Origin (Telugu): Penna Sivarama Krishna
Am I following my shadow
or my shadow, me?
I know not.
When there’s light in front
my shadow follows me.
When I get past a lamp
it grows longer, walks in front of me.
When the sun turns a parasol or thorny tiara
the shadow becomes a dwarf
entwines my feet, plays fondly.
When I am on bed
it enters my body contour, becomes a bed.
When night befalls
it shrinks into me
like a sword in a scabbard.
It’s a soul protector,
looks like a body saviour though.
It burns itself on my pyre
like the woman of ancient days.
A shadow-like wound
A wound-like shadow….
All my shadows
are caricatures doled out
by a painting brush
I Should Cross the Road
I should cross the road.
For this moment
this is the only aim of my life,
my one and only ultimate goal.
Cautiously, I should get past.
Making my heart lake a motionless picture,
bestowing oneness to my soma and soul
I should transport this body to the shore yonder.
Crossing this road amounts to crossing dreadful hells
If I get past this road in a jiffy or two
I get instant emancipation from my life.
I should cross this fierce flood
that chews the cud – its shores that is.
Should get past the two giant reptiles
running in directions opposite.
Should visualise past, present and future
before I step next.
Should watch time and place not just in front
but on either side – right and left, too.
Should assess the speed of many a vehicle in split second,
prepare a stratagem, appraise the waves.
Before I reach home in the evening
I have to cross many roads.
Watching the two sides
of the highway too, is vital.
This thoroughfare is a Vaitarani.
I should get past it
making at least a commuter or something a shield.
The divider is akin to middle age
A half visible line of separation, it is.
Reaching it equals swimming half the life
outstripping all the vicious high-tides.
I am a restive highway of waves
as well as a pedestrian
Translated by: Elanaaga