Kanneganti Chandrasekhara Rao, popularly known as Chandra, is a poet and story writer. Though trained as an engineer, he is now settled as a software consultant, based in Texas. During college years, Chandra wrote and published many short stories in various magazines in AP. However, the career pressures in the US and lack of channels to publish work had limited Chandra's writings to an occasional piece in a souvenir here and there. The emergence of "eemaaTa" literary webzine gave a new life to Chandra's writing. He published several short stories and poems on eemaaTa.
Chandra's poetry usually deals with day-to-day experiences and the emotions we experience from them - the joy of getting drenched in the first monsoon, the pleasure of lying in the open courtyard and trying to identify shapes in the shifting mass of clouds, the water, the earth, the people. Sometimes there is tinge of nostalgia, for that lost and forgotten innocence. Chandra's poetry style reads almost like prose. However, his characteristically unique metaphors and word images as well as his keen and subtle observations set his writing apart as quality poetry.
This week's selection deals with relationships. The little twist at the end is a beauty. My English translation is at the end of the post.
gelupoo voeTamula samgati aTumci
jarigina yuddhamloe iddaramoo kshatagaatrulamae.
illamtaa Satru daeSaala sarihaddu raekha meedi
udrikta vaataavaraNam nimpukumTumdi.
oka oopiraaDani vaesavi madhyaahnam
mana madhya bigusukumTumdi.
mamtramaedoe vaesinaTTu mohaalu
tuDicaesina blaak boerDs avutaayi.
avasaraarthapu poDi palukulu
gaalloe taelutumTaayi, eTu caeraaloe teliyani tikamakatoe.
naeraaroepaNaloo, doesha niroopaNaloo avatala peTTaesi,
tagilimcukunna vishaada gaambheeryapu musugulu vippaesi,
ahambhaavapu migilina beTTunu
aakhari meTTuku dimcaesi,
moosina guppiLLayina pedaalanu doesililaa vippaarci,
Saamti kapoetaallaamTi cirunavvulu egaraeddaam,
yuddha viramaNaku soocanagaa -
kammukunna mabbulni kaLLa civari merupulatoe tarimaeddaam
okkoe aksharamoo paercukuni gumDekoo gumDekoo madhya vamtena vaeddaam
guccukunna okkoe vamkara maaTaa perukkuni
manamae poosukoevaali mamdaedoe
mettaTi callaTi venna muddala caetulatoe
pagilina gaajubomma mukka lokkaTokkaTae aerukuni
marika iddari madhyaa daenikee coeTivvaraadanna
amgeekaarapatram pai muddulatoeTae aamoeda mudralu vaeddaam
maLLee imkoesaari !
Let us talk
Forget who won and who lost,
both lay wounded in this battle.
House takes on an edgy feel,
the battlefront between two warring nations.
A stifling summer afternoon
solidifies between us.
Accursed, faces are blank,
like blackboards wiped clean.
Words coerced, float aimlessly in the air,
Set aside allegations and counter-charges,
Peel away the masks of pathetic composure,
Pull down the remaining shades of egoistic reserve!
Lips, clenched fists - let's open into palms
and let fly the smiles like doves of peace,
to signal the ceasefire.
Let us dispel the gloomy clouds with the lightning from the eyes' glances.
Stacking up each syllable upon syllable,
let's build a bridge between our hearts.
Digging out each embedded barbed word,
only we have to apply the ointment,
with soft, cool, soothing hands.
Picking up each shred of the broken glass figurine,
only we have to glue it together.
On this declaration of truce, proclaiming no further hostilities ever, let our kisses imprint