More of Satish Chander... for the continuing debate...

Rao Veluri (rveluri@smtpgate.anl.gov)
Wed, 30 Oct 96 18:27:27 CST


     
     In subjecting the 'paMcama vEdaM' to intensive post-mortem,
     I understood that one of the incisive literary surgeons made
     a very valid remark, viz., that some more of his poems need
     to be read and analyzed to accept him as a 'poet,' of some 
     consequence. (I am not quoting; I am trying to paraphrase!) 
     
     I have posted some time ago one of satish Chander's poem:
     'vRttaaMtaM.' In this poem, he was not abusive of the
     the upper castes of the hindu-four caste system. He asserts,
     and asserts vehemently, how he is rebelling against such
     an oppressive system and trying to make a perceptible change!
     
     At least, that was the way I understood the poem at that time!
     Even now, I understand it in the same way. I may be proved wrong!
     
     I am going to repost that poem; which I believe would make a
     lot of sense if one reads it side by side with a short poem by 
     Langston Hughes (1902-1967), 'I, Too Sing America,' and I will 
     post that too for your pleasure!
        


                   vRttaaMtaM
     
     haindava padyaaniki atikina aidava paadanni 
     nEnu.
     vRttaM velupalE uttavacanaMlaa
     pariBramincina naaku -
     maranameppudoo punaraavRtamE.
     
     nooneku nOcukOni gAnugeddunu nEnu.
     vRttalEkhinilOni pensil mukkalaa
     arigipOyina naaku -
     vartamaanameppudoo
     ceripEsina gatamE.
     
     ankelaku viluvaniccina gundusunnaani nEnu. 
     mottaala kudipakkalO
     sankhyaa maanaBangaaniki guraina naaku - 
     eDameppudoo kadupulO ragilE khaaleetanamE
     
                       *
     
     candramandalammeeda maanavuDu paadaM 
     mOpinaTlu
     nEnippuDu kottagaa
     vRttaMlOpala aDugulu naatutunnaanu.
     
     ceruvukunna guMdrati gaaju mukhammeeda 
     nEnoka raayi vEsi
     vRttaalanu mingE vRttaalanu kalaganTunnaanu.
     
     kaakateesina Dappumeeda SabdatarangaM 
     vikasiMcinaTlu
     kattulaku saanapaTTE
     cakraM meeda nippu puvvulni pooistunnAnu.
     
     
     - Satish Chander ( From the collection 'paMcama vEdaM, 1995)
      
     
     Here is Langston Hughes' poem:

                
                I, Too, Sing America

               
                I, too, sing America.

                I am the darker brother.
                They send me to eat in the kitchen
                When company comes,
                But I laugh,
                And eat well,
                And grow strong.

                Tomorrow,
                I'll be at the table
                When company comes.
                Nobody'll dare
                Say to me,
                "Eat in the kitchen,"
                Then.

                Besides,
                They'll see how beautiful I am
                And be ashamed --
                
                I, too, am America.

  
With no further editorial comments,

I remain,

Sincerely Yours.


---Venkateswara Rao Veluri