Mango Bites

In The Dark Room


That night…
when failures banished sleep to the eves of eyelashes;
when this wounded bode sang blues all night with darting pain;
Death, escorted by rain, entered the dark room and said:

“Friend! Look here!
Your grief is a ceaseless torrent!
Life is but a bout of grief… nothing more;
Come! hug me! Let me anoint your wounds in my embrace!”

Some harsh words emanated through the wounds:

“This soil of my motherland
was steeped in the blood of my heroes;
where even ploughs were turned into weapons
on occasion, my abode;
I am a man that adore people that fight;
Fie! I can’t be timid now as to embrace Death.
I can’t insult the sacrifices of my martyrs.”

There was a rumbling of thunder somewhere.
The doors of the room were thrown open with a clatter.
There was neither rain… nor Death.
The room was filled with sudden brilliance.


Original: Koduri Vijayakumar (Telugu)
Translation: Nauduri Murthy