indira babbellapati

An anarchic soliloquy

Thick greasy liquid in filter paper

Neither flows nor stays stable—

A dream; a simoom in a summer-desert—

The dream goes digging deeper and deeper

Yet the origins of corruption found in vain!

As the dream enters the depth of downwards

Into the earth’s womb, all we hear there are

The screams of the wooden hammer:

‘Silence…silence!’ Yes, that’s the supreme

Court of law; along the screams are

The sound of explosions from the whistle-blowers.

Leave aside the first citizen, does anyone ever

Attempted to explore who the inessential citizen might be?

Ah, who’s that coolie woman in that joparpatti in Mumbai?

She sits in muck surrounded by filth and washes herself

With red cake of Lifebuoy! Her surroundings are filled

With acerbic red smell. Red blood…crimson love and

Blood-red death–ah, this creepy dream the night through—

Not a thread of clothing on the body, streaking across

The nightly streets of the city. Isn’t there beauty in nudity?

Nude are the markets too! Wonder if at all what we see

Gets denuded or nudity dominates our vision? Further,

The Court area echoes with morphed voices of the witnesses;

Only ceramic lips and acrylic hips! The blazing sun is proved

As mere graphic after much argument! Is last night’s pleasure

Of copulation  mere illusion? Will the currents that bang their

Heads against the reservoir’s retaining wall ever get liberated?

Hey, you’re a useless dreamer—loitering the lifeless midnight

Roads of the city listening to the scenes around and gazing at the sounds

Amid the pahara hushaar of vigorous batons in the deepest slumber.

Tears of blood stream down the walls of the parliament; stretching

Your hands in greed you ask—‘What’s the distance between liberty

And lewdness?’ Time and distance—theory of indices; all a dilemma!

Crime and punishment are two different entities though the Constitution

May state loud and clear that,

All culprits will be punished!

Halleluiah! Halleluiah!

The sinners will be pardoned!

The sinners will be rescued!

A plant attacked by pests needs pesticide however toxic, pungent

And nauseous Monocrotopas might be. Similar is the need of

This generation; fire-treatment is its dire need…suyy…suyy, the fire

May burn the skin. The billions of the country’s population devoid of

Values, ethical discipline, moral behavior, responsibilities of being

A citizen, populace deprived of a history are in an emergency—

They need an urgent medical aid; where’s the right medicine?

All that this generation needs is a hot iron rod to strike them on their back!

 (Original in Telugu by Prof. Raamaa Chandramouli; English translation by Indira Babbellapati)



New leaf of nascent green

At that moment while sitting on the shore,

She thought moon light with the full moon

Is as attractive as the new moon sky…

It’s always like that when one is in the grip

Of depression and low with melancholy—

That darkness is eternal while light remains

An occasional visitor; when in darkness

The waves annihilate the shoreline, the surf

And sparkles remain unseen—only the rhythmic

Roar that disperses the waters can be heard.

Doesn’t the screech of a train on the verge of

Derailment in spite of the flow of the wheels’ sound

A scare in us? Man trapped like a dry leaf in a mysterious

Maelstrom of one’s inner world, while violently swiveling

Feels the defenselessness of the situation as he gets pulled into…

The unknown within sets the human matter on fire to

Generate energy that goes on preaching, ‘No blunder even if the right

Becomes left and vice versa, go on…swim against the tide…’

Exhausted body, heart and soul slide down the glass pane of

A window, there’s this struggle and effort of the metamorphosis

Of pupa into a butterfly. We fall and rise staring at the bleeding knees;

A burning sensation in the heart…twining soreness as when ice is

Put on fire; if a bomb wishes to spread destruction, it first has to

Destroy itself! Similarly, one who wishes to create, has to first

Create himself…when conscious triggers within, at that

Very moment, one needs a smile, a greeting, a hand extended,

Above all an intoxicating touch. Melody from a flute from

A remote somewhere, while getting doused by the perfume

While walking under the ponnaga on a moonlit night—contemplating

And understanding the difference between a dog’s loyalty,

And that of a wolf that strategically erases its own footprints

With the tail as it moves ahead, there stirs the awareness of tears

That has no identity gaining impetus in the human body;

What follows again is a new vision, a new form and a new leaf

In tender green life surfaces; despair, depression and melancholia

Become confetti; same old sapling that appears tearing the earth

Resurrects the breath…For anyone.

(Original in Telugu by Prof. Raamaa Chandramouli; English translation by Indira Babbellapati)

Prof. B. Indira works as faculty in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences of Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. She’s a widely published poet and translator. She has seven anthologies of original poetry in English and three anthologies of poetry in translation besides several short stories and a novel translated and published by the Sahitya Akademi and the Translation Bureau of Dravidian University, Kuppam. Writing of poetry and translating from Telugu to English is a passion with her. She has participated in many International and National Poets meets in India and abroad where she presented her original poetry well received by poetry lovers.

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Prof. Raamaa Chandra mouli born on 08-07-1950 is basically a post graduate in mechanical engineering, residing at Warangal and presently working as vice principal, Ganapathy Engineering college, Warangal, A.P, India. He is an eminent poet, short story writer, Novelist and literary critic. To his credit he has 50 published books which includes 305 short stories, 30 novels, 10 anthologies of telugu poetry and 4 anthologies of telugu literary essays. He has participated as Indian delegate in ‘22nd’ world congress of poets, Greece during july 2011.’world congress of poets’ during march 2016 at Taiwan. Most prestigious awards he secured includes ‘Swarna Nandi’ puraskaram from Govt of A.P (2011),Andhra pradesh sahitya academy award 1984, Telugu university kavitha purskaram(2007), Cinare kavitha puraskaram(2008), Kolakaloori Bhaageeradhi kavitha puraskaram(2012), Dr.Avansta Somasunder Kavitha Puraskaram(2012), Citizen extraordinaire leadership award (2007-08) (by united writers association, Chennai) etc.. He has also won the best engineering teacher award-2000 from Govt. of A.P. He authored 6 prestigious text books for mechanical engineering students. He has penned story and dialogues to 5 telugu movies. Several of his works are translated into English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.