Translation: Telugu poems of Anugu Narsimha Reddy

Anugu Narsimha Reddy

Translated into English by: T. S. Chandra Mouli

Dr Anugu Narsimha Reddy is Secretary of Telangana Sahitya Akademi, Hyderabad. He is a special Grade Deputy Collector on deputation to the Akademi. He has published 10 books that include 5 books of poetry in Telugu besides works on literary criticism and translations. He has also edited 5 books of poetry and criticism.2 books written evaluating his works help one assess his calibre as a creative writer who has received 12 awards from different literary organisations. Author of hundreds of Telangana Rubayait, he is known for his amiable nature and integrity.

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No folk tale narrates
presence of shapeless splinters of power,
no epic explicates
through which pore life exits
though human body is a sieve.
Lizards are known
Dinosaurs also are known
a bird is known
life that flies like a bird too!
Where is the link
for a reaction to an action,
how response is related to
deeds of an earlier day?
Count the tethers
in Yama’s hands, dear!
Two hemispheres
countries on the poles
tropical terrain
where it slithers silently
when it devours life---
unknown frailty,
known inability to combat.
You are unable to loiter
within confines of a room,
it has crossed borders already!
Corona is lame
only when one lends support
it spreads.
Corona is blind
it moves only if one shows path
showering light.
Corona is mute
despite your eloquence
it silently minds its work.
It is an airborne flame
on the move,
all places it touches
turn into ashes for a rebirth.
Whether the wheel whirls
or cotton puffs are afloat is unknown.
It cannot be immersed in water
nor can be cut with clippers ---
now every part of the globe
became a battle field
with an invisible enemy.
If only one can stay sans movement
its link gets snapped suddenly.
If only people refrain from handling
its empire collapses.
If all wear garland of hygiene
it slips away silently.
If only distancing is sustained
by all the concerned
it moves far away
and disappears totally.
Just three options for all---
to stay at home
to stay in hospital
or remain under a wreath!

Blue Jay
Is there any variance between
expression and existence?
Any veil parts verse and way of life?
Is there a plan
for adoration and anger?
In the absence of all these
what is there
to speak about him?
Whether by bus
or on a bicycle
or hiding in a car one may travel,
one needs to be punctual
if one desires to attend an event---
he asserts firmly.
Whether one buys books
or searches in google
if committed to submit script
one day in advance it should be ready,
he mandates.
No utterance should be like
deluge of a drunkard’s words,
what cannot be done
should not be accepted anytime,
in unfavourable times trusting elusive breeze
no point in winnowing harvested grain---
revolutionary light he sheds, whip in hand!
Whether poetry recitation
or detailing depths of stories
on platforms or polemics
Marxism his touchstone
Telangana his milestone!
When drilled bores were wide agape
soulfully speaking with cultivators,
on enquiring about misery of workers
who hanged themselves,
becoming a poetic Blue Jay
he shows direction in his songs!
As seats of power attract with aerobatics
with silvery moonlight of rewards
chasing him all around
he clarifies as a rural mother
who loves tranquillity of twilight!
During anti-liquor movement
confessed his weakness for drinks
and was never drawn that way,
a poet of peerless rectitude!
Learning of many turncoats
he candidly demands all
to speak only what one trusts,
practice what one preaches---
He is Sidhareddy*
ever unswerving action ready!
 Sidhareddy*= Dr Nandini Sidhareddy is Founder, Chairman of Telangana Sahitya
 Akademi, Hyderabad. A renowned Telugu poet, literary critic and eloquent speaker, he
 has a number of publications to his credit.

Hail Mother Kakati
Wiping tears of sadness
for the Plateau divested of water
conceiving concise forms of ocean
casting bottoms of balls of water
went away fixing to every village---
they were new age Bhagirathas!
They were visionaries
who could divine supply channels to irrigation tanks
that defied devastation with passage of time.
Like a mother’s loving heart
that castes an eye over children’s hunger
they were donors of irrigation canals
that fed crops to grow,
embodiment of paternal fondness
they structured sluices.
They were neo Mayas
who could envisage surplus water weir
of irrigation tanks that measured
capacity of ponds of water.
Moonlight of progeny occupied
their inner eyes---
fascinating fields of crops
that rolled along with times.
After enduring epics
these amazing human innovations
have defied flow of Time---
daughters of Kakatiya conscience!
Hail mother Kakati!
Hail the tank
that evokes the name!

 Getting Hurt
I wish not to get wounded,
I desire to be watchful of
invisible arrows while moving
from the moment I wake up,
hone skills not to be target of
bullet like words
whenever I step out.
While on a stroll
someone comments
 “watch your step?”
As I drive a vehicle
someone else asks
 “where did you learn driving?”
When price of a commodity is enquired
my wife passes a snide remark
 “do you know how to bargain?”
I try to heal minor bruises
caused by uninvited arrows,
just then drenches suddenly
torrent of slinging slander.
Before one can recover composure
like honey bees swarming around
invisible smoke smoulders
from detonations of explosive scoops.
I try to explain truth
to the best possible extent,
venture to register answers
on heckling foreheads ,
attempting to apply palliative to the injury
I make effort not to get hurt at all!
In unnoticed battle field
amidst inaudible blasts of bombs,
concealed weapons,
explicit honeyed expressions,
in the midst of mooted morals
among undisclosed agendas
hoping to escape from all sharp knives
I wish to remain unscathed---
but reach home only after getting hurt!
T. S. Chandra Mouli
About the Translator:
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. Coolie the Sovereign [a play] and Black Lotus: Telugu Dalit Women’s Poetry may be mentioned as noteworthy among his translation works. He is the Chief Editor of VIRTUOSO, a Refereed Transnational Bi-Annual Journal of Language and Literature in English.

Vice Chairman of AESI [Association of English Studies in India] for a second term, Dr. Mouli made presentations in International Conferences in universities in China, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, the U.K, France, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Cambodia, Australia, Taiwan and Borneo [East Malaysia]. He visited Vietnam and Singapore. He lives in Hyderabad.

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