అనువాదలహరి

Silence … Chandra Kanneganti, Telugu, Indian

Choose whatever word you like;

Whether you break it horizontally

or sliver it vertically, you find no trace of moisture.

Yet, if you want to light a fire

they do not catch fire however long you may try.

What to do now?

Whatever picture you want to draw out of them

these soiled words do not gel.

And in these chinky, cliched words

Can’t hold any idea you try to fill them up.

The longer you muse the reason for that

the diaphanous layers evaporate one by one.

And pouring few words in the churner

no matter how long you churn, you hear the same churning sound

you have been listening since childhood shall echo in your ears once more.

But, there is no fresh lease of life with the rounded words or faces.

Throwing them all to the winds

Without speaking up a word

Let us pay homage to silence.

.

Chandra Kanneganti

Telugu

Indian

Sri Chandra Kanneganti is a poet and short story writer  with 2 Publications  “Vaana Velisina Saayamtram” ( An evening after the Rain, Collection of Telugu Poetry, 2007) and  “Muudo MudraNa” (Third Edition, Collection of Short stories, 2012).

Hailing from  Saupaadu  Village of Guntur district, Andhra pradesh,  he graduated in engineering from REC Warangal and did his higher studies at University of IOWA. For the last 30 years, he is living in Dallas, Texas.

మౌనం…

అడ్డంగా విరిచినా
నిలువుగా కోసినా తడన్నదే కనపడదు
ఏ మాట కోరుకున్నా!
అట్లాగని అంటించినా
రాజుకోవు ఎంతకూ!
ఏం చేద్దాం ఈ వేళ?

ఏ దృశ్యం గీద్దామన్నా
మాసిన అక్షరాలు అతకవు!
ఈ అరిగి చిల్లులుపడ్డ పదాల్లో
ఏ భావం నింప చూసినా నిలవదు!
అర్థమేమిటని అదేపనిగా ఆలోచిస్తే
వుల్లిపొరలన్నీ ఆవిరవుతాయి!

ఇన్ని మాటలు వేసి
ఎంత గిలకొట్టినా అదే గిలక్కాయ చప్పుడు
చిన్నప్పటినుండీ వింటున్నదే-
రింగుమని చెవుల్లో ఇంకా గింగురుమంటున్నదే!
ఇప్పుడు కొత్తగా బతికేదేం లేదు
గుండ్రటి మొహాలతో మాటలతో!
అన్నీ అటువిసిరేసి
మాటలు మానేసి
మౌనాన్ని మన్నిద్దామీవేళ!
.
కన్నెగంటి చంద్ర

తెలుగు

భారతీయ కవి.

(వానవెలిసిన సాయంత్రం కవితాసంపుటి నుండి)

ప్రకటనలు

చిలిపిచేష్టల గాలి… విలియమ్ హోవిట్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

ఓ ఉదయం గాలి నిద్రనుంచి లేచి తనలో ఇలా అనుకుంది,

‘ఇవాళ మనం వేడుక చేసుకోవాలి! ఒకసారి ఇలా గెంతాలి

మరో సారి పిచ్చిగా గుర్రపుదాట్లు వేసుకుంటూ వెంటతరమాలి!

వెళ్ళిన ప్రతిచోటా ఇవాళ కలకలం సృష్టించాలి! ‘ అనుకుంటూ.

అనుకోడమే తడవు, ఊరు ఊరంతా కోలాహలంగా ఊడుస్తూ పోయింది

దారిగురుతుల్ని చెరిపి, షట్టర్లని చెల్లాచెదరు చేసింది,

నిర్దాక్షిణ్యంగా గాలిదుమారం లేపి మనుషుల్ని తోసుకుంటూ పోయి

మిఠాయిల షాపు, వృద్ధస్త్రీల టోపీ అన్న తేడాలేకుండా ఎగరేసుకుపోయింది

ఇంతకు ముందెన్నడూ అంత బిగ్గర అరుపులు వినిపించలేదు,

ఆపిలు పళ్ళూ, బత్తాయిపళ్ళూ అలా అలా దొర్లిపోతుంటే

ఎప్పుడూ ఏదో ఒకటి ఎగరేసుకుపోదామని దొంగచూపులు చూసే

పిల్లకాయలు ఎవరికి దొరికింది వారు పట్టుకు పారిపోయారు.

తర్వాత పొలాల్లోకి కుని రాగం తీసుకుంటూ బడాయిగా పోయింది

అక్కడి పశువులన్నీ ఏమవుతోందో తెలీక గాభరాపడ్డాయి

ముత్తవ్వల్లా గంభీరంగా ఉండే గోవుల తోకల్ని లాగి

అక్కడి గుర్రపుపిల్లల్ని జూలు వాటి నుదుళ్ళకు తగిలేలా విసిరికొట్టింది

దానితో అటువంటి అలవాటైన ఎగతాళికి కోపగించుకుని

వెనుదిరిగి మూతిముడుచుకుని మౌనంగా నిలుచున్నాయి.

విశాలమైన నది ఒడ్లవెంటనున్న రెల్లుగడ్డిలో ఈలవేసుకుంటూ

అటూఇటూ గెంతుకుంటూ, అల్లరి కొంతసేపు కొనసాగించింది

నురుగుమీద వాలుతున్న పిట్టలమీద ఊఫ్ అని ఊదుతూనో

రాజమార్గం మీది బాటసారి సమాధిని రాసుకుంటూనో పోయింది.

పాపం, ఆ బిచ్చగాడి సంచీనీ బొచ్చెనీ లాక్కోడం ఏమీ బాగులేదు

అతని చిరిగిపోయిన దుస్తుల్ని రెపరెపలాడించడమూ బాగులేదు.

అది ఎంతకి తెగించిందంటే ఎవరితో వేళాకోళానికైనా జంకలేదు

అటు డాక్టరు గారి విగ్గు ఊడబీకింది, ఆ పెద్దమనిషి దుస్తుల్నీ వదల్లేదు.

అడవి దారులంట ఉల్లాసంగా కేరింతలు కొడుతూ అరుస్తోంది:

ఓ బలిష్టమైన ఓక్ చెట్లలారా! మీ తలలు వంచుతాను చూడండి! ‘ అని.

పెద్ద ప్రయాసలేకుండానే అవి తలవంచేలా చేసింది.

లేదా వాటి బలమైన కొమ్మల్ని పూర్తిగా తెంపుకుపోయింది.

తర్వాత అది క్రూరమృగంలా పాకల్లోకీ, పొలాల్లోకి చొరబడింది

అక్కడి ప్రజల్ని హఠాత్పరిణామానికి భయభ్రాంతుల్ని చేస్తూ,

దాంతో వాళ్ళు మండు వేసవిలోని తేనెటీగలదండులా పరిగెత్తారు.

అందులో చేతిరుమాళ్ళు తలకట్టుకి చుట్టుకున్న యువతులున్నారు

వాళ్ళ కోళ్ళకి ఈ ఆపద తప్పిందోలేదో నని ఆతృతగా చూస్తూ

అక్కడి సీమ కోళ్ళని పట్టుకున్నారు, బాతులు గట్టిగా అరిచేయి,

ఆడకోళ్ళన్నీ భయంతో ఒక్కసారి తమనెలవులకి పరిగెత్తాయి.

అక్కడ నిచ్చెనల చప్పుళ్ళూ, దుంగల చప్పుళ్ళూ అందుకున్నాయి

ఏ క్షణంలోనైనా ఇంటి కప్పు ఎగిరిపోతుందేమోనన్న భయంతో.

కానీ గాలి ముందుకి పోయింది, ఒక చిన్న సందులో

రొప్పుతూ వృధాగా పరిగెత్తుతున్న బడిపిల్లాడిని కలిసింది.

అది అతన్ని పడదోసి, దొర్లించిమరీ పారిపోయింది,

నిలబడేవేళకి అతని టోపీ చెరువులో, జోళ్ళు బురదలో ఉన్నాయి.

