అనువాదలహరి

Love in a Hospital… Ismail, Telugu Poet, Indian


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It was not yet time for your visit

I was watching the cityscape through the window

earth had stretched its sharp nails of shadows

Tearing open the sky, it swallowed the Sun.

And the Bacilli were sweeping through every corner,

drawing the last trace of hope from the moans.

It was time for your visit

suddenly, tubelights-syrenges started injectimg

Light into the veins of ashen city.

At last, windows opened their eyes.

I could hear your shoes on the steps

You enter like a WBC then.

.

Ismail

(26 May 1928 – 25 November 2003)

Telugu Poet

హాస్పిటల్లో ప్రేమ

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నువ్వొచ్చేవేళ కాలేదింకా

గవాక్షంలోంచి చూస్తున్నాను ఊరివంక

నీడల వాడిగోళ్ళని చాచింది ధరణి

నింగి పొట్టని చీల్చి మింగింది రవిని

మూలమూలలా ” బేసిలై “ తోడుకుంటున్నాయి

మూలుగుల్లోని వెలుగుల్నికూడా తోడేస్తున్నాయి.

నువొచ్చే వేళైంది

చివాల్న ట్యూబ్లైట్ల ఇంజక్షను మొదలైంది

పట్టణం నరాల్లోకి కాంతులు ప్రవహించాయి

కట్టకడకు కిటికీలు కళ్ళుతెరిచాయి

మెల్లగా మెట్లపై నీ బూట్ల చప్పుడు

తెల్ల జీవకణంలా ప్రవేశిస్తావప్పుడు.

.

ఇస్మాయిల్

(26 May 1928 – 25 November 2003)

తెలుగు కవి

The Expat… Vinnakota Ravisankar, Telugu Poet, India

It was long since the umbilical was snapped.

Decades passed since the borders were crossed.

Yet, the yearning for the motherland

Has not ceased a whit.

The host country has provided everything.

It taught necessary skills

to gather the fruits of life.

But, the land of early faltering steps

Remains in memory for ever.

Not only this soil,

Even the atmosphere here

looks crass and unfamiliar

The Sun and the Moon rising everyday

Seem spent, used up and secondhand.

We go to places

Fly like dreams taking to wings.

But whenever the eyelids close in a nap

The face of a childhood pal

Greets us in our dreams.

Someday, for sure

I take rest under this soil.

But even in that eternal sleep

The tangs of my native soil

Shall haunt overwhelming me.

.

Vinnakota Ravisankar

Telugu Poet

A product of REC Warangal, Telangana State, India, Sri Ravisankar works for Dominion Energy and lives in Columbia, South Carolina, US.

A prolific writer and a poet of fine sensibilities, Sri Ravisankar has to his credit three poetry collections ‘కుండీలో మర్రిచెట్టు’ (The Bonsai Bunyan), ‘వేసవి వాన’ (The Summer Rain), and ‘రెండో పాత్ర’ (The Other Cap); and a Collection of literary essays ‘కవిత్వంలో నేను’ (The ‘I’ in Poetry)

ప్రవాసి   

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బొడ్డుతెగి చాలా కాలమయింది

ఒడ్డు మారికూడా దశాబ్దాలు దాటింది

అయినా అమ్మనేలమీద బెంగ మాత్రం

అణువంతైనా తగ్గదు.   

ఆదరించిన నేలే అన్నీ ఇచ్చింది

బ్రతుకుఫలాలు అందుకోవటానికి

పరుగెత్తటం నెర్పింది

కానితప్పటడుగులు వేసిన నేలే

ఎప్పటికీ తలపుల్లో నిలుస్తుంది.

ఈ నేలే కాదు

ఇక్కడి ఆకాశం కూడా

అపరిచితంగా తోస్తుంది

ఉదయించించే సూర్యచంద్రులు

వాడిన వస్తువుల్లా కనిపిస్తారు.

ఎక్కడికో వెళతాము

రెక్కలొచ్చిన కలలా ఎగురుతాము

కానికన్నులు మూసుకున్నప్పుడు

చిన్నప్పటి నేస్తం ముఖమే

కలలో పలకరిస్తుంది.

ఏదో ఒకనాటికి

నేనూ ఈ నేల కిందే నిదురిస్తాను

అనంతశయనంలో  కూడా బహుశా

అక్కడి వాసనలే

విడవకుండా నన్ను వెంటాడతాయి.

