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pushpa vilaapam
karuNa Sree

#translation by Sri S. Purnachandra Rao (1993)#

pushpa vilaapam (1)
cEtulaaraMga ninnu poojiMcukoraku
kODi kooyaMganE mElukoMTi nEnu;
gaMgalO mun&gi dhouta valkalamu gaTTi
poolu konitEra narigiti pushpavaniki



THE FLORAL PLAINT (1)
Up at dawn as the cock crew
finishing ablutions in the Ganges
donning simple garb white and pure
I went to the garden to cull blossoms
to offer Thee, O Lord!
pushpa vilaapam (2)
nE noka poolamokka kaDa nilci civaaluna kommavaMci gO
raaneDu naMtalOna viru lanniyu jaaliga nOLLu vippi "maa
praaNamu teetuvaa" yanucu baavuru mannavi; kruMgipOti; naa
maanasamaM dedO taLuku mannadi pushpavilaapa kaavyamai.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (2)
As I stood near a tree, bent a bough
down and proceeded to set my finger nail---
all floweres let out a cry in woeful
anguish; would you murder us all,
seemed they to ask.
I stood crest-fallen, when in my heart sensitive
there flashed a thought tender and poignant
taking this form of "floral plaint"
pushpa vilaapam (3)
talli yoDilOna taliraaku talpa maMdu
aaDukonu mammulanu buTTalaMdu cidimi
ammukoMduve mOksha vittammu koraku!
hRudayamE lEni nee pooja leMdukOyi?



THE FLORAL PLAINT (3)
"We are but babes, tender and defenceless,
bounding and romping in our mother's lap--
this leafy arbour.
Do you pluck us to sell and barter in exchange
for God's Benediction"?
O Heartless!
To what avail your worship?
pushpa vilaapam (4)
jaDamatula mEmu; j~naanavaMtuDavu neevu;
budhdhi yunnadi; bhaava samRuddhi galadu;
baMDabaare naTOyi nee guMDekaaya!
Sivunakai pooyadE naalgu cinni poolu?



THE FLORAL PLAINT (4)
"We are ignorant; you are wise;
You can think and are discreet!
Do you have a heart that turned granite hard?
Doesn't it bloom a flower or two for your Lord?
pushpa vilaapam (5)
aayuvu galgu naalgu gaDiyal kani peMcina teevatalli jaa
teeyata diddi teertu mu; tadeeya karammulalOna svEcCamai
nooyala loogucun muriyucuMdumu; aayuvu deerinaMtanE
haayiga kannu moosedamu aayama callani kaali vrELLapai.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (5)
"The few hours that are alloted to us,
we prosper to the immense pleasure
of our creeper-mother; and in her arms we sing
in joy celebrating our freedom absolute; and
when the destined hour approaches, we breathe our
last uncomplaining, and drop dead at our
mother's cool feet.
pushpa vilaapam (6)
gaalini gouraviMtumu sugaMdhamu poosi; samaaSrayiMcu bhRM
gaalaku viMdu cEsedamu kammani tEnelu; mimmu bOMTla nE
traalaku haayigoortumu; svataMtrula mammula svaardha buddhitO
taaLumu truMpa bOvakumu; talliki biDDaku vEru sEtuvE!



THE FLORAL PLAINT (6)
"We heartily play hosts to passing breezes
touching their bodies with our perfume delicate;
We offer nectar aplenty to the bees
that round us eagerly gather;
We present a spectacle pleasant to the eyes
of an aesthete like you.
Why do you rob us of our independence,
so pitilessly, O wretch ?
--You wish to sever the bond sweet
'twixt mother and child ?
pushpa vilaapam (7)
aatma sukhammu kOsamayi anyula goMtulu kOsi teccu pu
NyaatmuDa! neeku mOksha meTu labbunu? netturu cEti pooja vi
SvaatmuDu sveekariMcune? caraacara_varti prabhuMDu maa pavi
traatmala naMdukODe! naDamaMtrapu nee tagulaaTa mETikin?



THE FLORAL PLAINT (7)
"O ye virtuous, do you for your selfish
ends cut the throats of innocents?
And do you expect Salvation?
Does the Lord of Creation accept
the offering from your bloody hands?
Does not He take unto His lap
our simple souls?Do we need any
meddling mischief-monger's mediation?
pushpa vilaapam (8)
Ulu daaraalatO goMtu kuri bigiMci
guMDelO nuMDi soodulu grucci koorci
muDucu_koMduru muccaTa muDula mammu
akaTa! dayalEni vaaru mee yaaDuvaaru



THE FLORAL PLAINT (8)
"They tie a silken string round our
fragile throats and stiffle us; they
pierce our pulsating hearts with callous needles
to weave a garland to deck their braids!
--Alack!How heartless these young women-folk!
pushpa vilaapam (9)
guMDe taDi lEka noonelO vaMDi piMDi
attarulu cEsi maa pEda netturulanu
kaMpu dEhaalapai gumaayiMpu koraku
pulumukoMduru haMta! mee kolamu vaaru.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (9)
"You squeeze our hearts dry of the sap
entire, cook it on flame, prepare
a fragrant essence out of our life-blood
and smear your stinking frame
with our life-breath, Ye selfish
murders, You and Your like !
pushpa vilaapam (10)
akkaTa! haayi mEmu mahishaasuru leMdaro naalgu prakkalan
prakkala meeda callukoni maa pasimEnulu paaDu kaaLLatO
drokkucu dorli - dorli - maru rOjudayaanane vaaDi vattalai
rekkalu jaaripO@m parihariMturu mammula peMTadibba pai.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (10)
There are epicures who, wanting to
squeeze and enjoy life to the full
sprinkle our deliciou bodies delicate thick
on their beds, roll on us luxuriously
like some swine wallowing in the mud,
crush and kill us under their ponderous
grossness !And, on the morrow--
aye, the insult upon the injury--
they look down on our mortal remains,
our raped, torn, wilted, stinking bodies,
mock in derision, gather us callously
to throw us out on the dung-heap !
pushpa vilaapam (11)
maa velalEni mugdha sukumaara sugaMdha maraMda maadhuree
jeevita mella meekayi tyajiMci kRSiMci naSiMcipOye; maa
youvana mella kollagoni aa payi ceepurutODa cimmi ma
mmaavala paarabOturu gadaa! narajaatiki neeti yunnadaa !



THE FLORAL PLAINT (11)
"Our priceless souls and lives lovely,
fragrant and delicate, are spent, wasted
and sacrificed for your sakes -- alas, to no avail
You loot our youthful essence rich
and, as though it were not enough,
sweep us with a broom harsh and
throw our carcass out in the dreary dust.
Say, do you men have any values ?
pushpa vilaapam (12)
buddha dEvuni bhoomilO puTTinaavu
sahaja magu prEma neelOna caccenEmi?
aMdamunu hatya cEseDi haMtakuMDa!
mailapaDipOye nOyi! nee manuja janma.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (12)
"Weren't you born in the land of the Buddha?
Haven't you the love natural to all beings?
You murder and kill beauty for joy;
desecrated is your soul - beyond all redemption !
pushpa vilaapam (13)
pooja lEkunna baabu nee punne maaye!
kOya bOkumu maa pEda kuttukalanu
akaTa! cEsEta mammula hatya cEsi
baapukona bOvu aa mahaa bhaagya mEmi?



THE FLORAL PLAINT (13)
"No loss if you do not worship;
cut not our defenceless throats innocent.
Alack!What earthly thing do you gain
committing such genocide?"
pushpa vilaapam (14)
iTlu pushpaalu nannu ceevaaTlu peTTi
naTlugaan - poolu kOya cEyaaDalEdu;
Emi tOcaka dEvara keruka sEya
vaTTi cEtulatO iTu vaccinaanu.



THE FLORAL PLAINT (14)
So, my Lord, so did the flowers severely
chide me.And I haven't plucked a poor
flower, but come hither to give account
of what transpired at the Flora's bower !