Bhagiratha’s Bounty and Other poems-1

English Translation: T.S. Chandra Mouli

Telugu Original : Kandukuri Sreeramulu


Noise Within
How can the internal flow
of Saraswati be displayed?
How to pump
spring of sorrow surging
in layers of earth under layers of rock!
Which device can show
blood pressure of a volcano
racing through veins, arteries?
is weather as one hopes!
in nectar of strains of love
swinging in crescents
we gloat and float!

All of a sudden
hearing, watching tremors of earthquake
we are terribly petrified!
We are at our wits end!

Invisible Saraswati
capable of resolving issues
where has hidden herself unknown!
We curse our birth!
Grill our life!
Loath environs!!
Look at Nature hideously!!!

Intellect, erudition of green fields
life force
air, water, sunshine, become a desert.
Ploughs that till the land don’t halt
quills that sculpt papers pause not
Nature does her job
Man has his own work
one minding one’s own work
is natural trait.
Saraswati that flows in me
is my natural disposition.
I speak
How to make
my invisible Saraswati
visible, audible?



I have been writing poetry from 1974 when my first book of poetry was published. I could think of a second volume only after more than twenty years. By nature I act steadily in a quiet manner. Probably that is the reason why I could not publish more number of anthologies of poetry in Telugu. I have recited poems in National and International poets’ meets. I recited a few poems translated into English by Dr T.S.Chandra Mouli in some events. There was good response.

    I love my family, my village and my land. I like the beauty of my rural background. As children we used to reach ponds or open wells meant for irrigating fields near my village. We dived into those ponds or wells and enjoyed swimming without realising how much time we spent there. At noon when the sun was very hot, we used to come out and reach home hungrily for lunch. Water shimmered like silver all around our village in irrigation canals and ponds. Everywhere water beckoned us.

   We worshipped water, survived on water, and looked for water later on. As time marched on scarcity of water became a reality. What happened to the water that blessed us during my childhood? How and when it evaporated? When did it vanish? Water was as precious as gold. We were forced to use it frugally.

   Three parts water and one part land, as everyone knew!

   Environment changed, monsoon failed often, ponds, open wells, and irrigation canals dried up. Ground water was virtually unavailable. During rainy season we collected water, boiled and drank it as I remember well. When I recollect fetching water from wells in faraway fields my heart grows heavy.

   As I was born and brought up in a land-locked state, presence of water anywhere thrilled me. Whenever it rained or I happened to pass by the side of ponds, lakes or rivers my heart jumped with joy along with ripples in them. As and when I visited seashore I always wanted to dance with delight as the waves relentlessly rolled to the shore. The expansive sheet of water always mesmerised me.

   Slipping into a state of trance, I composed poems soon after visiting a place where the waves in a river or sea overwhelmed me. I bathed in water there and transferred the fragrance of environment through my poems.

   Dr Chandra Mouli knew my love for water as he went through my poems in the anthologies I gave him. He inspired me to collect all my poems where I portrayed my feelings about sources of water soulfully. I sent them to him for translation into English.

   The result is this beautiful anthology of my poems Bhagiratha’s Bounty, with focus on water as major theme. I thank Dr Chandrasekhar B. Sharma, a poet, translator and critic who lent lustre to this book with his scholarly ‘Foreword’. I am grateful to Dr Chandra Mouli for translating my poems collected from my ten volumes of poetry into English affectionately and competently.

I earnestly trust that Bhagiratha’s Bounty will be patronised by all lovers of poetry.

                                                               -Kandukoori  Sreeramulu    


(To be continued-)

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