.

 విన్నకోట రవిశంకర్

తెలుగు కవి

(తానా జ్ఞాపిక 2013)

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

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

The Lost Case… Sriraj Ginne, Telugu, Indian

Sriraj Ginne

(Born: November 22, 1946)

********

 

“A lawyer shouldn’t discriminate between one case and the other. Doing justice to one’s clients is true dispensation of justice,” is what lawyer Sundara Ramayya always told his colleagues.

Everybody knew that only Sundara Ramayya had the knack of distancing ‘in’ from ‘justice’ jumbling with words and provisions of law to win cases for his clients. He argued every case with a blend of professional skill and artistic finesse to gain the winning edge. Anybody who had entered the Court premises anytime during the last fifteen years must have known that!

Not a single case he had taken up so far was lost. None of his clients was ever convicted. He never refused a case nor turned away his client.

He argued impetuously the love affairs of minor college girls; got many couple divorced; helped drunkards evade conviction; saved prostitutes from penalties and imprisonment. In one word, he took up every kind of case and won every one of them hands down! Of course, he collected fabulous amount as fee.

The Public Prosecutors quivered when they were to argue against his defence. He could even flummox the judges with his arguments. Many a criminal escaped the noose. Many an innocent was awarded rigorous imprisonment.

Sundara Ramayya was notorious for his sharp tongue. ‘your mother must have given some special brew in your childhood; otherwise, how could you argue with such ease?’ his friends used to compliment him bitterly.

‘Lord Brahma must have put his tongue one point up. That’s why he’s able to win any case so effortlessly,’ his senior colleagues at the bar used to say grudgingly.

‘He must have had the good omen of a beautiful dame coming in front on the very first day of his practice. He is still riding that Dame Luck to this day! That’s why he wins every damned case in a trice,’ the young crop of advocates thought, with a touch of envy.

Sundara Ramayya just laughed away all their remarks.

In the last fifteen years, he took up thousands of cases, collected lakhs od rupees in fees, constructed a palatial bungalow, bought an Impala, bought as much wet land as permissible by law and registered in his name and opened accounts in many prestigious banks.

You could sum-up his character thus:

He had ambitions with sky as the limit!

He had ideas as expansive as a desert!

He was all love for his queenly wife!

And, he had ‘polished popularity’ in the society.

*

One fine morning…

When the dew drops on the roses were melting away,

When the leaves of grass were smiling happily in the lawn,

Sundara Ramayya was looking at himself in the mirror tying his bow.

His wife, Lakshmi, was standing behind with a cup of coffee in one hand and a black coat in the other.

“So, what man! You say that we should go to Leela Mahal this evening!” he asked his wife, looking mischievously into her face in the mirror.

She was a fan of Richard Burton. He had been teasing her with promise to take her to “Where Eagles Dare”.

“Forget it! You shouldn’t be believed. You never stand on your word,” she said in mock annoyance.

Courts… Clients… and Cases!!! How could he find time?

“You are mistaken dear! Ask any of my clients how powerful my word is!” he said receiving the cup out of her hand.

He wins cases in courts with his arguments.

But wins the heart of his wife humoring her with his words!

“Lakshmi! Do you know how beautiful you look?… like a string of white clouds… a smooth rose… a glistening water drop! I don’t feel like looking at those palling faces on the silver screen after looking at this divine beauty!”

She was over thirty-five. But she blushed like a chrysanthemum knowing the import of his words.

“Sir! Someone has come for you,” announced his servant.

Sundara Ramayya put on his black coat and walked into the hall. The two visitors waiting in the hall stood up and greeted him. One of them was old.  The second one was on the first rung of his chewing-gum-like youth.  Looking at his chequered lungi, the red vest and the black belt round his waist and the sabre-sharp moustache, Sundara Ramayya smelt a first-rate villain in him.

“Picked a pocket, is it?” he asked the chequered lungi.

“No Sir!” His voice has the grating sound of an overused gramophone record.

“Severed a head, then?”

The chequered lungi  bent his head down silently. The older man demurred.

“remember! Never hide the disease from the doctor  and truth from the lawyer! If you do, you are out, and your case is lost! Come on… tell me the truth!”

“This is Simhadri… my som. I got him out… on bail. We belong to Yendada village…” the old man was speaking in broken words.

