తిని, తినలేక పారేసే అరుచి

ఎండు రొట్టెలో ఉండదు.

నేను

ఒక మామూలు ఎండురొట్టెను

అంటే

ఒకటి రెండు రోజులు

ఆకలికి వడ్డీ కిస్తులు కట్టడానికి

కూలీలు దాచుకున్న రొట్టెను

అందుకే ఎండిపోయాను

వండినప్పుడు

నేను కూడా మెత్తగా, చాలా రుచిగా

నోట్లో వేసుకుంటే కరిగిపోయేలా ఉన్నాను

పిల్లలు అప్పుడే నన్ను తినేద్దామన్నారు

పెద్దవాళ్ళు రేపు ఆకలి వేస్తే చస్తామన్నారు

అందుకే నన్ను దాచుకున్నారు

పిల్లలు ఏడ్చారు

సగం పొట్ట కూడా నిండలేదన్నారు

కడుపు మాడుతుందన్నారు

కడుపు మాడ్చుకోవడం అలవాటు చేసుకోవాలన్నారు పెద్దలు

పాపం పిల్లలు

నన్ను… నోరూరించే రొట్టెను ఆశగా చూస్తూ సర్దుబాటు చేసుకున్నారు.

నన్ను రేపటి కోసం దాచుకున్నారు

నేను చాలా చేతులు మారాను

ప్రతి చేతిలోను ఆకలి వేసిన పిచ్చిగీతలు చూశాను.

పొలంలో నాకోసం గోధుమలు పండించాడు రైతు

ఆకలికి తట్టుకోలేక ఆత్మహత్య చేసుకున్నాడు.

అక్కడ వ్యవసాయకూలీ

పనుల్లేక పిల్లల ఆకలి తీర్చడానికి పట్నం వచ్చాడు.

బస్తాల్లో నన్ను నింపి మోసిన కూలీల

వీపులపై స్వారీ చేశాను

వారి పొట్టలో ఆకలికి హలో చెప్పాను

మిల్లులో నన్ను పిండి కొట్టిన కూలీ

ఇంట్లో పిడికెడు పిండి కోసం

తన రోజులు అమ్ముకుంటున్నాడు

ఆకలిని కడుపులో దాచుకుని

నన్ను వండాయి గాజుల చేతులు

కడుపులో ఆకలి పిడిగుద్దులను సహిస్తూ

పిల్లల నోట్లో ముద్ద పెట్టాయి

కడుపు మాడ్చుకుని రేపటి కోసం దాచాయి

పాపం వాళ్ళవెరు తినలేదు

ఆ రోజుకు అర్థాకలితో కడుపు మాడ్చుకున్నారు

వాళ్ళంతా రేపటి ఆకలికి భయపడ్డారు

నేను ఎండిపోయాను.

ఎండినా ఫర్వాలేదు నీళ్ళలో నాన్చి తిందామనుకున్నారు

ఇప్పుడు ఆ ఎండిన డొక్కలు

ఎముకలుగా కూడా మిగల్లేదు

ఇప్పుడు పట్టాల మధ్య

నన్ను తినేవారు కూడా లేరు

శవాల మధ్య… ఒక శవంలా

నన్ను తినండ్రా అని మరింత ఎండిపోతూ

ప్రాణం వదిలాను

నేను

ఒక మరణించిన రొట్టెను

.

Wahed Abd

10th May 2020

సంధ్యాగమనము … జాన్ మిల్టన్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

నిశ్శబ్దాన్ని తోడు గొని, మత్తుగొలిపే చీకటి ముసుగు

ప్రకృతి యెల్లెడలా అంచెలంచెలుగా పరచుకుంటూ 

ప్రశాంతంగా అడుగు మోపింది సాయంసంధ్య; పశుపక్ష్యాదులు 

తమ తమ పసరిక నెలవులకూ, గూళ్ళకూ చేరుకున్నాయి; 

ఎటుజూసినా నిశ్శబ్దమే, వనప్రియ కోకిలారవం మినహా; 

తను రాత్రంతా శృంగారగీతికల నాలపిస్తూనే ఉంది;

నిశ్శబ్దపు గుండె పరవశించింది. ఇపు డాకసమునిండా

ఇంద్రనీలమణులప్రభలే; ఆ నక్షత్రాతిథులమధ్య

రేచుక్క అరుణిమతో జేగీయమానంగా వెలుగులీనుతోంది;  

ఇంతలో మొయిలుదొంతరల తెరలుమాటుచేసి రాజోచిత దర్పంతో

అసమాన తేజస్వియైన రేరాజు తొంగిచూసాడు. అంతే!

