lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Friday, April 06, 2007

Missus Em's first love

Like everything else, this became an obsession too. I'd been thinking about doing an occasional Telugu post, maybe a poem or two, for a while now.

I began my writing career in Telugu, back when the world and I were young. Telugu poetry will always remain my first love. I still have all the cuttings of my published poems. (Blame it on my mother, she is a great one for scrapbooks)

I use iLeap to save my Telugu poems on my computer. They claim it is an "intelligent, internet ready indian language word processor" but their manual was clearly written by people who were not. In the four years I've been using it, I haven't managed to figure out how to do anything online with it. It's frustrating to write in Telugu and not be able to publish it online, just because the manual doesn't tell me how.

Actually, I acquired iLeap so I could compile clues for cryptic crosswords in Telugu. I had a software that generated grids, and I was going to combine the two and create crosswords in Telugu. It didn't work out. To look on the bright side, I learnt the phonetic keyboard conventions and had transcribed all my cuttings and poems on to my computer.

Much later, I took to blogging. I was astonished when Gilli first linked to a post of mine, or DesiPundit. I saw from my site tracker that I had an unusally high number of visitors and that was how I learnt that I got link love. That is how I discovered filter blogs and blogs in regional languages, too.

Naturally, I wanted to do some Telugu posts myself. My iLeap is useless, unless somebody gives me lessons. So I asked Chenthil how he wrote his Tamil posts. He gave me the link to a neat software. But it had no tutorial, and after three weeks of practice I still don't know how to insert a poorNaanusvaaram. I didn't like the look of the fonts, either. However unwieldy it is, iLeap has some nice fonts.

A couple of days ago, I checked the Telugu archives of DesiPundit, and found there are blogs with fonts that aren't too bad. So I wrote and asked Goutham how he wrote his posts, and he directed me to lekhini. This is a nifty tool for online composing. And it is perfect for me, as all I had to do was to copy and paste what I wrote there. Overjoyed, I transcribed a poem of mine. I am not too happy with the fonts, but you know what they say about beggars.

Written two decades ago, the poem's sentiment is still valid. Those of you who can read Telugu, please do give me feedback. Those of you that can't, eat your hearts out, Missus Em is gloating.

నేతి, నేతి

ఇది కాదు జీవితం ఇంకా నిరీక్షణే
ఎదలోని తలపులు ఎదురుచూస్తున్నాయి
ఒక మల్లె విరియాలి ఒక జల్లు కురియాలి
నా అంతర విపంచికను మరికొంత మరికొంత
మేళవించాలి శ్రుతి చక్కదిద్దాలి

ఇపుడిపుడె గొంతెత్తి ఇరుల సంగీతాన్ని
మనసింటి కాంతి శ్రుతి ఆలపించగరాదు
స్వరాలు ఒరుసుకొని గమకాలు మెరియవు
సందేహం నీడలో సంగతులు విరియవు

అసలు, రాగమెన్న లేదు గతి వెట్టలేదు
నేను పాడబోయే గీతి రచించనే లేదు
ఎదురుచూస్తున్నారని గళమెత్తలేను
నా శ్రోత నా ఆత్మ ఇంకా నిరీక్షణే

But Larking is not a poetry blog nor a Telugu blog. I am not even sure I can add labels and categories without changing my template and destroying my blogroll and site tracker. Inserting the codes was bad enough the first time, a nightmare that I don't want to repeat.

So it is with great glee that I hereby announce, I am going to set up a separate blog for my Telugu poems, and I am going to have fun inflicting my poetry on you folks.


Update: Anon and others want it, so here is a transliterated version, perhaps I will do a translation bimeby, who knows?

nEti, nEti (not this, not this)

idi kaadu jeevitam yinkaa nireekshaNE
eda lOni talapulu eduruchoostunnaayi

oka malle viriyaali oka jallu kuriyaali
naa antara vipanchikanu marikonta marikonta
mELavinchaali sRti chakkadiddaali

ipuDipuDe gontetti irula sangeetaanni
manasinTi kaanti sruti aalapinchagaraadu
svaraalu orusukuni gamakaalu meriyavu
sandEham neeDalo sangathulu viriyavu

asalu, raagamenna lEdu gati veTTa lEdu
nEnu paaDabOye geeti rachinchanE lEdu
eduru choostunnaarani gaLametta lEnu
naa srOta naa aatma yinkaa nireekshaNE

Um, do get back to me about a setting up another blog or trying (sigh) to add labels and losing my template so far. At the rate, I'd be better off starting an anonymous blog, I tell you.

Cheers again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would be great if you also publish it in english not necessarily translate,
for the guys who don't know to read telugu but understand it..

7:05 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

transliteration, pliss.

9:40 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

Brilliant poem. Mansinti kaanti sruti is magnificent with musical terminology marrying definitions and getting intimate with imagery. Bravo.

So you are starting another blog? In Telugu? Do give links, Lali.

11:48 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon, Rajesh- I have posted an update with transliterated version. Much gratified, thank you.

Ash- What imagery? ;) Seriously, there's no imagery here, it is just utprEksha, and transferred at that.

7:45 am  
Blogger Rimi said...

Re. the onliest bit in this post that concerns me: worry not about labels, Lali. What is the Princess for? She shall ride her white stallion to your comp and banish your HTML fears once she's done with her work. Till then!

7:38 pm  
Anonymous tivi said...

పద్యాలు నాకు ఎప్పుడూ/ ఇప్పుడు కూడ అర్ధం కావు. ఏదొ జీన్ తప్పి పొయింది
I love this link.

9:29 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Rimi- Make that a white mare, ha! Thanks a ton, Princess.

Tivi- Isn't that a wonderful link? It's not a missing gene as such, though. You just don't have the time or inclination for poetry, that's all.

8:19 am  
Anonymous Arvind said...

hey!! that is some poem, i tell you. grandhikam? naarikelapaakam what?

may your tribe flourish. those who are good in telugu and...

it is rare you know. i see so many Tamil bloggers who are solid in their mother tongue and also prolific in their view of the outer world and feel sad that my state does not have as many versatile folks. of course, i could be wrong. and i am mainly alluding to the people in the blogosphere and not telugus in general.

well, these thoughts might be out of place but seeing your other posts and this one in telugu....

PS: by the way, the title, hasnt it got something to do with the vedas or upanishads or something to that effect?

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Arvind said...

by the way, until i saw the english traslation in the latter part of the post, i thought the title of your poem alluded to Ghee.



4:54 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Arvind- Thank you. Upanishads, yes. Searching for truth always begins with stating what isn't truth, they say, hence the title.

As for naarikeLa paakam, it is a bad habit of mine, I guess. I will post some poems in lighter lingo, then. :-)

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Kate said...

Nice to learn about your love for poetry.Couldn't understand the language though.I'm an enthusiast for poetry, so at least we are alike.Enjoy!

6:45 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Kate- Hi. Thanks for taking time to comment. Do drop in again.

10:21 am  

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