“Come to the point.”

“Rattalu runs  a country liquor shop in our village.  The boy fell in love with her daughter Varalu. But the girl did not like him. This fellow is short tempered. He asked her why she could not love him.  She replied in a very derogatory manner.  In a fit of anger he stabbed her. It’s all that had happened sir!”

“Very good! So it is a case of spirited love, then!”

Sundara Ramayya was not new to such cases. That is why it did not surprise him. For him, winning a murder case is as easy as burning a nylon thread with matchstick.

“Hmm! What is your name?” he asked the old man.

“Gangulu, Sir!”

“Listen, Gangulu! Was there any eyewitness when your son stabbed Varahalu?”

“Her mother Rattalu was there itself, sir!” Gangulu thought  it wise to place all the facts before the lawyer who gave such an assurance.

Sundara Ramayya spent thoughtfully five minutes of his invaluable time.

“Does Rattalu have any kith and kin, Gangulu?”

“No, Sir! She had only that Varalu… that too not her own… she adopted her.”

The eyebrows of Sundara Ramayya unknotted immediately.

“Gangulu, don’t worry about the boy.  We will win the case. Give all other details to my clerk… see me later,” he said stepping out.

“You are our only hope, sir! Only you can save his life.  But for his short temper, he is very innocent, sir! Take whatever fee you want, but we should win the case. He should not be convicted.” Gangulu wrung his hands in obedience. Simhadri was staring at him.  Sundara Ramayya  shot back a smile at them and got into his grey Impala.

*

Yendada is a small village about seven kilometers from the nearby town. Still, Rattalu and her country liquor shop were very famous. In fact, people believed that the success of her business  and her popularity were solely due to her daughter Varahalu. Her business picked up only after Varahalu started managing the affairs of the shop.

It is very difficult to describe her beauty.  She is whiter than the white cirrus clouds, smother than the smoothest rose, and brighter than the brightest dew drop.

Varahalu laughed seductively. Intoxicated by that, people took more and more draught. In their drinking spree, they paid all that they had on them. In a short span of time, Rattalu became one of the “Haves” of the village.

One day, Simhadri saw the aurelian hand of Varahalu as she was serving him arrack.  He looked up.  Varahalu smiled at him like a spotless full moon. His inane heart softened to a wick of wax.

“Isn’t she the daughter of aunt Rattalu? Isn’t she Varalu?”   he asked himself within.

Unable to endure anymore delay, he started loving her instantly.

“Rattalu! You are earning so much.  Why don’t you have a building of your own?” customer used to ask her every day.

“This hut brought us luck.  Why do I need another building? When Varahalu gets married, I shall construct a big building  and keep her and her husband there,” was her usual reply.

Combing his moustache and looking covetously at Varahalu, Simhadri sitting nearby used to say, “when I am here why need you to look for somebody else for Varahalu?”

Varahalu used to get furious at such remarks.

“Simhadri! You are no match for my child. She doesn’t like you in the first place.” Rattalu used to snub him.

He was unable to suffer the indignity and the insult.

Simhadri used all possible tricks at his command in his dull head to win over Varahalu. The more he tried, the more she despised him.  He wanted her at any cost and by any means. One such essay brought about Varahalu’s death and lodged Simhadri temporarily in jail.

That was summer evening. It was past eight.  Varahalu counted the collections for the day, gave money to Rattalu and sent her to town for replenishment of stocks. When Varahalu was changing into fresh clothes after a bath, Simhadri entered her room and closed it behind him.

Covering herself fully with her sari, she howled at him in uncontrollable fit of anger, “You!… will you get out of this room immediately or not?”

“Varalu! It’s me, Simhadri. Tell me why don’t you like me? Don’t I have money? Lands? Am I not handsome? Why don’t you marry me?” He was pleading and advancing towards her simultaneously.

“Ah! A handsome figure!” she sneered, “look at that face! A black polecat! Don’t you ever dream of marrying me! First get out of here!” she did not conceal her abhorrence.

Simhadri’s anger scorched him like acid. The beast in him was thoroughly aroused. With enraged eyes, he advanced towards her menacingly. Her heckling added fuel to his already volatile anger. His inebriated body leaped over her.