అక్కడొక జుత్తు నెరిసిన ముసలి బిచ్చగాడున్నాడు

ఆరుబయటనున్న ఒక ముళ్ళపొదని ఊడబెరికి

సూదిముక్కుతో పొడిచినట్లు చిన్నగాట్లు పెట్టిపోయింది.

అతనికి ముందూ, వెనకా, అన్నిపక్కలా తిరిగింది

ఆ బక్కప్రాణి ఒంట్లోంచి జీవుడు లేచిపోయినట్టనిపించింది.

అతను తిట్టుకుంటూ కూలబడేలా చేసింది:

“ఎన్నడూ ఎరగమమ్మా ఇంతగాలి! దీని జిమ్మడ!

కానీ ఇవాళా రేపూ వీస్తున్న ప్రతి గాలీ

ఈ ముసలాడు ఎంత బలహీనమయ్యాడో తెలియజెపుతోంది! ”

కానీ శలవురోజు హుషారులో ఉన్న గాలి ముందుకి సాగింది.

ఇప్పుడది దూరంగా ఉవ్వెత్తున ఎగస్తున్న సముద్రం మీదకు చేరింది.

అక్కడ దర్జాగా ప్రయాణిస్తున్న ఓడ దాని ప్రభావం చవిచూసింది.

దాని ప్రక్కనున్న చిన్న చిన్న పడవలు ముందుకీ వెనక్కీ ఊగేయి.

అదిగో! అటు చూడండి. చీకటి పడబోతోంది. వెలుగులీనుతున్న

పడమటి దిక్కున, సముద్రపక్షులు వాలే గుట్టమీద

తనెంత భయంకరమైన అల్లరి చేసిందో తలుచుకుంటూ

ముసిముసినవ్వులు నవ్వుకుంటూ విశ్రాంతి తీసుకుంది.

.

విలియమ్ హోవిట్,

18 డిశంబరు 1792 – 3 మార్చి, 1879

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

The Wind in a Frolic

.

The wind one morning sprung up from sleep,
Saying, ‘Now for a frolic! now for a leap!
Now for a mad-cap, galloping chase!
I’ll make a commotion in every place!’
So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,
Creaking the signs, and scattering down
Shutters; and whisking, with merciless squalls,
Old women’s bonnets and gingerbread stalls.
There never was heard a much lustier shout,
As the apples and oranges trundled about;
And the urchins, that stand with their thievish eyes
For ever on watch, ran off each with a prize.
Then away to the field it went blustering and humming,
And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming;
It plucked by their tails the grave, matronly cows,
And tossed the colts’ manes all about their brows,
Till, offended at such a familiar salute,
They all turned their backs, and stood sullenly mute.
So on it went, capering and playing its pranks:
Whistling with reeds on the broad river’s banks;
Puffing the birds as they sat on the spray,
Or the traveller grave on the king’s highway.
It was not too nice to hustle the bags
Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags:
‘Twas so bold, that it feared not to play its joke
With the doctor’s wig, or the gentleman’s cloak.
Through the forest it roared, and cried gaily, ‘Now,
You sturdy old oaks, I’ll make you bow!’
And it made them bow without more ado,
Or it cracked their great branches through and through.

Then it rushed like a monster on cottage and farm,
Striking their dwellers with sudden alarm;
And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm.
There were dames with their ‘kerchiefs tied over their caps,
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps;
The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,
And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;
There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on
Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.

But the wind had passed on, and had met in a lane,
With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in vain;
For it tossed him, and twirled him, then passed, and he stood,
With his hat in a pool, and his shoe in the mud.

There was a poor man, hoary and old,
Cutting the heath on the open wold—
The strokes of his bill were faint and few,
Ere this frolicsome wind upon him blew;
But behind him, before him, about him it came,
And the breath seemed gone from his feeble frame;
So he sat him down with a muttering tone,
Saying, ‘Plague on the wind! was the like ever known?
But nowadays every wind that blows
Tells one how weak an old man grows!’

But away went the wind in its holiday glee;
And now it was far on the billowy sea,
And the lordly ships felt its staggering blow,
And the little boats darted to and fro.
But lo! it was night, and it sank to rest,
On the sea-bird’s rock, in the gleaming west,
Laughing to think, in its fearful fun,
How little of mischief it had done.

.

William Howitt

(18 December 1792 – 3 March 1879)

English Writer

Poem Courtesy: 

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/wind-frolic  

ఊరట… మాత్యూ ఆర్నాల్డ్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

సూర్యరశ్మిని పొగమంచు కప్పేసింది
నాలుగుప్రక్కలనుండీ పొగలు ఎగస్తున్న
పొట్టి గుడిశెలు నన్ను చుట్టుముట్టి ఉన్నాయి;
ఏదో చెప్పలేని నిరాశ
నా మనసుని కృంగదీస్తోంది.

కానీ, నే నొకవంక దిగులుతో అలమటిస్తుంటే
ప్రతి దిక్కునా లెక్కలేనన్ని అవకాశాలు
ఒకదానివెంట ఒకటి పరచుకుంటున్నాయి
గణించలేనంత మంది మనుషులు
చెప్పలేనన్ని మానసిక అవస్థలలో గడుపుతున్నారు.

ఇక్కడనుండి దూరంగా, ఆసియాలో
చదునుగా ఉన్న బిక్షువుల ఆశ్రమగోపురాలపైనా
బంగారు రంగులో మెరిసే
లాసా (టిబెట్) లోని మిద్దెలపైనా
సూర్యుడు మిలమిల మెరుస్తున్నాడు.

పసుపుపచ్చని టైబరు నదీ తీరాన
కాలంతోపాటు అరిగి నలుపెక్కిన పాలరాతి
విగ్రహాలలోని నవరసాధిదేవతలు
ఆ మ్యూజియంలో ఇప్పటికీ
అందంగానే కనిపిస్తున్నారు.

ఆ కోట సింహద్వారాల ముంగిలి
చిత్రమైన కేకలు మిన్నుముడుతున్నాయి
అదే (గ్రీసులోని) హెలికాన్ పర్వతాగ్రాలపై
ఎంత నిర్మలమైన ప్రశాంతత ఉందంటే
ఆ దాపున ఒక మబ్బుతునకకూడా లేదు.

ఇసుకతిన్నెలమధ్య కప్పబడి ఉన్న
ఒక ఒంటరి ఆఫ్రికను నగరపు
ఎండచొరరాని వీధులగుండా
వయసు పైబడిన ఒక అంధ భిక్షువు
ఎవరో నడిపిస్తుంటే బిచ్చమెత్తుకుంటున్నాడు.

వ్యయమైన ఈ ఎడారి అంతర్భాగంలోకి
ఇంతవరకు ఏ దోపిడిదారుడూ
ఇళ్ళు దోచుకోలేదు;
ఇక్కడి చూపును మించిన ఏ నిశితమైన చూపూ
దూరంనుండే తమ ఎరని ఇట్టే పసిగట్టనూ లేదు.

ఈ సహారా ఇసుక తుఫానులు
అతని రెండు కనుగుడ్లనూ చీల్చేసింది.
అతని గెలుచుకున్న దోపిడీ సొమ్ము ఖర్చయిపోయింది
అతనికిప్పుడు వర్తమానమంతా
కేవలం బాధతో కూడినదే.

అందమైన ఇద్దరు యువ ప్రేమికులు,
నులివెచ్చని జూన్ గాలి మాటున
తొలివేసవి పొలాలవెంబడి తిరిగివచ్చి
ఒకరితో ఒకరు సరసాలాడుకుంటూ
ఆనందంతో మైమరచి నిలబడ్డారు.

ఇద్దరూ జంటగా తీయని గొంతుతో,
కళ్ళలో మెరుపు తొణికిసలాడుతుంటే,
ఇలా అభ్యర్త్ధిస్తున్నారు: ” ఓ విధీ!
ఈ వర్తమానాన్ని కొంచెం పొడిగించవూ!
కాలమా! అక్కడే అలా ఆగిపోవా!”