అంతటి రజనీ నీలాంబరమూ … వెండివలిపమై భాసించింది.

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జాన్ మిల్టన్

(9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674)

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

An Evening

.

Now came still evening on, and twilight gray

Had in her sober livery all things clad;

Silence accompany’d; for beast and bird,

They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,

Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;

She all night long her amorous descant sung;

Silence was pleas’d. Now glow’d the firmament

With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led

The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,

Rising in clouded majesty, at length

Apparent queen unveil’d her peerless light,

And o’er the dark her silver mantle threw.

.

John Milton

(9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674)

English Poet

From: Paradise Lost IV Book

జీవన కెరటం … ఆల్ఫ్రెడ్ టెన్నిసన్ ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

కాన్రాడ్! నీ జీవితం ఏ మార్పూలేక విసుగ్గా ఉందంటావేమి?

లంగరువేసి ఆలోచనలో పడ్డావెందుకు? అన్నిపక్కలా పాకిరిపోయిన

ఈ కలుపు తగ్గేది కాదు, పైపెచ్చు, నీటివాలు అంతా అల్లుకుంటుంది.

జీవిత నౌక చేరడానికి అందమైన తీరాలు అనేకం ఉన్నాయి

కానీ, నువ్వెప్పుడూ ఒక్క తీరాన్నే చేరాలని ఆరాటపడుతుంటావు.

ఆ తెడ్లని పైకిలాగి పడవకి అడ్డంగా గిరాటు వేశావేమి?

ప్రయత్నం లేకుండా పడవ దానంతట అది వాలులోకి ప్రయాణించదు.

ఈ జీవన కెరటాన్ని వెంటతరిమి ముందుకు తోసే అల ఉండదు.

మన మనుగడే అవరోధాల్ని అధిగమించి ముందుకు సాగడం మీద ఉంది.

జీవితంలో ఉత్తమ పార్శ్వమంతా మన కోరికల ఆరాట ఫలితమే.

మహా అయితే, ఎగుబోటు లేని నీ పడవ కాసేపు నిలకడగా ఉంటుందేమో గాని

ఆగిపోదు. దాన్ని రెండుపక్కలనుండి అశాంతి తాడిస్తూనే ఉంటుంది.

విను! ఆ ప్రశాంతతని నిర్లిప్తంగా సాగే కెరటాలకు విడిచిపెట్టి

బద్ధకంనుండిపుట్టిన కలుపుని వివేకంతో ముందుకు సాగుతూ జయించు.

.

ఆల్ఫ్రెడ్ టెన్నిసన్

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) 

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

 

 

.

Conrad! Why call thy life monotonous?

Why brood above thine anchor? The woven weed

Calms not, but blackens, the slope water bed.

The shores of life are fair and various,

But thou dost ever by one beach abide.

Why hast thou drawn thine oars across the boat?

Thou canst not without impulse downward float,

The wave of life hath no propelling tide.

We live but by resistance, and the best

Of life is but the struggle of the will:

Thine unresisting boat shall pause – not still

But beaten on both sides with swaying Unrest.

Oh! Cleave this calm to living eddies, breast

This sloth-sprung weed with progress sensible.

.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) 

English Poet

Poem Courtesy:  Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry by Matthew Campbell

Copyright Cambridge University Press

From Google Books:

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=EGHJriLBYYcC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=The+rhythm+of+oars+by+tennyson&source=bl&ots=5t2wS1up1B&sig=ACfU3U1MVV20XuPSvPLZnBeWnOoNGHx8OA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjA1fO1vrvpAhXlzDgGHULBDdkQ6AEwBnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=The%20rhythm%20of%20oars%20by%20tennyson&f=false

Munny… Ganapathiraju Atchutarama Raju, Telugu Indian

Kalaprapoorna Ganapathiraju Atchyutarama Raju

( 5th March 1924 -10th  June 2004)

Poet, Short story writer, Dramatist, Lawyer and Educationalist

About the Author:

