Silicon Loya Sakshiga-17
-Telugu Original by Dr K.Geeta
-English Translation by V.Vijaya Kumar
A pleasant morning of the first week of August. Redwood trees in the park seem to be praying to the sun, raising their branches of arms. The footway in the standing trees wrapped like a snake around the park.
Wearing a large hat, a floral shirt, and Bermuda Shorts, “Lee” came towards me and greeted me waving her hands looking at me.
“Nee-how-maa” I greeted her in Chinese, meaning “How are you”
She excitedly said something like “Oh Hen Hav Sisye Neena?”
“Did you learn Mandarin for me! That’s why I like you, Ria,” she said.
“It’s hard for her to say my name, so I suggested she call me simply Ria,” I said with Nidhi when she was looking at me questioningly.
Lee grabbed my hand and showed me towards the Swings. Lee asked, “Is Nidhi still on summer vacation?” She slowed down her pace next to me, walking slowly.
“You go and play,” I said with Nidhi.
“Lee, do you know what happened yesterday? Just I have started to speak,
She looked at me with admiration and said, “You always have a face that smiles with everyone. It seems to me that there is more happiness than the Laughing Buddha. How can you share happiness equally with everyone in such a way?” She said,
“Oh! Don’t flatter me in such a way, Lee! I’m a commoner,” I said.
If I’m sure, “Your name is Supriya.” Isn’t it?
She tried to pronounce my name fully, but could not pronounce it properly and she laughed out loud.
Seventy-five years of laughter on the skin of her neck moved like waves in a pond.
I was reminded of my village suddenly.
“I’ll be back in half an hour …”
Lee went away and took a small beautiful stick fan in her hand and slowly started to exercise the “Tai Chi” exercise dance stretching her hands.
She stretches her hands like the wings of a flying bird and slowly begins to lift her legs upwards and downwards, and suddenly she flips her hands and looks sharply for a while and then absorbs in her.
It makes me want to come to the park to see the dance again and again. Seeing her dance like that – is something that makes my heart happy.
As I watched the Lee dance, my heartfelt as if I went knee-deep in the pond and had touched the water droplets on the lotus leaves.
Nidhi came there running and said, “Mommy, look at me, how I’m doing monkey bars from this end to that end”
“Ria, how lucky you are,” said Lee as she sat down with a glowing face as if she had completed the meditation.
“Why,” I said.
“You have just started your journey of life and settled. Your offspring will grow as well here. Your new life will be well accommodated after a few years perhaps”
“We’ve already! We bought a house too,” I smiled.
“Wow, look! You told you got bored off when you come here”
” All those are passed,” I said.
“To me, it’s a different thing, all of my roots of life planted there”
She waved her hands.
“Born and raised in a small village in a world far away from here, I’ve had a hard life all my life. I raised my child with diligence. I’m very confident from the beginning. If anything I wanted to achieve it must be accomplished. I learned English with my tenacity. My son had also got my traits.
And so he came here to America.
There is a good chance that they will have as many children as they want without having to follow the tradition of our country.
However, they stopped with two children.
“As luck would have it, I came to this country and got a job,” says our boy. But, I feel their luck has turned to me as unlucky, I never expected this” she said smiling.
Are you feeling unlucky here, but you look peaceful! “I said.
“See, how those kids enjoy rocking on swings, not bothering about the future. She was lost in thought suddenly.
I do cherish the same, my body floats in the air when I come to park. When I go home the walls surround me and they let me not know what I’m doing. The memories of bees bite and pain continuously”
Do you see these wrinkles on my face? I got them all the time I spent here, my kid applied for a Green card last year. It took me a year. As per the norms I was compelled to stay here then, now once the issue of a Green card made it so we can’t stay outside in our country for more than six months, we should get back, they said they would apply for citizenship too. It may take another five years…How lengthy! ..Shall I live these days? I don’t like to stay here.
“Perhaps you would have told your son not to apply for a green card,” I said.