Varahalu deftly slipped away hissing like a she-cobra.  Commanding all the strength at her disposal, she bit him on his gullet. At that very moment a dagger pierced through her heart. Rattalu who entered the house at that very moment shrieked hysterically  in fear and anguish and fell over her daughter’s body.

Life left Varahalu’s body with rocket speed. Simhadri bolted from the scene.

*

God had only ten incarnations.  But the money created by man has infinite incarnations to date; and would assume as many in future. It lifts the “Haves” further up in the society and crushes the “Have nots” further down.

Gangulu’s money transformed itself into justice. It reached Sundara Ramayya wallet, stirred many brilliant  and fertile ideas in him, and prompted to rack his brain day and night with reference books on law. And, to his own amazement Sundara Ramayya argued the case as he had never done before!

Simhadri was innocent. It was only Rattalu who committed the murder. Varahalu was not her own daughter but an adopted one.  Rattalu proposed  Simhadri to Varahalu  and she flatly refused. There were heated exchanges and in a fit of anger unable to stand Varahalu’s refusal on one side and the love she bore for Simhadri on the other, Rattalu killed her… was Sundara Ramayya’s  line of argument.

His arguments were so foolproof  that even the Public Prosecutor was not able to counter. The judge asked Rattalu if she had anything to say in this matter.

“What have I to say, Sir? Justice or no justice, my daughter  can’t be brought back to life. Then, why should I be living? I cannot live without her. Please award the maximum punishment to me. Please hang me, I pray! I plead guilty. Please hang me!” Rattalu wept.

She did not say a word more. She did not  answer the questions put forward by the judge or the Public Prosecutor. In the withered old frame of Rattalu, there was no desire to live. Neither there was any vengeance against those who perpetrated the crime on her daughter. Nor there was any anguish that a crime she had never committed was slapped on her.

She thanked Sundara Ramayya with folded hands for giving a direction to her meaningless life.

The judge awarded her life term.

The police took her to jail.

Simhadri was acquitted. There was a glow of success in Sundara Ramayya’s eyes. Simhadri ran after Sundara Ramayya’s car up to Ganjipet junction. His ocean of happiness was on a high tide.

*

Sundara Ramayya was reading newspaper sitting in the hall. He looked up to Simhadri and asked, “What is the matter?”

“Nothing in particular, sir! I just wanted to give you a small present,” Simhadri demurred.

“What’s that?” Sundara Ramayya  asked curiously, putting the newspaper aside.

“Sir! You have saved my life. Had it been anybody else, it would have been gallows for me. Sir! Please keep this chain,” he took out a gold chain from his pocket.

Sundara Ramayya looked at the chain. He suddenly turned pale.

“Simhadri!… this locket…” he minced words.

“Belonged to that dead Varalu, sir!”

“You mean…!”

“I snatched it while running away.  She used to parade with this chain.  It is with this locket they say Rattalu found that winch near Seetamadhara, Sir!”

“Get out! Get out!” He wanted to roar at Simhadri,  but the words failed him. His face lost its color.

Simhadri kept the locket on the table and left.

Calendar pages reeled back swiftly in Sundara Ramayya memory quickly. Fourteen years!

That was last week of November . He and his wife Lakshmi went out for picnic with their only daughter and few neighbours to Seetamadhara. With the Bay of Bengal in the distance and Yarada hill in the neighborhood, the city was looking like a woman at an advanced stage of pregnancy. Everything looked pleasant, he took many photos, and they all walked up the hill racing, reached the picnic spot and lost completely absorbed in conversation. It was only later that they noticed the baby missing. Lakshmi shrieked in fear. He shuddered to think. They searched the entire area.  In a garden where about three thousand people were picnicking. A three-year baby went missing … never to be seen by the parents again!

“Baby!” he cried in anguish as his eyes rained tears. Image of the three-year-old baby was hammering the ‘man’ within him. He wept his heart out. Humaneness, love and all fine sentiments engulfed him from all corners and started heckling him.

Whom did he help to win?

Whom did he get convicted?

His head fell, like one from a noose.

He never entered the premises of a court room again!

***

Telugu Original:  Last Case Sriraj Ginne

Translators: RS Krishna Moorthy & NS Murty

From : The Palette, March 1997

(The translators changed the ‘Last’ in title to ‘Lost’ keeping the story in mind)

  

Untiring Faith  … Ravii Verelly, Telugu, Indian

That the Sky

Is my close pal, no doubt;

But I amn’t sure

If he would

Give me way … parting.

