Sikhamani is the pen-name of K. Sanjeeva Rao, an Assistant Professor at Telugu University in Hyderabad. He hails from Yanam - this is a Union Territory alongwith Pondicherri, with which it shares the French colonial heritage. "muvvala cEti karra" and "cilakkoyya" are his main poetry collections. He's also noted critic and researcher of contemporary literary theory and trends. He recently edited a poetry anthology called "amma" (Mother), featuring hundred or so poems from many contemporary Telugu poets on that theme - There is another poem by Allam Narayana from that anthology in this websites collection.
I haven't read any other works by this poet, but I was told that today's selection is a good example of his poetry. This selection is also the title piece of his poetry collection.
mutyam dorakalaedani baadhapaDanu.
piccuka gooLLu kaTTi
oka mahaa saamraajyaanni nirmimcukumTaanu.
aDugu jaaDalu parikistoo
oe guDDi gavvanu aerukuni
toeTaloe viDici peTTaeyamDi
koekila paaTa vinabaDalaedani
komcem kooDaa cimtimcanu.
egiri egiri alasi solasi
civaraku catikila paDipoeyi
cinnapillaaDilaa pirralaku amTukunna maTTini
aracaeulatoe aToo iToo
seetaakoeka ciluka laagoe
vannela imdracaapam laedanee
vyaakaraNa sarvasvaanni raasi paaraesi
vaayu gumDaala gurimcee
mee ceviloe rahasyaalanu oodaestaanu.
oe anaatha pillaaDimallae
jana sammardam gala
courastaaloe nannu viDici paeTTaeyamDi
aadarimcae vaaru laerani
kaLLu laeni kaboedi caetiloe
A rendition in English
Tinkling walking stick *
Me, you may leave on the sea shore
I won't worry for the pearl unfound.
I will build a magnificient empire
One sand castle at a time.
Observing the trails left by the waves' footprints,
I'll find a small shell and I'll rejoice.
Me, you may release into the garden
I won't brood over the nightingale unheard.
I'll jump and jump
For the fruit on the tree branch
Tired I fall, but
I'll just brush the dirt off my bum
With both hands, just like a little kid.
Me, you may let go into the wind
Like a dragonfly or butterfly
I won't be disappointed by the absence of flowers
Or for the colorful rainbow.
I'll compose complete grammar for wind-speak
I'll whisper in your ear,
The secrets of the rains and the storms.
If not all this, you may let me loose
Like an orphan boy
Into that crowded city square
I won't lament the absence of loving.
I'll be the tinkling walking stick*,
And help the blind man across the road.
* Tinkling walking stick: The equivalent of "white stick" for the blind. It has a ring of
small round bells at one end, and produces a tinkling sound, a common device used by the
blind on Indian streets.