Bruised, but not Broken (poems)

-Challapalli Swarooparani 

2. An Ethnic Dream

The criss-crossed entangled forest seems
To have gathered its hair neatly into a knot.
Swallowed by a corporate whale
That spits them out in the centre of Shilparamam*
Small huts in deep sleep amidst green trees
Appear doll houses with lime patterns

Nose studs, beaded necklaces, mirror blouses of
The forest’s daughters
Transform into ethnic chic for
Those that live in gated communities.

Mud vessels, lead utensils, bamboo baskets
Fetch a deluge of dollars in multinational shops.

Now, the forest:
Not bamboo groves
Wild beasts, beautiful birds
And immaculate tribal hamlets.

Now, the forest:
A cacophony of bullets
A rock of shelter, the mountain god
Gives into dynamite
And collapses to the ground.

Forest mother, molested by the police
Waits at the court
For justice.

Children from the forest hamlet
Fight over castaway biryani packets.

Right before our eyes
The land beneath our feet

Forest lives gather at the crossroads
The forest remains awake for a whole night
For a single verdant dream.

*Shilparamam the market place in Hyderabad

(Telugu: “Voka Ethnic Dream”, translated by Prof. Guntapudi Swarupa Rani, Dept. of English, Sri Padmavathi Mahila University.)


(To be continued-)

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