Sri Ganapathiraju Atchyutarama Raju (5.3.2024 – 10.6.2004) ) was a versicolored genius born in Kolimeru Village of East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. A Graduate in Arts from the Andhra University(1945) and Law from the Madras University (1948), he practised law at Visakhapatnam. He was a dramatist, classical poet, short story writer, translator, actor, director, novelist and above all an orator of consummate ease. He was the Founder of Visakha Nataka Kala Mandali, Nominated Member, AP Sangeeth Natak Academy (1957-61), Member, AP Legislative Council (1968-74) and President, Lalita Kala Parishat. He was also on the advisory board for Telugu, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (1988-92). He was on the Senate of Andhra University (1964 – 72) and Sri Venkateswara University (1969-72). He was conferred “Kalaprapoorna” by the Andhra University in 1993. 

He had to his credit Vinayakudi Pelli (1951) and Brahma Mudi (1952) (plays), Maharajashree (1952), a playlet, and Ananda Hela (1982) and Amaram (1997) (Poetry).

***

 

MUNNY

       

***

 

With the thin wispy clouds spreading across the town and taking different shapes, like Kamadhenu, Kalpatharu, and Iravat,  the sky was looking like the proverbial ‘Milky Ocean’. It looks as if the abundance of good was heaped over there.

It is said that the color of ‘virtue’ is white, and that of ‘evil’ is black.  If it were true, why should my mommy call Aunty who looks an incarnation of virtue, an ‘evil woman’ every day? Why did innocent Aunty ceaselessly weep her heart out these two days and went away? She did not say a word against me although she knew that I was squarely responsible for Munny’s death! How gracious and magnanimous was Aunty compared to my mom!

These were the overwhelming feelings raging in the mind of a boy, Murali, lying on a tape-cot in the backyard of a middleclass house at the centre of a town, watching the sky.

Amidst colorful Rangoli (chalky designs) in front of the sacred basil on the cemented courtyard, ‘Karteeka Deepalu (Oil Lamps of Karteeka)’, a cluster of lights of cotton wicks soaked in ghee put on banana bark were blinking like the stars on the sky, and the zari flowers on Munny’s petticoat. These very lights which twinkled like the beautiful smiles of Munny till the other day, were flickering like the dark, murky lamps of the slum dwellings. Yes. They were looking exactly like that to his eyes. Aunty, who rented in the two south-end rooms of their house, vacated them and left for her place this evening.

Aunty had left!

Six months ago when schools reopened after Summer vacation, Munny and Aunty came here. When they were alighting from the rickshaw, he was reminded of the cow and the capering baby calf at his grandfather’s place.

Aunty was arranging their belongings in the two rented rooms.  And Munny, moving briskly between the rooms helping her mother, was like a piece of butter-white baby-cloud playing with the moon. Wishing to help them, he loitered around their rooms. When he volunteered saying, “May I help you, Aunty?”, his mother overheard him and shouted at him, “Hey, Murali! Come here once!”. When he went in, “You don’t have to extend a helping hand to everyone living in the town. Go! Take out your books and read!” she said knitting her forehead.

“But mommy! We haven’t bought the new class books yet!”

“Don’t argue. Take out whatever books you have and start reading!” she reproved him.

Aunty looked more beautiful and dignified than mommy.

That night…

He was lying down on his bed, adjacent to the bedroom of his father. He couldn’t sleep for a long that night. He lost in thoughts about Aunty and Munny.

He suddenly overheard his mom…

“You let out the rooms to all and sundry paying no heed to me. See that woman. Does she look like a widow? Do you know she bought two seers of jasmines today?”

“In what way we are concerned with what she buys? Why do you poke your nose? Is it laid down in any scripture that widows should not buy flowers?” asked his father.

“Somebody visited her this evening calling her ‘Rajani! Rajani!’. He looks like a riff-raff fellow!”

“Shut up! Don’t talk rubbish without knowing what is what,” snubbed his father putting out the light.

So Aunty’s husband was not alive! Shouldn’t a widow buy flowers?

Next morning, while was brushing his teeth, he observed Aunty throwing a withered garland of Jasmines to a corner in her room. Munny was sitting on a tripod near the cement saucer round the well and taking bath. She had her back towards him and taking water from the bucket near her. She just had her petticoat and nothing else on. He could see her back which looked like a white polished marble slate. She looked round like a ball in that wet petticoat.

