Hecchar Ke’s Poems: Translated by T. S. Chandra Mouli

1. A Piece of Sky
Either on the anvil or live coals
something has to be there
acquiring a shape on hammering
getting tender in furnace or fusing in water;
whatever it may be
whether it is iron or gold matters not
it may turn into rim of a wheel of bullock cart
or it may become an ornament around neck
it is not about the final form,
no shape is absolute...
if things remain as they are, an aversion
whatever may be the source, features need transformation.
Morning sun cool and comfortable
after a while gets warmer yet tolerable,
but, won’t look good, if he remains so all the while;
as the day extends should get  blazing,
dazzling to look at---
 fascinated by him the ocean damsel should melt and evaporate,
lightly becoming a cloud, should float in orgasmic frenzy…
unfolding in wind, should spread across  sky like puffed cotton.
After heating, hammering,
as water cools, her own sweat should drip as drops of rain.
Isn’t it the way
for an anvil or the sky
isn’t it the way
for the sky or a sizzling soul!

2. Crisscrossing!
This is all an alien land
don’t know the names of leaves dancing down
the bird that flew off with a squeal  stretching  its head
this town sans anyone in the front yards  ---all are unfamiliar.
What all I know are those thresholds, all those vehicles left long ago
pebbles casually piled on one another and lying habitually,
it is said  they have a sort of soul
don’t know if a soul can be in so many forms:
as smooth as the pebbles, rough like the leaves or sharp like the bird’s head!
Where he lives unknown, but I like him; arrived  for his sake only
he offers always, never accepts;
composes poems and goes off fixing them like flowers on a tree;  gratis for you
like flowers in a forest, nourishing tubers, water in a hill stream;
forgot to tell you, he loves homes and  felines
cats can be pets, but show not  loyalty of a canine, hence
you are visible to him, but you cannot see him….it’s all a spell ;
Oh, he likes a lot human eyes too,
taking your eyes applies ”Surma”, the  cooling black powder  and returns to you,
before ‘Surma” evaporates your choose, you may visit Himalayas
and return after seeing Varudhini; yet the trance continues
Varudhini may continue to latch on to you
like the marks of  dreams faintly  lingering even at day break.
Now on, I too will keep watching you like him, remaining invisible
won’t lose myself in the streets even  for fun
occasionally will keep crisscrossing between East and West
like  freezing  chill, drenching downpour, fire spitting noontime!

3. Encoded Spot
What the sky likes I too like,
Just like the sky I am. We share the same unending azure hue
Just like me the sky too, we both share formless freedom.
The sky fans itself whispering with coconut  leaves.
Otherwise, stands holding a fan as a Japanese doll
A tree springs kicking its feet on earth
then positions itself holding aloft its hands
It looks as if imploring in distress someone
I am the cupped palms slaking thirst in its misery.
Again I
keep watching me and my thirst from a distance.
Despite the distance, despite an alien location
a window suffices to look at the world outside
then we decided to meet again
we also fixed a time, place symbolically
where is the piece of paper?
Somewhere here itself or in a burrough of a tree
I might have kept it secretly
or did I place it under a slab of a tomb? Who knows!
Turning me into a pup he romps around with me
does *Balavadthy Raju  arrive, crossing hills, dales, dense forests?
It’s me, actually, who hid the route map from Balavadthy
and it was I only who sold it off for a few more dollars!
Symbols, all encoded; he, she, a tree, a slab
black shadows swinging among  green leaves of the tees
mobile windows as if a circle is cut countless times and fixed in a frame
How long you hide, where, as a shadow slides from a body?
Day light not needed, brightness of a new moon night enough
Entire globe not required, a little spot like spark suffices.
Where I love you, you woo me …there
we meet. Certainly, not probably! Love is our encoded spot!

*Balavardhy Raju: A young prince who secures release of his mother Balanagamma from the clutches of a wizard, Mayala Pakhir. The story of ‘Balanagamma’ is one of the best liked folk tales in Telugu.

4. Why?
I not only make you cry
make you laugh rarely
when I was laughing
you might not have seen
You forgot
in the cave you and I,
roasted a few jokes.
Among the tears that rolled due to firewood smoke
collecting a few afresh
mixing them up
we ate sprinkling some pollen.
After my death
I will meet my father.
Like a hero
he will then raising eyebrows
ask me what happened,
he will laugh reminding
how he informed nothing will happen
Even my granddaughter won’t keep quite
on the wall in my village
turning me into a broad vermillion mark
sitting cross legged questions me
what happened, thatha? Why have you gone?
Why? Why? Why?
Don’t want dear, this question
this way, here, this one, she, he
these are enough, enough…
why this question further?

Translator’s Bionote:
T.S.Chandra Mouli , an academic , poet, translator and critic, is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society, Great Britain and Ireland. With 3 books of poems in English to his credit, he published 26 books [19 edited anthologies of literary criticism and 7 authored works]. He completed translation assignments for institutions of higher learning.
 His poems in English and translations of Telugu poetry and fiction are extensively published. He is the Chief Editor of VIRTUOSO, a Refereed Transnational Bi-Annual Journal of Language and Literature in English, approved by U.G.C.
Vice Chairman of AESI [Association of English Studies in India] for a second term, Dr Mouli made panel presentations in International Conferences in universities in China, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, the U.K, France, Sri Lanka, Brazil.
Dr T. Sai Chandra Mouli
Plot No A/93,Bapuji Nagar, Nacharam, Hyderabad-500076
Email: tscmouli@hotmail.com; tsmouli@hotmail.com
Phone: +91 984 900 5304.

Poet’s  Bionote:

Hecchar Ke is an acronym of his original name. He loves it.After his Post graduation in Telugu, he worked as a journalist. Joined CPI [M.L] and was executive member of VIRASAM. After quitting the revolutionary party, was associated with several newspapers on the editorial desk, NGOs and Visual Media. Published 12 books of poetry, translated into Telugu works of reputed intellectuals. A few more books are in the pipeline for publication in 2018. He is the Chief Editor of bilingual online journal rasthamag.com [in Telugu and English] published from U.S.A. Now shuttles between Hyderabad and U.S.A. where his daughter lives with her family.

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