That the Sun

Is my master who taught me

To be pragmatic, for sure;

But, there is no assurance

That he would travel with me

Unto the last.

Yet,

Like the deciduous leaf

To keep its promise to the Fall,

One can drop down dead

Anytime

With untiring faith on the Earth.

.

Ravi Verelly

Telugu, Indian

భరోసా 

.

ఆకాశం

నాకు ఆప్తమిత్రుడే కావొచ్చు

అయినా

పగిలి దారిస్తాడన్న

నమ్మకం లేదు.

సూర్యుడు

నాకు బ్రతుకునేర్పిన గురువే కావొచ్చు

అయినా

ఎప్పటికీ తోడుంటాడన్న

భరోసా లేదు.

కానీ

శిశిరానికిచ్చిన  మాటకోసం

చెట్టు చెయ్యిని విడిచిన ఆకులా,

భూమ్మిదున్న భరోసాతో

ఎప్పుడైనా

నిర్భయంగా నేలరాలొచ్చు.

.

రవి వీరెల్లి

తెలుగు, భారతీయ కవి

Gravity… Ravi Verelly, Telugu, Indian Poet

The drop of water

That silently dissolves into earth

After planting a kiss on its forehead,

Shall well up as spring someday.

A leaf

that vises the melting seasons

Rising its head from a mother branch

Shall rustle animated only after its fall.

A flower, cynosure of all eyes

Meditating on its stalk,

Surrenders to a gentle draft

To prostrate before the feet of soil.

The Moon, who plants stars galore

Ploughing the vast firmament,

Caresses the crests of tides

For springs of rain to water them.

Shuttling between ideation and words

Eyes flaring with dreamy desires,

Like … the drop,

The leaf,

The flower, and

The moonlight over the tide

I long to embrace you.

.

Ravi Verelly

Telugu

Indian Poet

(From  Kundapana)

 

Ravi Verelly

గ్రావిటీ

 

భూమి నుదుట తడిముద్దు పెట్టి

గుట్టుచప్పుడుకాకుండా ఇంకిన చినుకు

ఏదో ఒకరోజు ఊటనీరై ఉవ్వెత్తున ఉబుకుతుంది

 

తల్లికొమ్మలోంచి తల పైకెత్తి

కరుగుతున్న కాలాలన్నిటినీ ఒడిసిపట్టిన ఆకు

నేల రాలేకే గలగలా మాట్లాడుతుంది.

 

తొడిమెపై తపస్సుచేసి

లోకాన్ని తనచుట్టూ తిప్పుకున్న పువ్వు

మట్టిపాదాలు తాకడానికి

గాలివాటానికో లొంగిపోతుంది.

 

అనంతమైన ఆకాశాన్ని సాగుచేసి

చుక్కల మొక్కలు నాటిన చంద్రుడు

చిన్న నీటిబిందువు కోసం కిందికి చేతుకు సాచి

అలల తలను దువ్వుతాడు

 

ఎప్పుడూ కళ్ళనిండా కలల వత్తులేసుకుని

ఆలోచనకీ అక్షరానికీ మధ్య తచ్చాడే నాకు

ఆకులా

పువ్వులా

చినుకులా

అలను తాకే వెన్నెలలా

 

నిన్నుహత్తుకోవడమే ఇష్టం.

.

రవి వీరెల్లి

తెలుగు కవి

(“కుందాపన” నుండి)

గుప్పెడు మట్టి… హెన్రీ లూయీ వివియన్ డెరోజియో, భారతీయ (బెంగాలీ) కవి

అప్పటికి ఆకాశం లేతనీలిరంగు సంతరించుకుంది

గగన మండలం మీదకి సూర్యుడు ఇంకా అడుగుపెట్టలేదు.

చిటారుకొమ్మమీద కోయిల గొంతెత్తి ప్రభాతగీతమాలపిస్తోంది,

చిక్కని ఆకుపచ్చని ప్రకృతి సువాసనలతో గుబాళిస్తోంది.

జూలియన్, నేనూ అలా నడుచుకుంటూ నడుచుకుంటూ

ఈ నేల గర్వించే గొప్ప వ్యక్తి సమాధి దగ్గర ఆగేము.

శిలాఫలకం అతని పేరూ, వయసూ, ఘనతా ప్రకటిస్తోంది.