Somebody came out from the adjacent room. “Rajani! I have to go back as early as possible after taking Munny to school.” Murali looked at him. He wondered why his mom had commented about him like that. He did not look like a rowdy or a riffraff fellow. He did not have big side locks, dense tapering moustache, ruddy eyes, or a beedi in his mouth!

Munny dried herself with a green towel. Wrapping the towel round her waist, she let drop the wet petticoat, wrung water out and dried it on the line and then looked at him. He felt as if some current had passed through him. Shy-stricken, Munny ran in like a scared baby doe. How beautiful she looked then!

Munny was admitted to a convent school.

From the time he saw her bathing, there was some change in him, and he became more enthusiastic about studies. He started reading his class lessons loud sitting in the backyard; started singing film songs aloud; and moved around Aunty on some pretext or other. He got his new dress stitched in the latest fashion and walked elegantly wearing it. He was feeling happy and proud that Munny was taking notice of all these changes.

That was a Friday in the month of Sravana. It is said that women who observe some religious vows will be blessed. Mom got the house dusted, cleaned, washed and decorated the floor with Rangolis. She took oil bath, wore new clothes, and was busy with preparing special dishes, and inviting ladies of the neighborhood to our house and what not.

Munny and he were returning from convent that evening. It was getting dark and the traffic was thin. As they were turning round the street corner, someone stopped his bicycle, pulled Munny’s gold chain off her neck and started peddling away. He ran after him shouting ‘thief, thief’. That fellow kicked him on his face with all his strength and sped off. People heard his alarm and caught the thief.  Munny got her chain back. Then she looked at him widening her already-wide eyes with admiration. She dabbed off the blood on his mouth with her handkerchief, and dried the tears rolling down his cheeks. Someone from the neighborhood escorted them home.

When the incident was narrated at home, Aunty hugged him dearly. He forgot all the pain in her warm embrace.

“Can’t you send your girl to school without all such decorations ? Thanks to you, my boy would have lost his life today,” mommy almost shouted at Aunty.

“I am sorry. Today being Friday of Sravana, I sent the girl to school with the gold chain. I am anyway deprived of such small pleasures,” said Aunty taken aback at mommy’s onslaught. She pulled him away from Aunty’s embrace and dragged him home. Munny shrank to a corner, scared.

Mommy boasted before everybody in the street that her son was saved from death in the hands of that thief, because of her ‘virtue.’

Mommy never invited Aunty for any of her religious observances, though she invited everybody else. That hurt him very much.

Once he asked Aunty, “Why don’t you attend any religious observances in our house?”

“I am not that fortunate, my child!” she said turning her face away.

When he was alone with mommy he asked her: “Why don’t you invite Aunty to your functions, while you invite everybody else?”

“Shut up! Why do you stick your long nose in all matters?” she chided him.

He went to Aunty’s room in anger and with determination.  He said to her, “Aunty! From now on, you observe all religious vows. Munny and I will  get you whatever you need from the market.”

“No, no! Leave it! I was qualified for those things only when Munny’s father was alive. I am not fortunate enough now,” Aunty said with a tinge of pain.

“You mean, you should not perform those things now?”

“Yes,” she said wiping her tears.

Munny receded silently to a corner.

An inexplicable sadness and anguish filled him.

*

That was Janmashtami, birthday of lord Krishna. Noticing his mother was busy in her activities, he silently slipped into Aunty’s portion without his mom noticing him. On the wall, there was a photo of a gentleman in full suit. He was sitting in a chair with his legs crossed, and wore a pleasant smile. A garland of jasmines was hanging to it. Aunty removed that withered garland and replaced it with a fresh one.

There was another photo next to it. There were many women bathing in a pond. None of the women had clothes on. Some of them were waist deep in water. One lady covered her bosom with her hands. Another covered her chest with one hand and looking away. Two other women lifted their heads high in the air and making salutations. On one of the branches sat Krishna, smiling mischievously. And on another, a heap of saris of different hues was slung.

Looking at the picture, Murali smiled. But noticing that Munny observed him looking at the picture, he felt shy to look at her.

That day, Munny and Aunty worshipped garlanding that gentleman’s photo, the picture of Krishna and bathing ladies, another photo of Krishna standing by a white cow, and one more where Krishna was dancing on the hoods of a giant serpent.

