(Translation of the poem ‘Thegina verlu’ By Sri Chandra Mouli)
Why do you look with alarm into my eyes?
Why do you target my debilitated body
hurling failures from the quiver?
Where is leisure for me to burn and turn tough in your sadness?
Where are borders for me to get sharpened on disc of failure?
In the melee among migrants , realizing I have neither wheels for feet
nor boxing gloves on hands, in my hybrid tears
remembering you, oh my dear Rayala Seema ,
I wince with pain losing concept of commune, on city main roads.
Are the hot horses (mirages) in Erramala hills safe?
Demon like dark skies that never shower rain on time,
thirsty frogs with neem twig garlands,
forts that narrate stories of swords clashing as kolatam batons,
broad swords of Pallegaars in the clasp of capitalism,
rock snakes in thickets of nidraganneru — all safe?
Let me know mother your welfare [or famished state],
awaken in me dormant, ‘clay cart’..
While walking none narrated
how far one is going really,
while chiseling none uttered a word
what is gnawing him actually.
Having turned into ugly sculptures under the skin wrap
having become commodities in some shop
selling roots, acquiring wings
even after turning into twirling trees in mid air
a rock beyond reach of the sculptor liquefies
like boiling molten magma .
Sounds of jowar rotis in some house,
Irany tea cup in hand trembles,
in the news paper bombs in ‘corner’ boxes,
I turn my impotent rage on masters of matricide!
Vain song of Seema sorrows from the one divested of power,
I become a frightening wicked laughter internally.
Now and then, I Keep searching among Tank bund statues
dreams lost in sands of Madduleru stream .
Again counting chinks in pay slip , I forget myself
and my earlier unalloyed language.
What I am or not, black cotton soil
that gave me birth, you are real, your melancholy real.
Just as this body of mine under ready made covers is real
so real is your sorrow that looks like burning earth.
Is it true that you are fighting back?
Or you are still a winnowing fan that retains stones, dropping grain!
Is it a fact that you can win the race, or
you are also an old song in exile like me!