My mother is an ogre
She never bathed me fondly
Never fed me wheedlingly
Neither got silk skirt stitched lovingly
Nor braided flowered plait leisurely
my mother a sun burnt soot faced one
and the one with rotten hands
That got sopped in the cleaning.
While all mothers gave pocket money stealthily
Gave a noisy good beating on my back
For asking one rupee
And rated at my father.
If I came home bruised
Wounds drifting blood
Instead of taking me up into her arms
And applying medicine
She used to curse god too saying
‘Oh! My God
May your eyes turn into mire’
Doesn’t have reverence
Either for her husband or for God
My mother is not
‘A mother of love and affection’
She is an ox at the mill
That doesn’t have the knowledge
To feed me keeping in her lap
Her language has become coarse
Listening to the abuse of the entire village
If I think of my mother
In the place of her limbs
The toilet, broom
a Plate of cow dung
Come to my mind.
With crown on her head,
Dressed in Silk sari
Adorned all over with jewellery
Is in no way related to us.
My scavenger mother
That cleansed the squalor of the society
With her arms was
Left behind like a filthy utensil.
While the want of the rich
Is sparkling like a
What is this tag of
That dangles round
My mother’s poverty?
Telugu: ‘Asuddha’ by Challapalli Swaroopa Rani. Translated by Prof. G. Sheela Swarupa Rani