He understood now. Aunty could worship singly, by herself, but could not invite to her house ladies with their husbands alive. He could not understand the reason why.

That day when Aunty and Munny were going to the movie Krishna Leelalu, he wanted to be along.  “Take the permission of your mom,” advised Aunty. He lied that he took her permission and went with them.

Aunty and Munny were enjoying the naughty pranks of little Krishna. Then followed the obscene bathing episode, the picture of which he had seen in Aunty’s room that morning. The bathing ‘Gopikas’ (dairy maids, so to speak) were begging for their saris back from Krishna, who had stolen them and was sitting perched a branch. Krishna said to them smiling mischievously, “I will return your saris if you give up your lust for bodies”. Then the maids put their hands up above their heads and prayed. Krishna returned them their saris. Of course, there were many episodes in the movie.

While returning home he asked Aunty, “Krishna advised gopikas to give up their lust for body. Aunty, what does ‘lust for body’ mean? What is the relation between this and returning the saris to gopikas?”

“Lust signifies desire for the body. If one prayed God giving up all desires, God will bestow his blessings. With his blessings human beings go to heaven after death where there will be no worries and troubles. Everyone will be happy, jolly, and cheerful there.” As Aunty was explaining, the rain which started as a fine drizzle suddenly intensified into a downpour. All of them reached home fully drenched.

As soon as they were home, mommy started lashing at them all collectively. Daddy left the scene, embarrassed.

“Don’t you have a sense of proportion and time? Don’t you ever go out with every hoi polloi to cinemas?” mommy slapped him. Munny trembled with fear.

“Forgive us. It was a mythological movie, Krishna Leelalu (playfulness). So I thought… ” Aunty was trying to explain when mommy cut her short, and stuffing her words with all her spite she said, “We have been watching all your ‘Leelas’. We are only short of Krishna’s ‘Leelas’. Who will come to our rescue if something untoward happens to my child?” and many more.

Aunty turned pale. Without speaking another word, she withdrew to her room with Munny who was already in tears.

Changing into dry clothes Murali went straight to bed. He dreamt of Krishna high on the tree branch, the nude Gopikas in the pond, advancing tongue-lashing demons,  pathetic faces of Aunty and Munny…and much more.

*

Next morning he went to Aunty’s room. Aunty paid her obeisance to the person in suit in the photo. She removed the withered garland from the photo.

“Are you cross with mom’s behaviour last night, Aunty?”  he asked.

Aunty simply laughed away the question and kept silent. How nice Aunty was!

“Who is he in that photo, Aunty?”

“Munny’s father.”

“Do you buy jasmines only to worship him, then?”

“Yes. It was his birthday yesterday. That is the only worship I am not deprived of,” she said drying her tears. Munny seemed angry, depressed and withdrawn.

Over a period of time, Aunty told him that Munny’s father was a senior officer, and she used to perform her vows and prayers on a large scale when he was alive.

Then, even to earn God’s blessings Aunty could not perform her vows and prayers! That was why neither his mom nor other ladies with their husbands alive won’t invite Aunty for any function or festival. Why couldn’t he and Munny perform vows for her benefit on her behalf? Then Munny would be well educated and become a doctor. That would be the fruition of all Aunty’s efforts. He decided to perform all religious observations with Munny in Aunty’s house only.

There is one God who removes all obstacles in the way of any good work. He is Lord Ganesha, the darling child of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. If he is worshipped  no failures happen in one’s way.  On Ganesh Chaturdhi, with the money given by Aunty, he and Munny went to market, bought all paraphernalia required to celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birthday in a befitting way.  He turned a deaf ear to his mommy’s reprimands, and he read out the text of worship himself as Aunty and Munny performed the pooja. 

Days of dark rain-threatening clouds seizing the sky had receded. Schools closed for Dasehra. Wherever Dasehra pandals were erected and programs were held, he visited them with Munny. They enjoyed the pooja holidays thoroughly.

Then came Diwali. Munni’s uncle who had accompanied her on her first day to the convent school visited them again and bought many crackers for Munny. He also gave all his crackers to her. That night, brighter than the brightest crackers, Munny sizzled like … a filigree of finest silver work, a ball of gold, and a rain of moonlight. She was the cynosure of Aunty’s eyes, and the glow of her laughter.