వెనువెంటనే ఆ దేవత నిర్దాక్షిణ్యంగా
కనుబొమలు ముడిచి, తల అడ్డంగా తిప్పింది.
కాలం దాని ఇసుక గడియారాన్ని
ఎప్పుడు తిప్పాలో అప్పుడు తలక్రిందులు చేస్తుంది.
అంతే! వాళ్ళ తరుణం మించిపోయింది.

ఒకవేళ జాలి ప్రదర్శించి
ఆ న్యాయదేవత
వాళ్ళ ఆనందాన్ని పొడిగించి ఉంటే
మరొక చోట ఎక్కడో
మరొకరి దుస్థితిని పొడిగించి ఉండేది.

నిష్కల్మషమైన
ఏ క్షణపు ఆనందాన్ని నేను
శాశ్వతం చెయ్యడానికి ప్రయత్నిస్తానో
పదివేలమంది దుఃఖితులు
అది ముగియాలని ఎదురుచూస్తుంటారు.

నిర్దాక్షిణ్యమైన
ఆ “కాల”పు ఏ చీకటి సమయాలని
నేను నశింపజెయ్యడానికి ప్రయత్నిస్తానో
అవే క్షణాలని కొందరు గడుపుతారు
హాయిగా, ఆనందంగా, సంతోషంగా.

అందరూ అసంతృప్తినిచ్చే కాలం
అది ఏ ఒక్క మనిషిపట్లా
పక్షపాతం చూపించదు,
అందరు మనుషులకీ
వాళ్ల కష్టకాలం వాళ్ళకి తెస్తుంది.

.

మాత్యూ ఆర్నాల్డ్

(24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888)

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

Mathew Arnold
Image Courtesy: Project Gutenberg

.

Consolation

.

Mist clogs the sunshine.

Smoky dwarf houses

Hem me round everywhere;

A vague dejection

Weighs down my soul.

Yet, while I languish,

Everywhere countless

Prospects unroll themselves,

And countless beings

Pass countless moods.

Far hence, in Asia,

On the smooth convent-roofs,

On the gilt terraces,

Of holy Lassa,

Bright shines the sun.

Grey time-worn marbles

Hold the pure Muses;

In their cool gallery,

By yellow Tiber,

They still look fair.

Strange unloved uproar

Shrills round their portal;

Yet not on Helicon

Kept they more cloudless

Their noble calm.

Through sun-proof alleys

In a lone, sand-hemm’d

City of Africa,

A blind, led beggar,

Age-bow’d, asks alms.

No bolder robber

Erst abode ambush’d

Deep in the sandy waste;

No clearer eyesight

Spied prey afar.

Saharan sand-winds

Sear’d his keen eyeballs;

Spent is the spoil he won.

For him the present

Holds only pain.

Two young, fair lovers,

Where the warm June-wind,

Fresh from the summer fields

Plays fondly round them,

Stand, tranced in joy.

With sweet, join’d voices,

And with eyes brimming:

“Ah,” they cry, “Destiny,

Prolong the present!

Time, stand still here!”

The prompt stern Goddess

Shakes her head, frowning;

Time gives his hour-glass

Its due reversal;

Their hour is gone.

With weak indulgence

Did the just Goddess

Lengthen their happiness,

She lengthen’d also

Distress elsewhere.

The hour, whose happy

Unalloy’d moments

I would eternalise,

Ten thousand mourners

Well pleased see end.

The bleak, stern hour,

Whose severe moments

I would annihilate,

Is pass’d by others

In warmth, light, joy.

Time, so complain’d of,

Who to no one man

Shows partiality,

Brings round to all men

Some undimm’d hours.

.

Matthew Arnold

(24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888)

English Poet, Cultural Critic and Inspector of Schools

Poem Courtesy:

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/consolation

Lighting Fire under Her Feet… Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry, Indian

[This is one of the most touching stories by Sri Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry.  In spite of my best efforts to the contrary, I could not contain my tears while reading and translating this story. It presents how pathetic the relations were between the kith and kin in Brahmin families not so long ago (I am not sure if they are different now); and more importantly, what a miserable life a child widow led, exploited by her own parents, siblings and others for the rest of her life…

The most interesting thing about the story is that it runs in a conversation style for the most part and without narration, the writer establishes each character… Translator]

***

“Instead of sitting idle like a log, why don’t you rub off some sandal paste? Have I to tell you every day?”

“Why? Elder brother-in-law had left yesterday itself. Who needs the sandal paste now?”

“Don’t you find somebody in this house fit to apply sandal paste on?”

“Then you should have told me in the same authoritative tone than satirically?

“Who else? It’s your father and mother. Should somebody make it explicit? Huh?”

“Otherwise, how can a person like me know?”  

“How silly? Didn’t such a simple thought strike your mind? Have they grown old to deny themselves of the luxury?

“……………….”

“You are accursed not to enjoy that luxury in this life. At least, to enjoy them in your next life you must have to serve married women with small favors like serving them sandal paste or making a garland of jasmines etc. Particularly, to your parents. Do you know what a supererogation it is?

“Did I ever see it or experience it to know what pleasure the sandal paste would give, to imagine how virtuous it would be to provide such pleasure to others? With all that, fate has ordained me like this. It is disconcerting to think how pleasurable life would be in the next life. Unable to take away this life on my own, I am pulling on like this. But, where is the guarantee that I will be born as human being in my coming life?

“That is true. How can a foolish person entertaining such useless thoughts can get a human life?”

“What blessing this life human has given me now? Had I been an animal or a bird it would have been better. At least I would have been spared this servile…”

“Who knows if you envied some happy couple? Deprived them of their pleasures or separated them. Otherwise, why should you suffer like this? When I advise you for your own good… is it for my sake I say this all?

“Who said that you are saying this all for your sake? But, withal that, to whosoever sake you might say, I can’t avoid this grind. Because you are so compassionate, you asked me prepare sandal paste for your daughter. Who finds fault with that? It did not strike me. But did I say I won’t prepare? Because you said very strictly and clearly, from now on I will prepare it every day.  Censure me the day I fail to do.  Can I lead my life like others just eating and doing nothing? Isn’t some strength left in my shoulders?

“Y…o…u….! You accursed face! After all I uttered a small word. What a rant you let lose? “

“…..”

“When you grieve to serve your own father mother, how can anybody expect you to serve others?”

“………….”

“After all, the few days your elder brother-in-law was here, willy-nilly you prepared the sandal paste and served him hot water for bath. That’s all. Did you do anything more than that? He is such a great Vedic Scholar, isn’t it serving him amounts to serving god”

“That knowledge serves people who are fortunate but not for people like me.  For a pathetic like me, there is no difference between God and a common man… ultimately, it makes little difference even if it were a devil.  I do whatever is asked from me and whatever I thought fit.  I spared no efforts to serve people and will continue to do so in future.”

“Do you think people will allow you to keep idle?”

“Are they allowing me now?  Nor did I ever crave for it? There is a milch animal in the back yard and me at home to serve all people…”

“You shameless creature! How can you compare yourself to an animal that breeds? How dare you entertain the idea of begetting children, you wretched corpse?

“……………..”

“You are indigence incarnate. How can luck embrace you?

“………”

“God knows what ill-fated moment you entered your mother’s womb, my mother barely escaped death; the moment you entered this world your father lost his job; …”

“No sooner had the boy tied the sacred knot, than he died the next moment. Say that as well. Why did you stop at that?”

“Y…o…u..! You tease me for not saying that? Poor fellow he would have been happily alive if he had not tied that knot. He was studying “Third form” at such a young age of sixteen. You can never imagine what big position he might have occupied by now in government service? And you hate him for being dead?”

“………………………..”

“Marrying you has turned out fatal for him.”

“………………………….”

“You set foot in her house, the poor mother, lost her only son.”

