Bhagiratha’s Bounty and Other poems-9

English Translation: T.S. Chandra Mouli

Telugu Original : Kandukuri Sreeramulu 

9.Corporate Eye

Whoever christened it
‘Ella Samudam’
exquisitely suits,
it is a lake  nurtured as
a calf by our village with love.

Calf tied to the stake
somehow vanished for ever
in the market of imperialism
was interred in a cemetery
quite difficult to trace.

Just as one calls rabbit like pet dog‘Tiger’
we also named the lake
that’s an elegant pond ‘Ella Samudram’.

You have raised a barrage
across a river to build Bhakra Nangal
we raised a bamboo curtain
across spring in canal to make it a sea.
As water flows there, we called it
Ella Samudram.

Just as they protect dollar
to retain their power, pomp
to quench thirst of our houses
we warmly pampered it. 

As vultures from sky
swiftly lift chicks effortlessly
water also is exploited by them
whoever it may be.
Do landlords have any tenderness or tension?
Do capitalists have any kindness or compassion?
Placing foot on neck
they occupy thrones.

For a bath or slaking thirst
there is no water,
not even to rinse tears.
Setting out for any place is
like walking in a desert
a look at any house
reminds one of life in a forest!

Did we ask for land
did we demand gold?
Just to moisten parched throat
requested for water in a cockle shell.
Like a lady who declines to feed
her new born baby is not a mother
rulers who do not let water flow
for lives wedded to earth
are not fit to govern.

Whether it is a native witch doctor
or global magician
who has made life line of our village
water, that gleamed
as an ornament of pearls around its neck,
perform vanishing trick—
send him to gallows of sun disc
making him stand on equator—
at least history repeats now!

Numerous times one may roll
across Ella Samudram
not a drop of moisture appears
even if one delves deeper.
Absence of rains rendered
the barrage a motherless child.
Whether one pleads or praises
water never oozes there.
Milk like froth fills mouths,
who has cast a venomous eye
mother died
child too followed her!


(To be continued-)

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