Strangely, in spite of  all the festivals and the contingent joy and bonhomie, there always remained some inexpressible void in Aunty’s house. Whereas, in spite of constant querulousness between mommy and daddy, there was some wholesomeness in his house. Was it really due to mommy’s ‘accumulated virtue’?  Why should not Aunty get the same ‘virtue’?  He wondered how his mommy would react after Munny got a good education, became a famous doctor, married a wealthy boy, and visited her?  

*

He heard some people were going on a picnic to a hillock at the end of the city by buses, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even on foot.  He asked Aunty why all people went there?  She replied, “This is Karthika, the favorite month of Lord Shiva.  God showers his blessings on those who take food under an Amla tree.”

One Sunday, daddy’s office staff planned a picnic to that place with all family members. They sent a jeep for daddy. He was ready to accompany his daddy. Mommy refused. As he was thinking it would be nice if Munny also accompanied him, she came out ready in Punjabi dress. She wore a blue chunni. Daddy invited her. He did not heed mommy’s murmurs. The jeep sped off and reached the foot of the hill soon. The bungalow there was full. There were people under every Amla tree. There were people of all age groups. Some people were engaged in cooking, some were playing cards, some were gossiping, and some others were singing, laughing, making fun and frolicking. It was a colorful parade of dresses and flowers.

All the colleagues of daddy gathered under a tree. He and Munny had breakfast and washed their hands in a stream flowing nearby. The water was cold and sweet, like Aunty’s sweet smile. The stream was flowing down from atop the hillock. There was a footway along the stream and there was a steady flow of people both ways. He asked one old gentleman, with tattered clothes and unkempt beard coming down, where he was coming from.

“There is a pond atop of the hillock. As per the legend, it was made by Lord Sri Rama for his consort Sita to bathe in. People go there to get Lord’s blessings.”

Munny and he started their way up along the footpath by the stream. They played with the greenery around, plucked the unknown flowers, rested under the shades. Sun was at the meridian by the time they reached the pond. There were pearls of sweat on Munny’s face. People had already left the pond for lunch. Only he and Munny were left at the pond.

He imagined Munny to be gopika in the pond and himself Lord Krishna. He was overwhelmed with joy at that thought. He told Munny about it and Munny got into the pond all smiles.

“Give up the lust for your body, I shall shower blessings on you!” he said playing Krishna.

The bashful smile on the face of Munny and her chunni were suddenly drowned in the pond.  Munny with her hands hung up high disappeared gradually.

It was all over by the time people gathered and pulled her out, now limp and lifeless.

With the Kamadhenu-, the Kalpataru– and the Iravat-like cirrus clouds standing witness, under the cold and sweet waters of the pond up the hillock, all the ‘good’ and ‘virtue’ Aunty had earned over years were dissolved once and for all!

The cluster of ‘Karteeka Deepalu’ in the backyard of his house where Murali was lying were all blinking… and were about to go out!

GANAPATHIRAJU ATCHYUTARAMA RAJU

***

(Telugu Original: Munnii, Swati Monthly, January 1974 )

 

Read the original telugu story Munni- Ganapathiraju

The story appeared in Saranga Web-Magazine:  https://magazine.saarangabooks.com/munny/

తోటమాలి … రబీంద్రనాథ్ టాగోర్, భారతీయ కవి

                                                                                ఈ రోజు రబీంద్రనాథ్ టాగోర్ 159 వ జన్మదిన వార్షికోత్సవం

 

 

నీకు అదే ఇష్టమనిపితే

నా పాటని ఇప్పుడే ఆపేస్తాను.

నీ గుండె ఉద్వేగానికి లోనవుతోందంటే

నీ ముఖంలోకి చూడడం విరమించుకుంటాను. 

నడుస్తూ నడుస్తూ, ఆశ్చర్యంతో అడుగు తడబడితే  

నేను ప్రక్కకి తొలగి, వేరే దారి చూసుకుంటాను.

పూదండ గ్రుచ్చుతూ తడబడుతున్నావంటే

అలికిడిలేని నీ తోటవంక కన్నెత్తైనా చూడను. 

ఈ కొలనునీరు తుంటరిగా నీపైకి ఎగురుతోందంటే

ఈ ఒడ్డున నా పడవ నడపడమే మానుకుంటాను.

.

