Today's Beautiful Gem: "Wayward
Ravana" from the Telugu Ramayana by Molla.
"tOyajadaLAkSi valarAyaDiTu lEci paTusAyakamulErci ipuDEyaga doDangen
tOyadapathaMbuna namEyaruci tODa nudurAyaDunu minci vaDa gAyaga gaDangen
kOyilalu kIramulu kUyaga naLivrajamu lEyeDala zUcinanau mrOyucu celangen
nAyeDala kRpArasamu nIyakavivEkamuna nIyeDala nunDutidi nyAyame latAngI
"O lotus-eyed woman, the God of Love is
awake and has now started
to aim his sharp arrows;
In the sky, the Moon is shining with great sheen and it looks
like the heat of summer;
The cuckoos and parrots are singing and everywhere the
bees are humming;
Why are you so obstinate like this, o creeper-like thin woman,
why don't you show mercy upon me?
"zaDalu dAlici tapasula tsandamunanu
tammuDunu tAnu ghOra durgammulandu
kUragAyalu kUDugA kuDutsunaTTi
rAmuDErIti lankaku rAgalanDu
"Wearing matted hairs like hermits,
with his brother in those dense forests,
he is eating ordinary vegaetables;
How can that Rama come to rescue you in Lanka?"
Note: As I mentioned earlier, in Dravidian languages like Telugu, there are
two sounds for e and o (short vowels in lower case; the long vowels in upper
case). The letter `L' is pronounced with the tongue touching the palate in
contrast with `l' during the pronunciation of which the tongue touches the
teeth. It is common to pronounce Sanskrit words like `murali' as `muraLi'
in Telugu. There is a little story about the poetess Molla. She belonged
to the caste of potters. One day, when she was carrying a hen, another poet
(Brahmin by birth) wanted to make fun of her and asked her: "pillA,
peTTanistAvA (girl, will you give me your hen)?" He was punning on the word
`peTTa' (hen, modesty). Molla cooly replied: "nEnu nIkammanu (I won't sell
you)." She was punning on the word `ammanu' (won't sell, mother). Her
style, though simple, was highly lyrical and poetic.
om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao