Let me flow my own way! (The Telugu Tableau Through Translation)

Telugu original1 by: Dasari Venkata Ramana
Translated by: Atreya Sarma U
(With the permission of the original writer)

Dasari Venkata Ramana

Water I am! Nature’s theurgy I am!
Source of life I am – for every living being;
First vital force on the earth I am;
Essential element I am – for creation.

Much before you were born
The earth was my abode.
Sans any controversy, mine own were all the courses
Freely flowing into streams, rivulets, rivers, and lakes.

You have encroached the lakes – my habitats,
And their tributary streams,
Filling them up with rubble and soil,
Turning them into your dwellings,
And laying the roads and highways.

Be warned that I am powerful enough
To tear through the mountains,
To easily sweep you the nincompoop
And your structures away in my upsurge.

Oh, you the ignoramus, 
Arrogant of your science and technology!
Know that it’s high time you learnt
That your greed had gobbled up your senses.

Admit that you have brazenly bowed down
To amass sacks of illegal pelf, 
Though you’re supposed
To hold your head high and march ahead.

Do know that your voice expected to honestly question
Has utterly yielded to the demon of corruption.

I flow down from the upper levels, and it’s my natural trait;
You crumble from loftiness to degradation; it’s a stark fact.

I swell up and up to turn into rain to benefit you
Your downspin in the name of progress
Is only to wreck the earth right and left.

You dam me, you turn me, you twist me;
And I readily water your fields with orderliness.
Is this why you take me for granted?

Take note that If I rage,
I can with my flood level up everything –
Roads and bridges, and streets and streams,
Hamlets and villages, and towns and cities.
My honest flow can be a deadly weapon
To revenge your reckless greed – be warned.

Leave me alone respectfully,
To flow my own way!

1. Telugu original ‘naa daari naakodalanDi’, published in Disha Daily, 18 July 2022.

Bio: Dasari Venkata Ramana is a recipient of the Central Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar (2014) for aanandam, his collection of stories. An MA (Telugu) and a PG Diploma holder in Film Direction, he has written scripts for many plays and serials for Akashvani and Doordarshan. He has also produced short films and won awards.

He was born on 22 Mar 1965 at Uyyalavada village (Orvakal Manda, Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh). His mother is Dasari Venkata Ramanamma and his father is Dasari Rangaiah.

By profession, he is an officer in the Department of Registration, Government of Telangana.

Email: dasarivramana@gmail.com

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