“…………………………..”

“Honestly speaking, the boy was lucky to be dead. Had he been alive, will you allow him to run the family? If he runs, will you feed him regularly? And if you feed regularly, will you allow him to sleep in piece?”

“‘And if you had allowed him to sleep in piece, you would have choked him to death in sleep. Say that as well.”

“What! What!! What!!! What did you prattle? How arrogant have you become?”

“………………………….”

“Why not? You can dare do that. Did you listen? You dare to do anything?”

“……………………………”

“You speak like that about the person who married you? One who is in heaven?

“For having married me, do you think he will blessed in Heaven?”

“True! So true! How cunning are you? Born to defame the family and accursed not to get any alimony…”

“Alimony? Why do I need alimony? What do I need money for? I am born to serve and I will serve who asks me to serve.  Having got service from me won’t they serve me a bowl of gruel to live? At least, in the interest of my services, won’t they?”

“So, do. You rot!”

“As there is no other way I do. Don’t you see how I am working?”

“Why don’t I see? I am seeing fairly well. Perhaps, you want me to go blind   like your paternal grandmother. That can never happen. People who speak ill of me will go blind. They will be ashamed… you are born and brought up by me. And now, do you dare me? I say how dare you? Can you live challenging me?”

“Do I value life to challenge you? So, be kind to eliminate me at the earliest. God will bless you.”

“What did you say? What did you brat? Do I drug people to death? How dare you blame me putting up such an innocent face, you young devil?

“………………………..”

“How arrogantly you move hither and thither, Pinjari?

“…………………………”

“Wait… Wait… wait your turn to die. By the time I get up taking a nap, if you don’t clean that red gram bag, blame me if I don’t mash you to death.”

“…………………”

2

“Hello young sister! I will ask you for a favor. Won’t you do that?”

“Do you need to ask me?”

“Then say, yes.”

“Where does the question of not doing arise? Am I doing all things that I do only after agreeing to do?”

“…. You have to stich a blouse with this cloth. That’s all.”

“OK…”

“Before they light the lamps in the evening. Understand?”

“Today? I can’t do it! I can do it by tomorrow evening.”

“What do you do today, after all?”

“Eldest sister has given me cloth after lunch to stich a long jacket for her daughter. After I complete the work on hand, I have to attend to that.”

“You don’t have to…”

“…Why? Why are you so envious?”

“… I don’t want you do it…”

“Did I say I will not do? It is your choice.”

“Should you say it explicitly? Besides, it is your will. If it were my will, can you postpone that?

“Having known that she had given the work before you, did you give a thought how elder sister would feel?”

“Why? Will she beat you for that?”

“…………………………………”

“Or, the auspicious time for marriage would pass for her daughter?”

“………………………………….”

“The fact is, you like elder sister more. Don’t I know that? Why don’t you speak up the fact instead of beating round the bush?

“You just speak whatever comes to your mind? Why don’t you think of me?

“What is there to think of you? You don’t have to cook?”

“That is far better. If you sit for cooking you can avoid so many other things under that excuse.”

“Even now, what is the work you have? Just cleaning a handful of red gram. Isn’t it?”

“….Are they just a handful?”

“Ok? They are not handful. They are after all 16 seers. Just that?”

“Do you know what the time it is?”

“It is 2 O’ clock.  You can finish it by 3. What will you do after that?”

“Can I finish this in one hour?”

“OK. You will finish it by 4. What will you do after that?”

“Who will prepare Sandalwood paste?”

“For whom? Elder brother-in-law had left yesterday itself?”

“For father and mother.”

“Did mother ask you to do it?”

“No. Grandmother.”

“What is this?”

“What is there for me to answer?”

“How can grandmother ask you…?”

“What is wrong with that? Fond of their daughters, mothers may sometimes order such things. They can even blame you for not doing things without being asked for.”

“Great! Then, it will take about half an hour. After that?”

“Half an hour?”

“Accepted that it will take one hour.  Then?”

“If I don’t get another commissioning by then, I will take up elder sister daughter’s…”

“… You are coming back to square one. You are utterly ignorant of dalliance! Your brother-in-law will be here in a day or two.  He gave it to me when he came here last month.  At least by the time he comes here…”

“Then why didn’t you give it to me this long?”

“I just remembered it now.  After all, it is one hour job. How long should I entreat you for this petty job? If you take it really serious, you can do it in half an hour…. Please stich me the blouse. You are my darling young sister. Aren’t you?

“Didn’t say I would stich?”

“No. I want my blouse first… OK?”

“It makes me no difference whichever work I take up first. Then, can you ensure the eldest is not angry with me?”

“…. Go to Hell! You always do something like this whenever I entrust you a job. You die for the eldest!  Both of you drown together! After all, to stich a simple thing like blouse you make such a fuss. Do you think I can’t do it myself? I just counted upon your help in this small matter. … OK.  Can you do it by tomorrow evening without fail?”

“……yes.”

“If possible complete it tomorrow morning itself. I want to visit the in-laws of Sodemma, donning the new sari. Don’t you think it matches well with that, dear sis?”

“I have to give a head-bath to the youngest sister and ready brother combing his hair.”

“How much time will it take?”

“What about attending to the cow shed?”

“Of course, you will anyway attend to that.”

“Then, who will milk the cows?”

“That’s part of your routine work. You put it on a dung cake fire; you churn the curd and take out butter; you attend to the laundry of father. After all they are very simple chores? What more work do you have?”

“Forget about them. I will take care of your work.”

“Promise me that will do it?”

“Does it mean I do things only if I promise and otherwise not?”

“What a beguiling person you are?”

“………………………..”

“How hard at heart you are!”

“………………………….”

“How many times I entreat I could not get an assurance from you. OK. Will you complete it at least by tomorrow evening?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Don’t forget.  Anyway, I shall sleep beside you after lunch. Because the summer has become too hot, I am getting sleep after lunch. You will complete it before I get up. Isn’t it?”

“……………………….”

“Your brother-in-law appreciates you so much. Once he gets a job, you can stay with us.  What do you say? Ok?”

“…………………….”

“Why don’t you reply?”

“What can I say? If I don’t stay with somebody or the other, how can I lead this life?”

“You wretched woman, how awfully you talk? Do I look so mean? Do you think I cannot attend to my chores without you? What do you think? We will engage a cook. We don’t need anybody’s help?”

“…………………….”

“Because you are my sister and you are poor I wanted to help. If you don’t do it by tomorrow see what I will do? I will complain to grandmother?”

“………………………”

“Oh! A stream of tears comes out for nothing. Nobody cares.”

“…………………………..”

3

“How far the long skirt… Why do you rub off the sandal paste?”

“To apply”

“Y… (O…).  For whom?”

“Mother and Fa…”

“From when?”

“Neither I know from when or how long, nor I need to know.  If you want you can ask grandmother…”

“Did she ask you to do it?”

“Yes.”

“…. OK. Why should I bother about it? At least, did you complete at least half of the long skirt I entrusted you?”

“I completed cutting.”

“Great! When I gave you at 11 am you could just complete cutting till now?”

“At least I could complete that much.”

“Want me to be happy for that? My job looks so silly and ridiculous to you?

“………………………..”

“Why do you look at me like that? If you get so piqued for what I say, why did you stop the work half way through?”

“Huh! For my wretched life, can I get angry with people?  I have to accept every damn work people entrust me. Otherwise…”

“Who has entrusted? And what work?”

“You did not even set foot out, 16 seers red gram basket was thrown at me.”

“So what?”

“Does it look so simple? After toiling hard somehow I could complete it. And now I am sitting here with this whetstone.”

“After this?”

“…………………………….”

“Just you whet the sandal wood few rounds and the bowl would be full. What will you do after that?”

“…. So far there is no other work than your daughter’s long skirt. If I don’t get any other assignment, I will attend to it.”

“Do it without fail. After all how much time will it take? After you finish the job, go upstairs secretly and sit there with that skirt. You can feel the cool wind of Godavari there.”

