Bhagiratha’s Bounty and Other poems-28

English Translation: T.S. Chandra Mouli

Telugu Original : Kandukuri Sreeramulu 


As one writes on sea having become a sea
as one walks on rivers having become a river
which boat should I board on Godavari highway?

What I saw was a mature lady like new water
as I lay divided as two branches of the river
looking at the sky in fascination
adjacent Rajamahendravaram scripts regal poetry.
Though an incessant flow continues from ages
between Kovvur and Rajahmandry,
only when charm of syllables are happily reflected
on the slate of Godavari it becomes a poem!
Friendship with Godavari is not mere handshake
but clash of swords too!

In the forest of richness of the river
‘budubungas’, Little Grebe birds, enjoy
game of ‘Kothi Kommachi’
diving and surfacing repeatedly.
The bridge there, bus track on railway track
which is built across the river,
reminds one the double decker coaches in a line.
All credit goes to Sir Arthur Cotton.
Battle front is furious flow of river
between the barrage and the tracks.
As my mother used to perform
circumambulation around Holy Basil tree,
I crossed the river to proceed on the dam at Dowleswaram
to reach other side lying like a python beside coconut palms
and crossed the bridge to pocket credit
stating that I performed circumambulation of the river.

I am not sure of your origin, but find you
performing army drill as on a battle front here.
No banyan leaves are needed to float your surface
feet of your waves will do.
Godaari youth capable of roaming round
with axe head in hand and ‘gongali’ on shoulder.
They can wipe tears of sorrow surging as from a spring,
turning eyes into lakes of delight.
If you dance spreading your hood they play the pipe amply.
You offer people black cotton soil changed into verdant lands.
you present boon of water to crores of men.
Very true,
just for one time end our poverty totally, dear Godaari!
Only for one time transform ugly men
into healthy ones with longevity!

I heard that nothing is beyond your ability
nothing is impossible for you.
For the blind despite having vision,
offer crescents of life, Godaari!
For the dumb despite ability to speak,
gift vocal chords, Godaari!
Just as summer turns into spring as long as you flow,
green trees sing like koels of Konaseema.
As you stretch your length
forests follow you faithfully.
When you sing swelling with water
it’s like edge of rapier opening eyes at dawn,
opened eye looks like sun rise sharpened by fury of rage.
Hence, Godaari!
You should flow always
ringing in our hearts for ever!


(To be continued-)

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