Bhagiratha’s Bounty and Other poems-23

English Translation: T.S. Chandra Mouli

Telugu Original : Kandukuri Sreeramulu 

23. River Bhima

flows like blood in arteries
Bhima river,
a perennial river till the other day
that was like a snake that shed skin
crawls like an earth worm today.
Where is water for oars to steer a boat?
People board boats to cross river
after much bargaining
without stepping into ankle deep water.

Boats look like bullock carts in the river
everyone hauls his boat,
looking at the bare bone dry river
melancholy covers eyes like a sari—

With river bunds on either side as goals
navigators play ‘ river ball, making Bhima a ball.

‘Oh river!
Where is your toughness
that washes off impurities regularly?
Where is your battle field wielding swords of waves?’
Whatever it is
even with your scanty water
aren’t you a river?’

How come without any scare of you
even those that can’t swim
take bath playfully with friends?

Where is song of your soul
where is your agility of a lion?
Using now extensively
defile you daily,
make you a scape goat,
a useless heap of bones.
Just once
don’t you display your holy ‘Vishwarupa’?

[Bhima river flows in Mandalapuram in Maharashtra state.As water is scanty instead of using oars to steer boats, navigators haul boats.]


(To be continued-)

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