“I need not go upstairs for the air.  There is enough ‘wind’ wherever I sit.

“It is your choice. I just mentioned it for your comfort. All that I need is you complete the long skirt. By the way, what did the second sister gave you?”

“She wanted a blouse for her.”

“Why? Can’t she do it herself?”

“…………………”

“Will her lord be visiting soon?”

“……………………”

“Why? Should he entrust a job when I give you one?”

“…………………………..”

“So, you completed cutting for her blouse as well. Isn’t it?”

“…………………….”

“You don’t have to put such frightened look. Oh! Do you think I don’t know you?  You have a great liking for her. That is why you stopped my work half way through and took up her work.”

“Don’t talk like that … without verifying.”

“I don’t have to verify. I observed you a thousand times. Her insolence is for her husband studies English …. ; But, he will not complete BA for four years to come… that too if he does not fail in any subject. Your brother-in-law has told me many times. He also said there is no use without doing BA…”

“Do you care to hear what I say?”

“What more do you tell? Can’t I guess what you are going to tell? You always die for her. Don’t think that she would help you more than me…”

“……………………………..”

“You could not choose between a bambino and a lanky married sow”

“……………………………….”

“See how she looks at you! How expectantly she looks at you… with such fond hope that you would stich her a long skirt with the cloth brought by her father…!”

“What is the use my darling child! This wretched aunt! She is dead for long! … You are so sweet darling! How sweetly you run into me!  After all what am I before your mother? I will do it sweetie. I shall even miss my dinner to stich that skirt for you. Are you satisfied?”

“Children always hanker after those that love them. You did not realize it. But how sweet it would be to think my daughter is as good as yours. There are so many unfortunate people like you who lead their lives happily taking care of the children of their kin.”

“……………………….”

“I cannot talk sweet like your younger sister. You never know how much I love you. Why should I drum beat it? You just follow me to my house, and see if I don’t drive my sister-in-law out of my house? Don’t I put the management of my house in your hands?”

“……………………………”

“My heart melts when I think of the drudgery you do here. If you just take care of my daughter, shall I entrust you any work at my home?”

“…………………………”

“You see, Madhava Swamy temple is so near to our house. Every day you can attend to religious discourses. What more do you want? All that you need, after all, is two square meals and few hands-length of cloth. Shall I deprive you of that? In fact, your brother in law shall leave all the keys in your hands. If he goes on tour for one month, he will return with a load of coppers. You can do whatever you want or go wherever you want. Who can object you in my house?”

“………………..”

“Maybe, you are eager to go with your younger sister. She will not take you. She cannot suffer others’ presence in the house. Do you think she will feed you? Besides, what does she have? Other than those butler English words, where is the land for them? They have just 2 acres. That too, dry land. We have 10 acres of wet land abetting the tank. And one more thing. Her husband is a… You should not live in such a place.” 

“…………………………”

“You are grown up. You are not a child. Think twice before you make up your mind.”

“……………………….”

“Don’t tell young sister what all I said. She is such a brawling brat. She can’t do me anything. But, with all that…”

“……………………..”

“Promise that you won’t tell her?”

“Promise.”

“I will just make a visit to Sunderamma’s house once. After you finish the work in hand, you will complete my work before I return. OK?”

“………………………”

“Why don’t you answer me?”

“You just go.”

“(to her child) by the time we return, your aunt will stich the long skirt for you.  You will wear it to night and sleep with your darling aunt. OK?”

“……………….”

4

My God! You are here? What a woman you are!”

“Keep distance. Otherwise the sandal paste bowl will spill.”

“It won’t… OK I will stand aloof… OK?”

“Yes.”

“Can I help you?”

“Not necessary. With this round the bowl will be full to the brim.”

“Then, sister, please get up once.”

“Why?”

“I need your help.”

“What is that work?”

“It’s such a lovely work… a damn good deed…will you do it?”

“Tell me what it is?”

“Promise me that you would do.”

“Did I not ask you to say first what it is?”

“Do you do it if I say what it is?”

“If it is within my means, I will do it.”

“See… my mouth waters.”

“Did you buy something?”

“Where is the money to buy?”

“You should have asked mother.”

“I asked. And she was about to give.  But that bloody widow of grandmother did not …”

“No. No. No. You should not speak like that.”

“Then, can she dissuade people from giving? If only I had that money, our lunch game would have been better off.”

“Who are the people you are playing with?”

“Subbulu, Bachemma, Rajam and that dirty fellow Gaviri.”

“Chi! Chi!  Why are you becoming so abusive?”

“Then why should she come empty-handed?”

“What did others bring?”

“Subbu brought some coppers and fried peas. Buchemma brought some coppers and Groundnuts. Rajam brought a very big…slice of dry coconut.”

“So…”

“They asked me to bring some money and gur.”

“Why need you to buy? Ask mother. She will give you.”

“You give.”

“I should not give, my darling brother.”

“See…you back tracked? Sister, won’t you give?”

“Listen to me first. Stand far off. “

“Then I will start crying. Think of me.”

“……………”

“Else I start cursing you.”

“Do whatever you want. I cannot.  I am not supposed to give you.”

“Please sister! There is nobody in the kitchen.  Everyone is sitting in the front yard. The hasp is beyond my reach. Otherwise I would have taken it myself.”

“…..”

“I ask you finally? Are you going to give or not?”

“I cannot.”

“I ask you for the last three times… Won’t you? Won’t you? Won’t you?”

“……………………………”

“I ask for one last time more. Are you going to give it or not?”

“…………………………”

“OK. Don’t speak out.  I know how to punish you….”

“… God! She is running away with the sandal paste bowl? Shall I complain to mother?”

“Tell her. Tell her.  You want to complain against me to mother? Huh!”

“Oh my god!  She threw the bowlful of sandal paste onto the floor! All my effort has come to nought. Not a drop is useful.  God! What can I do?”

“Wail that way. Sink like that. Why? If you make me angry do you think I leave you quiet?”

“…………………………..”

5

“Rukku? What are you doing here?”

“I completed rubbing off sandal paste and readying myself to stich the long skirt for eldest sister’s daughter.”

“Is it so urgent?”

“Everyone deem their work is important. Only few minutes before, she went out huffing that her work was not completed.”

“Everyone will have some work to entrust if there is somebody available free. What will she do?”

“I did not ask her.”

“Don’t ask her. You put it somewhere and come with me.”

“Why?”

“I will tell you. First, you put it somewhere and come with me.”

“I will keep it aside, but first tell me what it is.”

“Your grandmother was log tired by the time she fried the red gram.”

“So?”

“Your father wants me to help him in his bath.  He wants nobody but me.”

“Then?”

“Grandmother says she can prepare something for her dinner tonight.”

“………………….”

“You have to cook the dinner.”

“…………………………..”

“Why do you look so aghast?”

“…………………………..”

“Only for this night. I will take care of tomorrow.”

“By the time I cleaned the red gram and prepared the sandal paste twice, mother, I am totally exhausted.”

“Why did you ask for the trouble? Why should you tease the little girl like that?”

“…………………………..”

“But, with all that, what is there for you to prepare for dinner? You neither have to grind with the stone pestle nor pound with a wooden pestle, but just sitting idle there.”

“…………………”

“Make mashed curry of banana with dal; prepare soup using Brinjal flakes, Drumsticks, slice of jackfruit and ladies fingers.”

“Why don’t you ask the eldest or the second sister to do it, mother?”

“Why should they do for us? Who knows if their husbands get angry if we ask them to do some small chores here? Or how their mothers-in-law taunt them?”

“…………………………..”

“They maintain their status and we have to maintain our status.  If we have the energy to do, we have to serve them well, otherwise, we should send them back. But we cannot ask them to do these chores.”

“………………………………..”

‘It is already six. Come on, get up. Don’t sit there. Your father wants an early dinner. Why don’t you throw that piece of cloth and get ready?”