రబీంద్రనాథ్ టాగోర్

(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)

భారతీయ కవి

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Gardener

If you would have it so,

I will end my singing.

If it sets your heart aflutter,

I will take away my eyes from your face.

If it suddenly startles you in your walk,

I will step aside and take another path.

If it confuses you in your flower-weaving,

I will shun your lonely garden.

If it makes the water wanton and wild,

I will not row my boat by your bank.

.

Rabindranath Tagore

(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)

Indian Poet

Poem Courtesy:  Contributed by Nirupama Ravindra

 

file:///C:/Users/hello/Google%20Drive/27th%20Feb%20%20Saved%20Files/My%20Literature%20%20Original/poetry%20collections/The%20Gardener-tagore_files/The%20Gardener-tagore.htm

వాలిపోతున్న బార్లీ పంటలా… సారా టీజ్డేల్, అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

Image Courtesy: https://www.farmingindia.in/barley-crop-cultivation/

 

సముద్రతలానికి దిగువన

గాలివాటుకి తలవాల్చినా

నిరంతరాయంగా కూని రాగాలు

తీసుకునే బార్లీపంటలా

తలను వాల్చినా, మళ్ళీ

తలెత్తుకునే బార్లీపంటలా

నేనుకూడా, బీటలువారకుండా

ఈ బాధనుండి బయటపడతాను.

నేనూ అలాగే, నెమ్మదిగా

ప్రతి పగలూ, ప్రతిరాత్రీ

దిగమింగుతున్న దుఃఖాన్ని

గేయంగా మలుచుకుంటాను.

.

సారా టీజ్డేల్

(August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

.

Sara_Teasdale._Photograph_by_Gerhard_Sisters,_ca._1910_Missouri_History_Museum_Photograph_and_Print_Collection._Portraits_n21492

.

Like Barley Bending

.

Like barley bending

In low fields by the sea,

Singing in hard wind

Ceaselessly;

Like Barley bending

And rising again,

So would i, unbroken,

Rise from pain;

So would I softly,

Day long, night long,

Change my sorrow

Into song.

.

Sarah Teasdale

(August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)

American Poet. 

From:

Sara Teasdale Poems Published by PoemHunter.com – The worlsd’s Poetry Archive, 2004  under Clessic Poetry Series.

The Letter Unwritten… Asharaju, Telugu Poet, India

Whether you have condemned them as useless

Or, forgotten while trimming your wares

Some of your belongings

Somehow, were left behind with me.

Please take them away when you come this way!

The sweet scents of your tresses

Still linger over my shoulder;

And your lukewarm breath

Is tangible at the nape of my neck;

They had slipped out, in your hurry

Which, praps, you never noticed.

Whenever you come this way

Please take them with you!

The smiles you broadcast over the mirror

And the wet foot prints you left drying under the fan

Lie scattered all across the room, like a starry sky.

Whenever you find time, please take them away

Packing lock stock and barrel.

The night – we shared the Chai fifty-fifty-

froze in the balcony,

The moon who overheard the King-Queen stories

Fell asleep at the threshold of the house.

If you chance to come alone, anytime, this way

Carry everything; leave nothing behind.

Wherever I turn, I see your things wrapped up;

They are coming in my way

Leaving no room for me to sit, or stand free.

Come, without any further delay, 

Search every nook and corner, and

Carry away all your belongings!

Then, I could find at least

Some room for me … to die.

.

Asaaraju

(Born 5th Dec 1954)

Telugu Poet

Born and brought up in Hyderabad old city, Sri Asharaju is a prolific poet.  He has to his credit 19  volumes of poetry and  2 translations.  Another renowned port  Sowbhagya (Palella Vijaykumar) brought out a critique on Asharaju’s poetry in 2011.  He received innumerable awards for his poetry, including the Freeverse front award and Ci.Na.Re. literary Award. He can be contacted at 93923 02245 .

రాయని ఉత్తరం

సర్దుకోవడంలో 

మరిచిపోయావో 

పనికిరానివని 

వదిలేశావో  

నీ వస్తువులుకొన్నీ 

నా దగ్గరేవుండిపోయాయి 

ఇటువైపు వచ్చినపుడు 

వాటిని తీసుకెళ్ళు !

