Bruised, but not Broken (poems)

-Challapalli Swarooparani 

4. Prohibited Dream

My memory does not carry

Colourful dreams that

converse with my eyelids.

In my dream, someone chases me,

Always, as I keep running


And towards an unknown destiny.


In fact, life too is like a dream!

I bundle up my identity and

toss it towards the horizon.


From childhood

I have been running

Through a human jungle

to get to that place

Where no one asks “Who are you?”


Yet, it chases me

Like a man-eater.

If, in elementary school

my dress and language showed me up,

in high school,

An asterisk next to my name on the notice board

made me an offender once again.


As I wrestled with books

Honed my scalpel-sharp intellect

An aged sacred thread

suspiciously scanned my expertise.


Unmindful of my inner responses

An invisible small pot to hold my spit

hung around my neck,

followed me to my seat,

kept watch round the clock

on my movements, dreams

my gait and laughter.


Like a sentinel it guarded my views and expressions.

Perhaps it dreamt of authority

Exercised remotely

over all my possessions…


After all this

I stopped running, and trained my eyes to dream

afresh. In that dream


I am the ring master, whip in hand

I control the beasts of the jungle.

Now, that is my daily routine.

(Telugu: “Voka Swapnam”, Translated by T. S. Chandra Mouli, retired English lecturer in Govt Degree College, Hyderabad and published in Mankenapoovu, an anthology of poems by the author, 2005.)


(To be continued-)

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