“……………………….”

“By the way, you have to make mango chutney for the breakfast for children tomorrow morning. Ask grandmother how many mangoes you need.”

“……………”

 “I forgot to tell you.  There is not a piece of dry wood to put in the stove. Before it gets too dark climb up to the attic and select enough wooden chips for the next few days. Don’t forget.”

“…………………………”

“If grandmother wants to make a pancake for herself, break a coconut and cut the kernel to small pieces and give her. You have to make coconut chutney as well. Do you hear me?”

“……………………………..”

“Come on get up. Get up! There is no time left…”

“………….Ssss! Hey Lord Rama! Shall I have to lead the rest of my life like this?”

6

“Hey! Who is there in the kitchen?”

“It is me, younger brother!”

“You have to serve me dinner in one minute. I am in a hurry.”

“………………………”

“Why don’t you speak up?  I have to go to a cinema. It is already time up. Serve me dinner, quick.”

“If you are in such a hurry…”

“Urgent. Very urgent. You want me take out the dinner plate or want to serve in a banana leaf?

“What were you doing all the while?”

“Don’t you think I have to make arrangements for the money?”

“Is it the time to look for money?”

“I have been asking mother for the coppers since dawn.  Mother acceded to my request at last at three in the afternoon; but that bloody widow grandmother…”

“No. No. You should not say like that…”

“Do you think I will spare her if she spoils my cinema programme?”

“………………….”

“Why do you stand there still? What is the delay in serving me food?”

“I did not cook the rice yet, brother.”

“What are you doing all the while?  If I go for second show I cannot go to school tomorrow.  Why don’t you hurry up?”

“The water is yet to boil.”

 “Damn your cooking. What to do now?”

“Will you manage with morning rice?”

“…. OK. Serve that.”

“Ask either the eldest sister or the second one to serve you, then.”

“They said they were busy and won’t come.”

“What are they doing?”

“Second one is weaving a garland with jasmines; and, the eldest is playing “Pacchiis Pali” with Syamalamba of opposite house. You only have to serve.”

“But I can’t. I can’t touch it.”

“Then go to hell with your custom.”

“……………………………”

“Otherwise, wake up till eleven. I will take dinner after my return.”

“You ask grandmother if she would serve you. She will anyway has to take bath.”

“I don’t want.”

“Why?”

“I cannot digest if she serves me. She has such evil looks.”

“……………….”

“You have to keep me aside those jackfruit drumstick pieces for me. Otherwise I will not spare you. I will beat you black and blue.”

7

“Darling child! How come you are in the kitchen today?”

“Mother asked me to cook, father.”

“What is your eldest sister doing?”

“I don’t know.”

“How about the second?”

“I don’t know.”

“What about your grandmother?”

“……….”

(Mother-in-law): “So, all eyes turn to me at last! Nobody forgets my existence when it comes to doing householdwork. That is my fate. But tell me, son-in-law, when I was exhausted frying the 16 seers of Red gram and lying flat unable to move an inch from my place, do you think  I am left with energy to cook the dinner and serve you all?”

“How do I know what you did?”

“Not only this, you know not many things that happen in this house. You take your lunch. Go around the village and return by dinner time.  Otherwise you sleep. I am not able to attend to these chores.”

“What is your daughter doing?”

“Do you think she is sitting idle?”

“……………………………”

“Just that she won’t sit for cooking, but do you know who attends to all supporting chores?”

“………………………….”

“Besides, I have grown old and weak.  I am not able to attend to things as I did before.  You have to find an alternative to this.”

“I will send for the Family Doctor Brahmanandam tomorrow.”

“It is so ridiculous. I am having one foot in the grave. Why do I need a doctor now?”

“Forget about the work. Don’t you need to be healthy to eat and attend to your own work?”

“I am finding it hard to attend to the work, no doubt. But, what complaint I have?  I can attend to all supporting chores. Problem comes with cooking.”

“Then why don’t your daughter attend to cooking leaving supporting work to Rukkamma?”

“”Did I not tell you? Is it a small thing to attend to supporting chores? Besides, when there is a young widow at home, why should she attend to cooking?”

“…………………………”

“Is there such practice anywhere?”

“………………………..”

“Besides, poor girl, my daughter has developed distaste for food for the last fifteen days.”

“Then you put Rukkamma to cooking occasionally, but not regularly.”

“Then what about me?”

“I did not get you.”

“Why are you so ignorant? Do you want me to eat the food she cooks? I will be accursed.”

“…………….”

“When I have to sit here, anyway, for cooking, what is the use of her joining me?”

“…………………….”

“In what way she will be of help to me.”

“Then what do you want me to do?”

“Do I have to tell you so explicitly?”

“…………”

“Do you want me to believe that it did not strike you, really?”

“It did not strike me.”

“My god!”

“………”

“You have studied FA.”

“What is wrong if you tell me?”

“Then let me tell you. Rukkamma has no more dawns in her life. Whatever remains is just insignificant.”

“Then?”

“One day or other you have to do it. There is no use in delaying for long.”

“So what? …. What is your final suggestion?”

“Why does she need that long useless hair over her head? Neither can she comb it neatly nor can she plait it?”

(Father to Rukkamma)

“….darling child, why you are spilling the soup on the floor?”

“I am sorry father. The ladle is very hot and so my hand is shivering.”

(Mother-in-law)

“I have asked Ramadikshitulu a short while ago. He said the day after tomorrow is Dasami and very auspicious.  It is a matter of one minute if you take her to Kotilingala Revu.”

“……………………………”

“Unless you foresee the future it is useless.  These are not proper days for a young widow. Very recently they performed a widow marriage in the Viresalingam’s backyard. They are looking for four more widows for four grooms. They are performing marriages without caring for auspicious time or day. There is no point in regretting later.”

“She is not even seventeen?”

“So what? How does the age matter? Because she is not seventeen, you people should be all the more alert lest her thoughts go the wrong way.”

“……………………………..”

“Perhaps you are hesitating that she is your mother’s namesake. No use. It would be nothing short of playing with fire.”

“What does your daughter say?”

“Why? Do you need her opinion?”

“But still?”

“Can a mother speak up such things?”

“Then how can I say?”

“You are a man. Who can blame you? With all that, am I not here to get the thing done before dawn without giving a wind?”

(Father to Rukkamma)

“…. Darling child? Why did you spill the water so suddenly?”

“I am sorry father. Because my hand was greasy the goblet slipped out of my hand.”

(Mother-in-law)

“Did you see it for yourself?  Did you hear what she said? She can’t do a thing properly. Even the few things she does, she neither does systematically nor coolly. After getting used laziness, is it that easy to cook and serve?”

“………”

“Why don’t you say something?”

“What do you want me to say?”

“What do I want?  … Even if you want to keep quiet, do you think I keep quiet?”

“…………..”

“Day after tomorrow is Dasami, Wednesday. I am getting it done. This is my final intimation to you.”

“…………………………….”

“Did you hear me?”

“How can’t I hear when you are roaring in my ears?”

8

By the time Rukkamma reached for her bed it was well past 11 pm.

All the family sleeping in the open was in deep sleep.

The grand old lady was snoring as if she were fighting with the cats.

Rukkamma was so tired that she was not aware how she reached the place.  But once she reached that place, and having found that she was the only person awake among them all, could fully understand how helpless she was!

The lamp was burning bright like a chrysanthemum in all directions; but the home seemed to her a deep dark dungeon.

Her mind went blank. She could not make out what is what. Even if she could, she could not understand anything.  Even the little she could not understand, was not very sure and in no time she was getting perplexed and confused.

Unable to put up with her loneliness, she closed her eyes out of fear. 

That only worsened her condition.

