War a hearts ravage-1
English Translation: P. Jayalakshmi & Bhargavi Rao
Telugu Original : “Yuddham oka Gunde Kotha” by Seela Subhadra Devi
pricking like sharp needle end
tacking nerves along blood stream
began flowing through human frame.
Somewhere, now and then
touching delicate nerve walls in its course
smarts and shoots even now.
Cannot take delight in anguished cries, can we?
Cannot happily savour agonized laments, can we?
Even while lying in ambush
paws forward to pounce,
innocents alone feel the fling of the paw.
Hurt are a mother’s vitals alone.
When sky rains thunderbolts
even an awesome tree, refuge for birds
must burn to cinders, and
don’t orphan’d birds fly helter-skelter?
When metal birds transformed into deadly bombs
boom somewhere in a corner—
mother’s vitals snap with a clang.
Whatever conditions engulf the sky
like war clouds
misery rains all over earth.
Piercing finger may be anyone’s
but eye belongs to us all.
Curling up in bed,
can we say burning house is not ours?
Heat of the blaze will not stop encircling.
Must we suffer the agony
till hands are burnt to their ends?
Must each to himself look about
for leaves of succor to quench the fires?
We can display our burnt hands
but how douse womb’s blazing sorrow?
How weed out needle-sharpness
coursing invisible along blood stream
hurting body entire?
…. … … …. ….
Pledged to redeem the house
pledged and coffered in iron safe
your honey’d words cooed in my ears
that our lives would sail hence as on flower boat,
behind which cloudy edge have they disappeared?
Pledged to reach me with quickening step
in a moment,
hum and croon serenades,
behind which wind shield have they all blown?
When death chases us
before life is gathered in hand, tremulous,
legs slide like lifts
stairs as skaters slither.
Along with fear
call of mother follows
father’s debts too pursue
desolation, stupor-like, pervades.
In a moment
get caught by death.
Triumphant, death, like smoke
rises up to smother.
The only way out—the window!
Close out thoughts of seeing before and after.
That is all
race towards it.
Do not know which floor it is
what the eye sees deludes the mind.
In that moment
hurtling swiftly into death’s cave
move on slumberous….!
Recall mother for a moment.
as if jumping into mother’s lap
The head hitting,
in the farthest horizon
a mother’s hopes implode.
needle bobbing in streaming blood
In that running bloodstream, no single drop
reveals caste or creed.
Does not know city or nation,
addresses or abodes,
colour and taste remain unfelt.
Smell of burning corpses
corroding flesh, invasive germs.
We invite into ourselves cells long died out
structure and shape them
arrogantly declare a great beginning,
turn world into Jurassic Park.
From fossil remains, the extinct today reappear
as voracious dinosaurs
to order the world around.
We’re waking them from their ancient sleep, aren’t we?
Surely, world has to pay penalty
for this self-inflicted crime.
When dark death’s clouds spread over life,
ceaseless effort’s fruit
culled since times past, devastate,
left are we in vacant vast desert directionless.
Must, this very instant
seek companions for ourselves.
…. …. …..
Start with alarms in nightmarish sleep,
watch high towers of tomorrow collapse,
in front of our eyes see dream-crops
drift and slip away through the window,
through the window, in distress, look for them.
Even in sleep
sari’s end as cover
hope to hold secure from snatching death
frightened innocent babes.
From life-taking-away death
knife-edged questions drop
each a hurtful dagger stab.
Really, we do not bear religions
nor procreate faiths, do we?
Mothers! At least you tell us
have any one carried religion in your womb?
Upon birth alone they grow into
Gandhi or Godse.
From us Mother Theresa sprang,
from us Baba Amte,
to tend the leper.
From us sometimes
From now on nurse children to be born
to fashion their own futures anonymous
earn their names themselves after birth.
Somewhere a lithe movement–
a dew drop settles on a petal
sound of helpless murmur of a falling apart,
sound of a vaporizing tear drop
trying to take cover.
In a worn out womb
sound of death’s soft sword slicing entrails.
Beneath, myriad storied structures’ collapse
trampled voices and cries of woe.
Somewhere below, wilted-weak eyelids of old,
whose tears evaporate into desert tracts.
In the pentagon,
shaft runs through groom’s heart,
across seven seas
a lissome lass buoyed up in nascent colourful dreams,
amidst wedded jingle of bangl’d-bright hands
throbbed one last time, sorrowed.
Smell of enflamed mother’s heart
from her ‘janana’, fired by
blooming sparks splattering
from cluster bomb’s eye.
Orphan’d refugee children
encamped in thick-spreading
winter cold’s dense death.
Babe dying in a mournful moan
before milk, on lips has baked
in blood stained disquiet.
Eyes closed as if to submit in prayer, but
death stealing beneath closed eyelids
crucifying hearts’ blinking lamps before temples
forbade morrow’s early light from dawning.
Hideous thoughts harrow self–
palaces become beast-crawling caverns.
Lifeless oceans, the peopl’d cities;
breathings as serpents’ hissings;
life as thoughts terrifying, twisting the entrails
as hidden inside hole of fear–
needle-end’s hurtful pricking of the wounded throat!
Dribble of blood drops
drop dripping drip dropping
each a droplet of rain
from battle’s trumpet,
on a sari bought anew
for new millennium’s beginning,
limn aberrant images indelible.
…. …. …..
Pitching directions in four quarters
committed to waging war,
in which quarter is life’s lamp put out
after humanity whole-hog,
is buried deep in battle field?
Feelings of dominance following,
in guise of barbarism
drub world freedom,
feign and drool words of peace–
what use is it?
What is the use
if in garb of innocence
try to draw all into one fold of violence?
Regular to violence are reprisal and revenge.
If aren’t solved amicably
problems flame, flare continuously.
Have to pay price.
in final snuffing out of life,
in the will of death
end signature may be of ‘cluster’ bombs
or of bombs atomic,
or of bio weapons,
or of garish ego’s arrogance,
or of other life-lowering weapons.
no heads to bend in atonement
nor bent heads to hide heads between,
only gray remains of ashen heaps.
That day at least–
recall mother willingly,
who tending infants
laid pathways to posterity’s peaks.
Try hailing her name!
will comfort you,
ignoring onetime neglect,
rising from her grave.
(To be continued-)
జన్మస్థలం విజయనగరం.రచయిత,కవి, చిత్ర కారుడు ఐనా శీలా వీర్రాజు గారి తో వివాహానంతరం హైదరాబాద్ లో నివాసం.1970 లో కథారచన తో సాహిత్య రంగంలో అడుగు పెట్టి తొమ్మిది కవితా సంపుటాలు, మూడు కథా సంపుటాలు,ఒక నవలిక వెలువరించారు. వంద మంది కవయిత్రుల కవితల సంకలనం ” ముద్ర” కు డా.పి.భార్గవీరావు తో కలిసి సహసంపాదకత్వం వహించారు.ప్రధానోపాధ్యాయినిగా పదవీవిరమణ చేసారు.