Born in 1964, Afsar emerged as a novel poet with a unique style and his own voice since the early 80s. He earned a Ph.D. for his dissertation on "Trends in subjects of modern telugu poetry", and currently works as an editor in a Telugu daily. "ivALa" (Today) is an important poetry collection and "Adhunikata - atyAdhunikata" (Modernism - Post-modernism) is a collection of critical essays published. His use of vivid imagery and philosophical insights expressed in a free-flowing form make his poetry a pleasure to read.
ikkaDaedoe taDitaDigaa vumDaedi
pasi paadaalu parugettukummToo vacci alasipoeyinappuDu
ikkaDaedoe taDigaa tagilaedi talli ceyyilaa.
rellugaDDi podariLLa meemcee
muggulatoe simgaarimcukunna arugula meemcee
ciguruTaakulatoe navanava laaDutunna cimta ceTla meemcee
paccaTi polaala madhya tellagaa parcukunna sannaTi daarulloemcee
polaala madhya talettutoonna mamcela meemcee
gaalinai naenu doosuku vastoonnappuDu
ikkaDaevoe remDu caetulu nannu callagaa tanaloeki poduvukunaevi
daehaanni baarlaa caapukunna aakaaSam
mabbutunaka poDugaaTi gumpula madhya
tumpulu tumpulugaa vennela puppoDini raalcaedi
coopulu naDicina coeTallaa
oka kala veccaveccagaa voopiri viDicaedi
evaroe ikkaDa naa koesam
eppaTikee taragani maaTala peTTeni daaci vumcaaru
imkevaroe ikkaDi gaali nimDaa
veyyi vaeNuvulu voodi veLLaaru
ee ceruvae - ippuDu pagilipoeyina gumDeni
mukkalu mukkalugaa coopistumdae
deeni aracaetulloe naenappuDu ekkaDekkaDikoe egiri veLLaanu
saayamkaalam cirugaali rekkala meeda maemu
pagaTi kalaloemci naDici vaccinaTTu
tooneega toogutoe ikkaDa vaalae vaaLLam
valaya valayaalugaa tirugutoonna
ceruvu gumDelloe eedaevaaLLam
paccagaa parcukunna oDDumeeda
taDisina daehaalni aaraesae vaaLLam
mammalni kappukumTunna baahyaloekapu vastraalni
tummaceTla meeda paaraesae vaaLLam
oka cimma ceekaTi saayamtram
bhoomyaakaaSaala nimDaa okaTae ceekaTi raekha kammukunnappuDu
ikkaDa deepaala pamTa pamDaedi
poobamtula pottiLLaloemci poola noukalu
deepa Sirassulu daalci nartimcaevi
maa daehaala meeda merustoonna
toli yavvana kaamtulu ceruvu neeDalloe doebooculaaDaevi
appuDu ikkaDi raatri
padahaaraeLLa paDucudanapu yavvanaala vampusompulloemci
merupu teegelaa viccukunaedi
enni pasitanaala modaTi oohala oopiri deenikamdimdoe
enni yavvanaala laetasparSa deeni oDDuni kavvimcimdoe
appuDaedoe ikkaDa taDitaDigaa vumDaedi
ippuDaedoe ikkaDa poDipoDigaa
pagilipoeyina bhoomi gumDelloemci
baavurumamTunna svapnamlaa ..
A rendition in English
The Lake of Childhood
It used to be moist somewhat.
When little feet got tired running here
a cool touch used to caress, like mother's hand.
When I'd rush in, wind-like,
over bird houses of reed grass,
over tamarind trees brilliant with tender shoots,
along the thin paths stretching white among green fields,
and over the scaffolds rising in those fields,
two hands used to receive me
into a soothing embrace.
The sky, spreading wide its bulk
used to sprinkle moonlight pollen in bits and pieces
on to the long clusters of clouds.
Wherever the eyes roamed,
there a dream breathed full of life.
Someone preserved for me here,
an inexhaustble chest of words.
Someone else blew a thousand bamboo flutes
saturating the air, and left.
Same lake - now it reflects
a broken heart, in shattered pieces, why?
In its palms, I flew to far off places then.
In the evening, we'd arrive on breezy wings
walking in from a day-dream,
we'd land with the swagger of a dragonfly.
In the swirling bosom of the lake, we'd swim.
On its shores' green spread,
we'd drape our bodies to dry.
The clothes of outer world covering our bodies,
we'd toss onto thorn bushes.
On a pitch dark evening,
as a single darkness covered up heaven and earth,
a harvest of lamps flourished here.*
Little flowered boats, emerging from maidens' laps,
danced with shimmering heads.
The light of adolescence in our bodies
played hide and seek with the lake's reflections.
Then, that night here
blossomed like a lightning vine,
from the youthful curves' beauty of teenage.
How many infants' fresh imagination breathed on it!
How many youthful tender caresses teased its shores!
Then, it used to be moist here.
But, now it is arid
like a nightmare from the bosom of shattered earth
crying out in anguish ..
* This picturesque description is of a women's festival called "karteeka poornima" whereinwomen float lamps into a lake or a stream. There was a beautiful picturization of this scene in the Tamil movie "Dalapati" (*ing Rajni).