From one side she found her second sister coming at her angrily holding the piece of jacket; from another side, she found her eldest sister grinding her teeth and holding the cloth for her baby’s long shirt; from the third, she found her grandmother coming towards her opening up her wide ghostly, half-edentulous mouth, holding a knife in her hands and a barber following her grinding the knife on the wheel, and on the fourth, she saw her father and mother in intimate position, rubbing their cheeks applying the sandal paste, she labored so hard to prepare, mixed with scent. 

Rukkamma could not suffer it anymore.

She could no longer sleep and sat up on the bed.

Unable to sit either, she stood up.

In no time she walked up to the foreyard. She opened the door and walked out into the street. She felt she was released from the jail.

There was electrical speed in her feet and a divine glow in her eyes.

Within a minute, in one go, she walked the streets of Innis pet like a finger on the map and by the time she assessed her location she was standing behind to the Choultry of Nalam’s.  She saw in front some people in front of Varada Rao’s hotel.

She was terrified.

One Jatkawala (Horse-cart man) who was sleeping under his cart blissfully smoking, observed her.

“Do you need a Jatka?” he asked

“………………….”

“Pay me only if I fly you to the place in no time like airplane”

“………………….”

“It is midnight. You are not sure whether you encounter snakes or scorpions on the way. I am not asking for a rupee or a half. Give me just a quarter.”

When there was no reply after all his offers, and having got confirmed his doubt, he got up and in a respectable and mild tone addressed her, “Daughter, where do you want to go?”

“Where do you live?” she asked him in a milder tone.

“Danavayi Gunta” he spoke as if he was speaking in her ears.

Her lips moved in such a way that they suggested, “What do you take?”

“You want to go to the grove of Pantulugaru?” he asked.

She nodded “yes” with her head overwhelmed by those words.

“I will take you there in a minute. Please get into the cart,” and he walked towards the cart.

“But I don’t have a penny with me,” she said and put few steps away from him.

“You don’t have to pay me anything, darling, if it were to the grove of Pantulugaru you go.” In no time he harnessed the horse and brought the cart upto her. Without a word she jumped into it and sat collecting herself.

The cart man flogged the whip.

Waiting till it picked up speed, he jumped into the cart.

“I have experienced, daughter, the good and bad times. I have only one daughter.  I married her off when she was a child. Within one month of her coming of age, before we could consummate the marriage… her husband died ten days ago. Whenever I think of her, or whenever I see her, my heart melts. As a man, if I look so frail, what to speak of her mother! She was so devastated that she developed aversion for food and became sick and bed-ridden. Unable to console my daughter on one side and unable to properly attend on my wife on the other I wanted to stop driving the cart for one month. But this is no other way than this to earn a living.

“The night before last two marriages were performed in the Grove of Pantulugaru. A third was performed yesterday. The fourth one might also been over. But, half the way, they stopped my cart and the father and brothers of the girl took her away back home.  I was so lost! Poor girl! How long she cherished the dream. What hardships she is now undergoing! What hardships she is going to face in the future! Believe me daughter, I feel so rattled.  They are looking for another girl.  The boy looks so charming like a prince. He earns sixty rupees per month. It is second marriage but poor boy, he is hardly twenty five. They say his father performed a Yajnam.  The moment you reach there, they perform the marriage, no doubt. You are so lucky. You need not fear. All your troubles become things of the past, daughter.  After ten days… after the grief subsides… I shall also…”

The horse cart sped like a cloud.

It has also taken the all-important turn.

*

Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry

(June 1935)  

2100th Post

Telugu:

హెన్రీ వాన్ సమాధి దగ్గర… సీ ఫ్రై ససూన్, ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

గలగలలాడుతూ పారుతున్న నదికి ఎగువన

అదిగో సాదాసీదాగా కనిపిస్తున్న ఆకుపచ్చ సమాధిఫలకం

ఎవరికీ కనిపించకుండా, యూ చెట్టు చాటున కనుమరుగై ఉంది.

ఇక్కడే హెన్రీ వాన్ నిద్రిస్తున్నాడు, అతని పేరు శాశ్వతంగా

మంచుకడిగిన వనదేవతలా, మన ఊహకికూడా అందనంత

కాలం నక్షత్రాల వెలుగులా నిలిచిపోతుంది.

అందరూ ఇష్టపడ్డ డాక్టరు, వేల్స్ కి చెందిన సిలూరిస్ట్

ఇక్కడే నిద్రిస్తున్నాడు, అతనెలా ఉంటాడో తెలిపే చిత్తరువులూ లేవు.

అతని మనసులో దేవదూతలు వసించేవారు, అతను

మనోనేత్రాలతోనే ప్రభాతవెలుగులు దర్శించేవాడు.

ఇక్కడ విశ్వాసం, దయ, వివేకం, వినయం,

(వాటి ప్రభావం ఇప్పటికీ నిలిచి ఉంటుంది)

వెలుగొందుతున్నాయి. సృష్టిలోని ప్రశాంతత ఈ చిరు సమాధి ప్రతిఫలిస్తుంది.

నే నీ మునివాకిట వినమ్రుడనై ప్రార్థించడానికి నిలబడ్డాను.

.

సీ ఫ్రై ససూన్

ఇంగ్లీషు కవి

(సిలూరిస్ట్: సిలూరియన్ తెగకు చెందిన వాడు)

Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Image Courtesy: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jsassoon.htm

.

At the Grave of Henry Vaughan

.

Above the voiceful windings of a river

An old green slab of simply graven stone

Shuns notice, overshadowed by a yew.

Here Vaughan lies dead, whose name flows on for ever

Through pastures of the spirit washed with dew

And starlit with eternities unknown.

Here sleeps the Silurist; the loved physician;

The face that left no portraiture behind;

The skull that housed white angels and had vision

Of daybreak through the gateways of the mind.

 Here faith and mercy, wisdom and humility

 (Whose influence shall prevail for evermore)

 Shine. And this lowly grave tells Heaven’s tranquility

 And here stand I, a suppliant at the door.

.

Siegfried Sassoon CBE MC

(8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967)

English Poet and Soldier of First World War

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/grave-henry-vaughan

ప్రియ మృత్యువు… లాంగ్స్టన్ హ్యూజ్, అమెరికను

.

ప్రియ మృత్యువా!

అన్నీ నీ రెక్కల క్రిందకి తీసుకుంటావు.

హతమార్చడానికికాదు,

కేవలం ఆకారం మార్చడానికి.

బాధలతో తపిస్తున్న

ఈ శరీరానికి

మరో రూపం ఇవ్వడానికి.

నువ్వు మళ్ళీ సుమారుగా ఇలాంటి వస్తువునే సృష్టించవేమోగాని

కానీ, ఎన్నడూ అక్షరాలా ఇదే వస్తువుని తయారుచెయ్యవు.

ఓ ప్రియ మృత్యువూ!

నీ మారు పేరు మార్పు కదూ?
.

లాంగ్స్టన్ హ్యూజ్

(February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

అమెరికను కవి 

Image courtesy: http://4.bp.blogspot.com

.

Dear Lovely Death

.

Dear lovely Death

That taketh all things under wing—

Never to kill—

Only to change

Into some other thing

This suffering flesh,

To make it either more or less,

But not again the same—

Dear lovely Death,

Change is thy other name.

.

Langston Hughes

(February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

American

Poem courtesy:

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/dear-lovely-death

ఎవరు ఎక్కువ ప్రేమించారు? … జోయ్ ఏలిసన్, అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

“అమ్మా! నువ్వంటే నాకిష్టం,” అన్నాడు జాన్
అని, తన పని మరిచి, తన కుళ్ళాయి మరిచి
తోటలో ఉన్న ఉయ్యాల ఊగడానికి పరిగెత్తాడు,
నీళ్ళూ, కట్టేలూ తెచ్చే బాధ్యత ఆమెకి వదిలేసి.

“అమ్మా! నువ్వంటే నాకిష్టం,” అంది ఎర్రబుగ్గల నీల్,
నువ్వంటే నా కెంత ఇష్టమో మాటల్లో చెప్పలేను,”;
అంటూ రోజులో సగభాగం బుంగమూతి పెట్టుకుని సతాయించేది
చివరికి తను ఆటకి పరిగెత్తగానే సంతోషంగా ఊపిరిపీల్చుకుంది.

