-Dr. C. Bhavani Devi 

Translation – V.V.B.Rama Rao 

The bud of a girl in uniform, leaving home

Before reaching school gate how many venomous snakes in coils

Along the palms of roads!

How many cacti grow as thorns all along!

Which mother can alert the bud of thirteen?

How can she explain what molestation meant?

Seeing off till the road bend

From books to peppermints, from signals to exams

Gives she many a caution

But why does she not caution about the danger dire?

Whether sex education is necessary or not

Shouldn’t they include in syllabus self-protection?

Perhaps it’d become imperative now

To lock with a padlock the wings of dreams

Clothe childhood with knowledge double the age to suit

And mop the floor with childhood shrunk and emaciated.

For the crime of walking innocently

On the carpet spread of sugared tongue

The moment what the punishment could be is understood

Either a stone or a rope – that alone would give a breath of release

She’s saved, cruelly, devilishly.

For the lusty devil that takes it out on tender buds

In the silent unnatural death smell round the little girl‘s corpse

Doesn’t the little sister or the little daughter appear

With her tears that curse him silently, helplessly!

For a mind rotten with disease

How many organs should get bitten?

For a complicated murderous nature

How many arms should take breath and be born!

That little girl died

That’s why escape she could.

Otherwise, how many query hurricanes

Truly it is true: the little girl died

That’s why escape she could.


(Chillara Bhavani Devi, SABDA SPARSA, 1995)



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