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Posts Tagged ‘Jupaka Subhadra’

Wrap me in a raindrop flowered sari

Thursday, May 13th, 2010



Where did you go, dark clouded rainwallah?

Haven’t heard from you in so many days

Didn’t know whether you had died

Or were alive

When we drove the wind

To bring news of you, it crossed the seven seven seas and

Returned after winnowing the deserts,

May thieves rob you! May someone die in your home!

So many years! Where did you eat?

Where did you sleep? Where did you stay?

It seemed like all tales had been burnt

Even when we pierced our eyes no sliver of a cloud turned dark,

Had you become a tree among trees, a hill among hills:

We had no idea; from saplings to grown trees, everyone among us has been crying in bushels

Life had become purposeless like we were meant for carrying wood to the ghat

Pearly lake chains*, golden crop beads and

Armlet streams were all pawned somewhere;

Springs from my eye mountains splintered in the sun and

Dried in streaks all over my body,

My leafy torso had turned into withered straw;

Come from the east like a Thumma** grove

Come from the west with beaming milky smiles

Come from the north with thunders

Come from the south in great showers;

Won’t you come and paste on me a blouse dotted with glistening pond mirrors?

Wrap me in a raindrop flowered sari?


Naren Bedide‘s translation of Jupaka Subhadra‘s Telugu poem ‘ sinuku puula siire suTTawaa’ (from her collection of poetry ‘ayyayyO dammakka’).

* the lake chain refers to a series, chain, of uniquely designed large irrigation tanks built by the Kakatiyas (11th to early 14th century) in Warangal and other districts in Telangana, which would fill up sequentially during the monsoon rains.

** Thumma: Babul, acacia arabica.

I guess this one, like all other poems I've posted here, will always need reworking.

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