“అమ్మా! నువ్వంటే నాకిష్టం, ” అంది చిన్నారి ఫాన్,
“ఈ రోజు నీకు ఎంత వీలైతే అంత సాయం చేస్తాను,
ఈ రోజు బడిలేనందుకు ఆనందంగా ఉంది!”
అని ఉయ్యాలలో బిడ్డ నిద్రపోయేదాకా ఊచింది.

తర్వాత నెమ్మదిగా అడుగులేసుకుంటూ, చీపురు తెచ్చింది
గదంతా ఊడ్చి ఎక్కడి వస్తువులక్కడ సర్దింది,
రోజల్లా ఖాళీ లేకుండా తిరుగుతూ ఎంతో ప్రసన్నంగా ఉంది
పిల్లలు ఎంతవరకు అమ్మకి ఏ సాయం చెయ్యగలరో అది చేస్తూ.

“అమ్మా, నువ్వంటే నాకిష్టం” అని మళ్ళీ అందరూ అన్నారు
పక్కమీదకి ముగ్గురు పిల్లలూ వాలిపోబోతూ.
వాళ్ల ముగ్గురిలో ఎవరికి నిజంగా అమ్మంటే ప్రేమో
తల్లి ఎలా తెలుసుకుందో మీరు చెప్పగలరా?
.
జోయ్ ఏలిసన్

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

.

Which Loved Best?

.

“I love you, Mother,” said little John;

Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on,

And he was off to the garden-swing,

And left her the water and wood to bring.

“I love you, Mother,” said rosy Nell —

“I love you better than tongue can tell;”

Then she teased and pouted full half the day

Till her mother rejoiced when she went to play.

“I love you, Mother,” said little Fan;

“To-day I’ll help you all I can;

How glad I am school doesn’t keep!”

So she rocked the babe till it fell asleep.

Then, stepping softly, she fetched the broom

And swept the floor and tidied the room;

Busy and happy all day was she,

Helpful and happy as child could be.

“I love you, Mother,” again they said,

Three little children going to bed.

How do you think that mother guessed

Which of them really loved her best?

.

Joy Allison

American Poetess

19th Century

(The author of this poem, Mary A. Cragin, wrote under the pen name Joy Allison. Most of Mrs. Cragin’s stories and poems appeared in magazines. She also published two stories in book form: “Billow Prairie” and “Conrad and the House Wolf.” In addition to magazines, “Which Loved Best” turned up in Sunday school lessons and grade school readers. You can find it in second grade readers as early as 1879 on Google Books.)

వానంటే ఎవరికి ఇష్టం?… క్లారా డోటీ బేట్స్, అమెరికను

“నాకు,” అంది బాతు, “అది గొప్ప సరదాగా ఉంటుంది.
ఎందుకంటే, అప్పుడు నేను కాళ్ళతో ఈదొచ్చు
మెత్తని బురదలో నడిచేప్పుడు, మూడు కాలివ్రేళ్ళ
ముద్రలు పడతాయి… క్వాక్! క్వాక్!!”

“నాకు,” అని అరిచింది డేండిలియన్ పువ్వు.
“నా మొగ్గలు ఎండిపోయాయి, వేళ్ళు నీటికై తపిస్తున్నాయి,”
అంది, పచ్చగా ఒత్తుగా ఉన్న తన గడ్డి పరుపు మీంచి
తన చిందరవందరగా ఉన్న తల పైకెత్తుతూ.

సెలయేరు పాట అందుకుంది,”ప్రతి చినుకుకీ స్వాగతం,
వాన చినుకులారా! చిత్తుగా కురవండి! నన్ను
మీరొక నదిలా పొంగించేదాకా తెరిపి ఇవ్వొద్దు.
అప్పుడు నేను మిమ్మల్ని సముద్రందాకా మోసుకుపోతాను.

“నాకు,” అన్నాడు టెడ్, “అప్పుడు నేను పొడవాటి
బూట్లు తొడుక్కుని, రెయిన్ కోటు వేసుకుని
బడికెళ్ళే దారిలో కనిపించే ప్రతి బురదగుంట,
పిల్ల కాలువ, నీటిచెలమలోంచీ పరిగెత్తొచ్చు!
.
క్లారా డోటీ బేట్స్,

December 22, 1838 – October 14, 1895

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

.

.

Who Likes the Rain?

.

 “I,” said the duck. “I call it fun,

For I have my pretty red rubbers on;

They make a little three-toed track

In the soft, cool mud—quack! quack!”

“I,” cried the dandelion, “I,

My roots are thirsty, my buds are dry,”

And she lifted a tousled yellow head

Out of her green and grassy bed.

Sang the brook: “I welcome every drop,

Come down, dear raindrops; never stop

Until a broad river you make of me,

And then I will carry you to the sea.”

“I,” shouted Ted, “for I can run,

With my high-top boots and raincoat on,

Through every puddle and runlet and pool

I find on the road to school.”

.

Clara Doty Bates

December 22, 1838 – October 14, 1895

American Poet

Poem Courtesy:

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/who-likes-rain

అఖండ ప్రార్థన… జేమ్స్ విట్ కూంబ్ రైలీ, అమెరికను

ఓ ప్రభూ! కరుణామయా!

దయావార్నిధీ!

నేను ఇష్టపడే వారినందరినీ

ఈ రోజు నీ కటాక్షవీక్షణలతో చూడు!

వాళ్ళ హృదయాలని పట్టిపీడించే అలసటని తొలగించు!

గాలిని తూర్పారబెడుతున్నట్టు ఎగిరే

నీ దూతల రెక్కల రెపరెపల జాడల్లో

వాళ్లకి కావలసిన అవసరాలూ తీర్చు!

బాధాతప్తహృదయులందరికీ

బాధలనుండి విముక్తి కలిగించు.

తిరిగి వాళ్ళ పెదాలపై

చిరునవ్వులు వరదెత్తనీ!

లేమితో అలమటించే దీనులకు

ప్రభూ! ఈ రోజు నా సొత్తైన

అనంతమైన సంతృప్తి సంపదని

పంచవలసిందిగా ప్రార్థిస్తున్నాను!

.

జేమ్స్ విట్ కూంబ్ రైలీ

(October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916)

అమెరికను

.

The Prayer Perfect

.

Dear Lord! kind Lord!

Gracious Lord! I pray

Thou wilt look on all I love,

Tenderly to-day!

Weed their hearts of weariness;

Scatter every care,

Down a wake of angel wings

Winnowing the air.

Bring unto the sorrowing

All release from pain;

Let the lips of laughter

Overflow again;

And with all the needy

O divide, I pray,

This vast treasure of content

That is mine to-day!

.

James Whitcomb Riley

(October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916)

American Poet

Poem Courtesy:

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/prayer-perfect

నువ్వు పక్షిలా బ్రతుకు … విక్టర్ హ్యూగో, ఫ్రెంచి కవి

నువ్వు పక్షిలా బ్రతుకు.

ఆకాశంలో ఎగురుతూ ఎగురుతూ

విశ్రాంతికి చెట్టుకొమ్మ మీద వాలినపుడు

అల్పమైన దాని బరువుకే

కాలి క్రింద కొమ్మ విరగబోతున్నా

అది పాడుతూనే ఉంటుంది

తనకి రెక్కలున్నాయన్న ధైర్యంతో!

.

విక్టర్ హ్యూగో

26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885

ఫ్రెంచి కవి, నాటకకర్త, నవలా కారుడు

.

Be Like the Bird

.

Be like the bird, who

Halting in his flight

On limb too slight

Feels it give way beneath him,

Yet sings

Knowing he hath wings.

.

Victor Hugo

26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885

French  Poet, Novelist and Dramatist 

Poem Courtesy:

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/be-bird-0

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