N. Venugopal is a reputed poet, literary critic, translator, journalist, public speaker and currently the editor of Veekshanam- a monthly journal of political economy and society – in Telugu.  Above all, he is a passionate human being. He has to his credit over thirty independent works (The Making of Varavara Rao- An Intimate portrait by a Nephew) and twenty-five translations (Marx- an economist, Mao’s Poetry). He has edited over a handful of books. 

The original poem is from his latest collection of his Telugu poetry titled, Reppavaalcani Kaapalaa, published in October 2021.  


I feel like quitting.

And, putting out this light.

Be that there won’t be light anymore,

I could, at least, get rid of the moths.

Feel like withdrawing

Abscising the flower here.

Ah! Let its nectar sink into the soil,

I shall, at least, be spared of the colony of ants.

Feel like retreating,

Stomping on the anthills built

Patiently collecting each grain of clay.

Yes, I shall be paring down a secure shelter

But I could, at least, prevent snakes inhabiting them.

Feel like bidding adieu

Razing the garden,

Raised with passion and love.

Sure! Fragrances desert this place,

But, at least, the brambles and Euphorbia

Won’t lay in wait.

I feel like crying off

zapping the paths laid out

Investing blood and ideas.

Well, I might be exposed in my walk and run,

I could, at least, prevent heavy machinery run riot here.

Feel like abandoning, breaking off,

Quit, call off and retreat.


(Original: Oka Manah sthiti, From Reppa Valcani Kapalaa)


Murthy Nauduri

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