నా భుజంమీద  ఎగురుతున్న 

నీ కురులపరిమళం  

నా మెడచుట్టూ తగులుతున్న 

నీ ఊపిరి వెచ్చదనం  

నీ తొందర తొందరపనుల్లో 

జారి కిందపడ్డట్టున్నాయి 

ఎప్పుడు ఇటువచ్చినా  

నీవస్తువులు నీవు తీసుకెళ్ళు !

నిలువుటద్దంమీద  

వెదజల్లిన నీనవ్వులు  

ఫ్యానుగాలికింద ఆరేసిన 

నీ తడిఅడుగులు  

ఆకాశంలో చుక్కల్లా  

ఇల్లంతా పరుచుకొన్నాయి 

ఎప్పుడో తీరికదొరికినప్పుడువచ్చి 

అన్నీ మడతబెట్టుకొని తీసుకెళ్ళు ! 

సగం సగం చాయ్ తాగినరాత్రి  

బాల్కనీలోనే నిలిచిపోయింది  

రాజా రాణీల కతలువిన్న చందమామ  

దర్వాజా దగ్గరే నిద్రపోయింది 

అనుకోకుండా ఒక్కదానివే

ఈ దారిన వచ్చినప్పుడు  

ఒక్కటికూడామిగలకుండా తీసుకెళ్ళు ! 

నేను ఎటుకదిలినా  

మూటలుకట్టిన నీవస్తువులే

అడ్డుపడి దొర్లుతున్నాయి  

నిలుచోలేను కూర్చోలేను  

ఆలస్యం చేయకుండావచ్చి 

మూల మూలల వెతికి వెతికి 

వదిలేసిన వస్తువులన్నీ తీసుకెళ్ళు ! —–, 

కనీసం మరణించడానికైనా  

నాకు కొంచెం ఖాలీ స్థలందొరుకుతుంది

.

ఆశారాజు

తెలుగు కవి

సెల్ నం: 93923 02245

తన్మయత… సర్ నిజామత్ జంగ్, అరబ్-భారతీయ కవి

ప్రియా! నేను నీ చెంతకు చేరినపుడు

నాలోని నశ్వరమైనవాటినన్నిటినీ త్యజించి,

దైవదర్శనానికి వెళుతున్నప్పుడు ఏయే

ఆలోచనలను దూరంగా ఉంచుతామో

వాటినుండి మనసు ప్రక్షాళనంచేసుకుని

అంత నిర్మలంగానూ చేరుకుంటాను-

దురహంకారాన్నీ, ప్రేమాడంబరాన్నీ

ఒకే ఒక్క పదునైన చూపుతో అణచగల

ఎగసిపడే అద్భుత చైతన్యవంతమైన

నీ వ్యక్తిత్వానికి అనువుగా నన్ను దిద్దుకుంటూ.

నిజం! నేను అచ్చం అలాగే నీ చెంతకు వస్తాను.

వచ్చి నీ కళ్ళలోకి సూటిగా చూడ సాహసిస్తాను.

నీ చేతిని నా కనులకూ,పెదాలకూ అద్దుకున్నపుడు

ఆ సుతిమెత్తనిస్పర్శ నీ మేన పులకలు కలిగించి

నా తనువూ మనసున ప్రతిఫలిస్తుంటే, మనిద్దరం

స్వర్గంలోని తొలి జంటలా తన్మయులమై ఉంటాం.

.

సర్ నిజామత్ జంగ్

ఏప్రిల్ 1871 – 1955

అరబ్- భారతీయ కవి

.

UNITY

WHEN I approach thee, Love, I lay aside

All that is mortal in me, with a heart

Absolved and pure, and cleansed in every part

Of every thought that I might wish to hide

From God, I come, — fit spirit to abide

With such a soaring spirit as thou art,

Whose eye transfixes with a fiery dart

Presumptuous passion and ignoble pride.

Yea, thus I come to thee, and thus I dare

To gaze into thine eyes ; I take thy hand,

And its soft touch upon my lips and eyes

Thrills thy pure being, while it lingers there,

Into my heart and soul; — and then we stand

Like the first two that loved in Paradise !

.

Sir Nizamat  Jung

(April 1871 – 1955) 

Arab- Indian Poet

Poem Courtesy:

https://archive.org/stream/Sonnets-NawabNizamatJungBahadur/Sonnets+-+Nawab+Nizamat+Jung+Bahadur_djvu.txt

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