A Night with Koneti Rao

[Man’s distinguishing feature is his ability to be conscious about his body and mind. ‘I think, therefore I am,’ said Rene Descartes. ‘Consciousness is the perception of what happens in man’s own mind,’ said Locke. Mind-body problem is a mystery that troubled all thinkers since Plato. Figuring out how our brains make our conscious experiences is one of the most interesting and challenging scientific topics today.

Most of us, like people in the sunset of their lives, have a long trail of unfulfilled desires or legends of heroic deeds our mind zealously confines them to our dreams. Sri Sri weaves a lovely story on this simple fact.]

Telugu: Srirangam Srinivasa Rao (SriSri)


[Jatavallabhula Koneti Rao, a head clerk in some office, is a different man in daytime. A hefty man with his home teeming with children, he is in the evening of his life. You never find Koneti Rao’s name mentioned in any newspaper; nor do you hear his name over the radio. All his days are monotonously alike.

Standing at the threshold of his eyelids, heavy with sleep, let us take a peep into his dreams and see how they play with his subconscious mind.]

“A new glow to the silver screen. Hero’s histrionic talents are peerless… matchless… beyond the realm of expression and imagination. Tall and lanky, the hero is a cupid incarnate. Our gallant hero Koneti Rao rescues heroine riding skillfully through deep, dark, impenetrable forests and eschewing lions, leopards, monkeys, bisons, and rhinos on the way, brings the heroine to a safe and secure location. The heroine’s eyes are filled with gratitude and love for him. He looks into her eyes as passionately… then a song … a duet … ensues in a mellifluous multi-instrumental cine tune that could thaw a stone… The hero started rendering the refrain in full throat.”

His dream is shattered with the sudden cries of a scared infant.


“The World War II was going on in full swing. The land, sea and air were resounding with the echoes of blasting weapons. German Submarine Commander KL Jataval Konet watched through his binoculars the British Royal Navy’s Thirty-five-thousand-ton super-dreadnought fast approaching, furrowing through the Atlantic. He immediately ordered his team to torpedo it. “Wielton shaungidier aunterdien lenden! Gestaltdier Deutschland Uber Alls!” … He was speaking German with amazing ease and fluency! The ship was shattered to smithereens. And as the surviving crew tried to escape through lifeboats, Commander Konet ordered to fire at them with machine guns. Faulkisherbieo Bachter! Gehanna Aukhtong! Jait Guiest! Mein Kampf!”

The sound of a milk bowl, upturned by a cat, disturbed Koneti Rao once again.


“US Government was giving an unprecedented welcome to an extraordinary Indian Engineer, a genius who conceptualized, designed, and executed construction of dams interlinking all the rivers between the Ganges and the Kaveri in India.

“You must visit our Tennessee Valley and give your valuable recommendations. We accept and implement them immediately.”

“Dear me! You humble me with your appreciation. But what am I compared to the brilliant minds present here in America? You are just trying to be generous with me in your praise. Extending invitation to an ordinary folk like me is itself a measure of your generosity. I take this honor not for me, but for my native land Andhra. Jai Andhra Mata!”

Another child woke up in its sleep and started crying.


“The Satyagraha Movement has commenced once again. The English rulers were not leaving this country no matter how many Satyagrahas were called for. But this time, we should see the end of it! We need not stick to the path of nonviolence.” Maharaja Sri Jatavallabhula Koneti Rao Pantulu was smashing the almirahs and destroying office furniture. He was setting office files on fire, smashing inkbottles against the walls, and throwing out pens in all directions. When he encountered an English officer, he gave him such a hard slap that his eardrums resonated with that sound for hours. He picked up a heavy paperweight and shot at the wall clock.”

‘Father, get up! The day broke long ago!’

Koneti was fully awake now!


Murthy Nauduri

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