In a recent post of mine I recounted the story of the great Vijayanagar emperor Krishna Raya, commissioning his poet-laureate Allasani Peddana to author the epic Manu Charitram and the poet readily consenting to take up the formidable assignment.
But there evidently were occasions when the great poet, who knew his worth, did not so readily acquiesce to such entreaties, as a famous poem of his, enlisting the prerequisites that the author ought to be provided with before any such demand was made on him.
Here is my attempt at translation of the poem into English, followed by the Telugu poem in the Roman script.
‘Unless, a peaceful resort wherein a lovely maid brings you a fragrant tamboolam (betel leaf pack),after a hearty and satisfying meal, a swing-bed, discerning scholars in attendance, and adept clerks and proof-readers who are learned enough to know what they are recording, are in place, will it be possible to author great works of literature , just for the asking?’
Now for the Telugu original,,
‘ Niruphati sthalambu, ramanee priya dootika tecchi icchu ka-
-ppura videm-aatma-k-impagu bhojanam-uyyela mancham-oppu ta-
-pparayu rasagnul-ooha teliyan-gala laekhaka-paathak-otthamul
dorakina-gaaka ooraka kritul rachiyimpum-ananga sakyamae ?’