“Initially, they did not care about such things. They started everything after they lost their father, he felt guilty that he could not attend to him at his last moments of death. From there onwards, he insisted on me for all these formalities, keeping all applications for my stay here. They feel all the rest of my life should be spent with them, After all, to me, I feel I’m in jail. I have no friends, no relatives. In the morning, they all leave the house and do not care about me until the evening.
I said. “All these things are very common to everyone here, Lee, family members of any employee have to face, won’t they come by evening?”
Of course, they come! No words, no greetings!
They spend up to midnight in front of computers. The kids are the same. They get into the rooms and spend time head-on on devices. They do not even have time to eat together. They spend in their world, with cups tucked away at desks.
“No TV there?”
“How much do we watch TV? My son set up Chinese channels for me. I do not like to be lazy while watching TV. In our hometown, however, no matter how much work is done, it remains inexhaustible.
There will also be a lot of love for the instruments we work on there. There is no attachment to human beings even when working with machines here.”
The silver lining shines in the front row of her teeth when smiling.
“You people and we seem to have a lot in common in many respects Lee!” I said.
“In silver teeth like this?” She laughed again.
“It was fun to meet Lee,” I said with Surya.
The Chinese here don’t talk to outsiders so easily, they don’t even laugh like the Americans here when they see new people.
But Lee smiled when she saw me. No one can stop smiling at every smile that she smiles at us.
“She was surprised to be greeted by me in Chinese today. You know?”
“Don’t you have any doubt regarding my acquaintance with the language?” I said again.
He looked at me with a smile and said, “Where is the chance to ask any questions?
” Well …. the thing is …. when I was a kid I told you that language learning was crazy to me. Somewhere in the magazine at that time, in all languages, somebody wrote about how to say “How are you”. I wrote in a notebook and had memorized it during the day. It just came to work now!
“Sadly she seems to be very lonely here,” I said to myself, remembering her face.
“You do not have to worry about everyone’s suffering,” said Surya.
It’s weird here the weather that it’s not sunny all day long sometimes, the whole world is stagnant all of a sudden shrouded with clouds. I said.
You have to come to China, “Lee said with a smile.
“My full name is” Fong Lee “, in your English it is called” Feng “. Do you know what that means? Phoenix”
“Means bird. The noble bird who burns itself for its chicks! I know.
Is it?” I said.
“Why my mother and father gave me that name I do not know, but I live my whole life as a free-spirited bird. I lived as I pleased. Sometimes I feel, as I spent my whole life till now as I wished, now God had destined me for this lonesomeness in my last days” she heaved a sigh of relief.
“Lee, why do you worry about a place you don’t like now and then, can’t your family be your son, can’t you be happy to see your son every day? can’t you play nicely with your grandchildren and relax?” I consoled her.
Lee! don’t I have to worry about that? Our family can only come here, leaving behind all the bonds of birth and death. Leaving all of my kith and kin, father, mother, grandparents, friends, relatives… being so far away is painful for anyone, but life is something that’s always flowing without stopping anywhere. If migration is a need, life becomes heavier.” I said empathetically to her.
“Yes. You come here with your husband, as you felt your husband is everything to you, I thought so too… but my husband’s ashes are still there.” She said with squinted eyes. Pressing her eyes for a minute, she continued,
“My son is a part of me, but she’s always reminded me at home that he’s not my son. Children are brought up in this culture, so they don’t have any feelings for elders, the people here feel they’re working with machines, Nope, they become machines. I’m glad I found an oasis-like you to support me in such situations, Ria! I love you so much! “Si shye!” She paid thanks saying “Thang Chu” in her Chinese dialect and got up to dance.
Lee began to dance “Tai Chi” with her hands spread wide like bird wings.
She imbued in herself with her peaceful disposition moving her feet exquisitely to the music getting from somewhere. She has to live in America with her forbidden memories, the branches around her moving rhythmically with her in the blowing air.
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.