Karunasrii's Pushpa Vilapam - English Translation

by Sri Kandregula Amba Prasada Rao

A free rendering in English of Karunasree Jandhyala Papaih Sastry's Poem "Pushpa Vilapam" by Sri Kandregula Amba Prasadarao Mailed to Palana from Calcutta Garden Reach, 1-15-1995.

Sri Kandregula Amba Prasada Rao, a student of Sri Vissa Apparao of M.R. College, Vizianagaram, was a high school science, math, and English teacher in Orissa. He spent 2/3rds of his life in Parlakimedi and served in the Maharajah's High School. He was a gold medalist in his final BSc exams in 1918. Sri Prasada Rao is a master of all - wonderful teacher, actor, painter, writer, good speaker, and a poet. Several accomplished individuals are never popular because they do not want to be popular - Sri K.A. Prasada Rao is one among them. He is 85 years old and still active in writing poetry and other literary works in Telugu and English. A couple of weeks ago I received an envelope from him which contains his English translation of Karunasrii's Pushpa Vilapam. Sri Prasadarao calls his English translation "FLOWERS' LAMENT". -- PALANA

Pushpa Vilapam (1)

nEnoka poolamokkakaDa nilci civa'luna kommavamci gO
ra'neDunamtalOna virulanniyu ja'liga nOLLu vippi "ma'
pra'Namu diituva'?" yanucu ba'vuru mannavi - kRumgipOti, na'
ma'nasamamdedO taLuku mannadi "pushpavila'pa" ka'vyamai.


Standing at a floweing plant
Nimbly pulling a stalk aslant,
Ere I, to pluck, putforth my nail,
All flowers raised a piteous wail.
"Takest thou our life?" - Abashed
Was I Something then flashed
In my mind - a weird figment,
As a poem - "The Flowers' Lament".

Pushpa Vilapam (2)

a'yuvugalgu na'lgu gaDiyal kani pemcina tiive talli ja'
tiiyata diddi tiirtumu, tadiiya karmmulalOna svEcCamai
nooyalaloogucun muriyucumdumu - a'yuvu diirinamtanE
ha'yiga kamDlu moosedamu a'yama callani ka'li vrELLapai.


During our short span of Life we
have embellished
The species of mother - creeper that
bore and cherished -
Swinging in her arms with gay
abandon, shut eyes
When end comes - happily fade away
at her cool toes.

Pushpa Vilapam (3)

g'lini gouravimtumu sugamdhamu poosi, sama'Srayimcu Brum
ga'laku vimdusEsedamu kammani tEnelu, mimmu bOmTla nE
tra'laku ha'yi goortumu, svatamtrula mammula sva'rdhabuddhitO
ta'Lumu! tRumpabOvakumu talliki biDDaku vEru sEtuvE!


We smear perfume and welcome breeze,
Feast with tasty honey the visiting bees,
Cause comfort and joy to the eye
Of people like you - free tho' are we -
Tarry! pluck us not with selfish intent,
Would you tear the child from its parent!

Pushpa Vilapam (4)

Ulu da'ra'latO gomtu kuri bigimci
gumDelOnumDi soodulu grucci koorci
muDucu komduru muccaTa muDula mammu
akaTa! dayalEniva'ru mii ya'Duva'ru!


Strangling us with wool and rings,
Piercing bosoms with needles and strings,
Adorn with us your braids fancy-
Alas! ye women are sans mercy.

Pushpa Vilapam (5)

ma' velalEni mugdha sukuma'ra sugamdha maramda ma'dhurii
jiivitamella miikai tyajimci kRuSimci naSimcipOva ma'
yauvanamella kollagoni a' pai ciipurutODa cimmi ma
mma'vala pa'ravaiturugada'! naraja'tiki niiti yunnada'?


While our priceless and innocent,
Delicate, nectarean and fragrant
Life, for you is sacrificed and frayed
Withered and laid utterly destroyed -
Ravishing our youth, sweep with broom - Alas !
Is there morality among the Human Race ?

Puspha Vilapam (6)

buddha dEvuni BoomilO puTTina'vu
sahajamou prEma niilOna caccenEmo?
amdamunu hatyajEseDi hamtakumDa !
mailapaDipOye nOyi ! nii manuja jama.


In the land of the Buddha thou art born
of innate love thou, perhaps, art shorn
Oh, murderer, who slayeth beauteous charm,
Defiled is thy birth in human form.

I received this letter with Sri Prasadarao's English translation of Karunasrii's Pushpa Vilapam a couple of weeks ago. My teacher, Sri Prasadarao sends me his works occassionally. He is a nomad and often moves from one son's house to another son's i.e. from one city to another city in India. Last time I met him in Waltair. I see him once every 4 years and we both spend days together. He brings his writing and starts reading out his works. He has done a great deal of work in Telugu literature - Venu Dasagi! Are you there? Incidentally, Sri Prasadrao was Venu's teacher also.

It is human for me to not to compare things which belong to the same category at least. Looking at Sri Purnachandrarao's translation, and comparing it with Sri Prasadarao's - Prasadarao's Flowers' Lament has rhyme and follows a meter unlike that of Purnachandrarao's. It is not my intent to treat Purnachandrarao's work down to inferior but these two translations are complementary to each other. Sri Purnachandrarao even admitted that he did not follow a scale or meter to offer rhyme or rhythm to his English translations of Karunasrii's Telugu poems. Both are equally good.


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