Poems of Aduri Satyavathi Devi


A Foundling

Telugu Original: Aduri Satyavathi Devi

English Translation: NS Murthy

A screaming unwanted child when he was born
An offshoot of municipal rag-ring
A penalty paid by some innocence
For a trespass or somebody’s necessity….
The stains of blood over him
Won’t betray any addresses.
When delicate etiquettes had turned their backs
Throwing blankets of silence on his first cries,
Like ‘compassion’ had walked down…
Motherhood was still alive…
A pair of old hands from a street-end hut
Cuddled that dirty baby
Resurrecting humanness
And fostered him with love.

When on one stormy day
The curtain was downed
On an already tattered old life
The lone destitute, to the entire street,
Had become a sweetmeat
That we smacked our lips at.
Giving him the leftovers of our food,
Worn-out clothing, gratis
His childhood
We have been seasoning our lives with.
Without him, our days won’t take-off
Be it for marketing or
For leaving children at school.
Our polished shoes and creased clothing
Shine under the charity of his labour.
Whenever he meets me square in the eyes…smiling…
With a sense of guilt
I shrink to a mustard seed.


Telugu Original :‘Gaali Mokka’

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