అతను సాధించిన ఘనకార్యాలకీ, అతనిమీద కురిపించిన

ప్రశంసల జల్లుకీ నాకు నోటమాట రాలేదు, నాకు తెలియకుండానే

అతని సాధనకీ, జీవిత విస్తృతికీ నాలో అసూయ పొడచూపింది:

ఎవరో గొప్పవ్యక్తి మాటలే, ‘మనిషొక మహత్తర సృష్టి ‘

అనీ నేనూ చిలకపలుకు పలికేను; జూలియన్ వొంగి

అక్కడనుండి కొంత మట్టిని తనచేతిలోకి తీసుకుని

ఇలా అన్నాడు, “చూడు! మనిషంటే మరేమీ కాదు, ఇది!”

.

హెన్రీ లూయీ వివియన్ డెరోజియో

(12th Aug 1809- 26th Dec 1831)

భారతీయ (బెంగాలీ) కవి

.

Dust

.

Of soft cerulean colour was the sky,

The sun had not yet risen o’er the scene,

The wild lark sang his morning hymn on high,

And heaven breathed sweetly o’er the foliage green

Julian and I walked forth, and soon we came

Unto the tomb of a high son of fame ;

The marble told his deeds, his years, and name.

Struck with his greatness, and the sounding praise

That was bestowed upon him, I began

Almost to envy him the race he ran:

Man is a noble work, the wise man says,

And so said I ; but Julian stooped, and took

Some dust up in his hand, and bade me look

Upon it well, and then he cried, ‘See, this is man !’

April, 1827

.

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

(10 th Apr 1809*-  26th Dec 1831) 

Indo-Anglian Poet, 

The DOB has been corrected vide reference to Prof KR Srinivasa Iyyengar’s book (https://archive.org/details/indiancontributi030041mbp/page/n38) Page 9.
Some of the other references state it as 18th Apr 1809.

An Unburnt Clay Pot… Sikhamani, Telugu Poet, Indian

Some unknown person

I met on my way

Put a Pot of clay

In my hands, and left

Asking me to take care of it.

 

From that day

I have been carrying it with me

Without rest or relent.

And over time

I got used to

Carrying it unaware i did.  

 

Having carried it for years

I lost sense of it

As it has become part of me. 

 

It was such a encumbrance that

I was never aware of its burden

Or ever felt any tiresomeness.

The funniest part, of course,

Is, no matter how long I carried it

Or, how far I had carried it

I never felt the desire

To take a peep into its contents.

 

Pity. 

Been damp for long

Rolling in blood and tears,

With Sweat and semen

At last

One day

It collapsed in my hands.

 

Then, I was compelled to look into it. 

 

To my surprise

What I found

Hiding this long under

The ivy gourd of my body   

Were my own bony remains.

.

Sikhamani

Telugu Poet, Indian

.

.

పచ్చికుండ

.

ఎవరో అపరిచితుడు

ఎదురుపడి

ఒక మృణ్మయ పాత్రను

చేతుల్లోపెట్టి

జాగ్రత్త చెప్పిమరీ వెళ్ళిపోయాడు.

అప్పట్నుండీ

అవిశ్రాంతంగా

దానిని మోసుకు తిరుగుతూనే వున్నాను

చివరికి

దానిని మోయడం

ఒక వ్యసనమైపోయింది.

మోయగా మోయగా

కొంతకాలానికి

అది నాలో భాగమైపోయింది

ఒకటే మో

బరువుతెలియని మోత

అలసట ఎరుగని మోత

ఎంతకాలం మోసినా

ఎంతదూరం మోసినా

అందులో ఏముందో

చూడాలనిపించకపోవడం విచిత్రం.

రక్తమూ, కన్నీళ్ళూ

చెమటా వీర్యాలతో

నిరంతరం నానిపోయిందేమో

వున్నట్టుండి

చివరికి

ఒకరోజు

చేతుల్లోనే పగిలిపోయింది.

ఇక యిప్పుడు చూడక తప్పలేదు

ఇన్నాళ్ళూ

దేహపుదొండపాదు

అల్లుకున్న పందిరిలా

నావే

అస్థికలు

.

శిఖామణి

తెలుగు కవి

From:

“నల్లగేటు – నందివర్ధనం చెట్టు ” కవితా సంకలనం

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