Half World!

Reading Indian Writing, I came across a wonderful Telugu poem. Unfortunately my lack of knowledge in language, forced me to read the English translation.  Nonetheless, it definitely reached my favourites.

I could not find it over the internet, but I take the liberty to share the translation here, which I found in a Pdf file.

 

Half World

Arthanareeswara – half woman, half Eswar

You say, or, half of the sky

Both sound the same.

Cleaving the globe vertically into two

Half light and half darkness

Darkness is only the shadow of light

That’s the lesson taught at school in childhood.

 

Three rooms in our home:

Drawing room, bedroom, and kitchen

One half is mine

For my hubby the drawing room

For me the kitchen

For us both, the bed

Responsibilities we share half-and-half

Bearing the baby mine,

Giving the family name, his.

 

When dusk falls

Shivers in the spine

Wailing hearts

On being raped

As though rising from graves

Before lamps run out of oil

Spent matchsticks

If these snigger and tease

If wan and feeling wretched

The differences aeon-long

Are those of light and dark.

 

Groping in the dark

Claiming half world as mine

How long can I feign Urmila’s* sleep?

Not in the answer sheets in the exams alone

For life too should a margin be given.

Life should be securely held and protected:

Even from the one to whom the heart is given.

 

(*Lakshmana’s wife in the Ramayana. She spends all her life in sleep during his exile.)

 

-S. Jaya

This reminds me of so many poets, Plath, Kamala Das… And all I can do is read this again and again.

 

29 thoughts on “Half World!

  1. Hey! Hope you are doing great!
    I’ve nominated you for the “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” Tag! You have the flexibility and leeway to interpret the “word prompt” the way you like and however you want! Photos, quotes, lyrics, poems or an article – whatever works for you!❤
    Today’s “word prompt” is – ATTITUDE.
    Would love for you to participate. (PS – No compulsion tho!) 🙂
    http://iscriblr.com/freedom-of-expression-tag-view/
    Love and light! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Hope you are doing great!
    I’ve nominated you for the “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” Tag! You have the flexibility and leeway to interpret the “word prompt” the way you like and however you want! Photos, quotes, lyrics, poems or an article – whatever works for you!❤
    Today’s “word prompt” is – ATTITUDE.
    Would love for you to participate. (PS – No compulsion tho!) 🙂
    http://iscriblr.com/freedom-of-expression-tag-attitude/
    Love and light! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Some poems drain the blood away from body and make it go numb…this is an example of one of those!!! I dont know how much of an effort it was for you to get to the translation but I really appreciate you going to all those details and then sharing with us too!! Thank you as always!!! 🙏
    PS: Kamala Das…yes she came to my mind too the moment i was through the first few lines!!

    Liked by 2 people

Your perception holds importance for me.

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