This article (review) is written by Dr. A.K. Muthusamy,
Editor-in-Chief of College Sadhana:
Journal for Bloomers of Research,
Associate Professor, Research Centre in English, VHNSN College (Autonomous), Virudhunagar
Enugu Narasimha Reddy’s A Bend in the Corner,
translated by T.S. Chandra Mouli, New Delhi, Indialog, 2019.
Dr. T.S. Chandra Mouli deserves our commendation and heartfelt congratulations on his exquisite creative work – excellent translation into English of the exceptional poetic outpourings in A Bend in the Corner – Sixty two poems in Moola Malupu by Dr. Enugu Narsimha Reddy in Telugu. Tamil poet Subramina Bharathi characterizes Telugu as a very sweet, winsome and lovely language.
Dr. Mouli succeeds remarkably in retaining the sweetness of Telugu in his amazing translation into English, a foreign language. Applauding Dr. Mouli’s outstanding translation Dora Sales observes, “. . . this book is a valuable contribution to literature produced from beyond the Western paradigm, to the whole world. . . . this publication is remarkable because it puts on the table the value and importance of translation from minoritized languages.”
Thanks to Prof. Mouli’s translation into English,. one can enjoy these poems originally written in Telugu, one of India’s popular languages. Dr. Mouli’s elegant translation has given an opportunity to all the people of different states of India and English reading public to relish the poems. Poems are a mesmerized soul’s silent murmuring. Dr. Mouli has done well to catch these delightful murmurings in his translation which is another creative work brisling with poetic vibrations.
A few poems may be reviewed.
In “Shore on the Other Side” the poet speaks of interdependence 'trusting a boat is inevitable; ‘One should trust the putti’). But on-lookers are not aware of the inner agonies and “tears” of the boatman. The poet uses the metaphor of journey appropriately. The lure of the other shore is always tempting and the journey is ecstatic and adventurous to the on-looker but the trauma and the consuming mental agony of the traveler or the boat man is invisible. Joys and sorrows are the inevitable pairs of Life on which the poet meditates. The philosophical touch of the poem deserves appreciation. Contrary thoughts and clashing emotions suggested by the poet invest the poem with a fresh perspective.
‘Drowsy Smile’ is about the regenerative, rejuvenating power of man; it breathes new spirit into the tormented, exhausted life of scorching disappointment and bitter defeats and failures; drowsy smile reminds, in contrast, one of mother’s tender lap (as the poet experiences) which is a comfort zone and consoling bed to soothe pain and hurt feelings of an individual. Mother serves here as a never-failing source which brings cheer and repose to a much battered soul with her boundless compassion and commiseration.
Poetry is “Planetary Music” as Shelley sings. “A Poet is a nightingale” which sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. There are two poets here – one is the outstanding Telugu poet, Dr. Enugu Narsimha Reddy and the other – the translator, Dr. T.S. Chandra Mouli – who is also a poet.
There is no poet who turns a blind eye to the magical charm of the village. Poems like ‘Spectacle’, ‘Hail Mother Kakati’, ‘Same Village’, and ‘Highway’ are village-oriented poems. Rural scenes dominate the poems. Dr. Reddy’s poems on villages bring out his sense of beauty and his descriptive power. The first five lines of the poem ‘Village’ show the poet’s fecund imagination.
Whether it was said about rhythmic dance
of elegance of clouds
or on hearing about the rainbow
that crowned the bund,
it was not revealed.
Rhythmic dance of elegant clouds, the igloo that shaped the sand, memories of inexhaustible fun and frolic, lakes brimming with abundant water offering support to diverse forms of life, soaring kites with soaring jubilation, the innocent,silly love-letters written by village-boys – all cast their magic appeal spendidly. Charmed and conjured by sights, the poet desires to willingly anchor his ship of life (note the use of apt comparision of life to a ship). These poems depicting the beauty of the villages have abidng impact on the poet. To the poet the village appears to be a paradise on earth.One may conclude by stating that A Bend in the Corner is a fascinating book.