Here is an attempt by me to translate an old Telugu short story of BuchiBabu into English. Hope you would like it. This was published first , in the 1960s in the Telugu literary magazine Bharati…..
Dry Water to Quench a Wet Fire.
Alimelu came to the bank of the river, to fetch water. The sky is overcast, except in the west, where the sky is clear, as though some one has lifted a veil from it.
The sun dropping down behind the hill, looks like the round leaf of a red lotus. With his fading rays, the sun reminds one of a solitary lamp in the dark interior of a holy shrine.
The rouge of the rays, caressed her face, disappearing into her dark tresses.
Her skin, dark, is hued like a tender rain cloud .She closes her eyes a wee bit to focus her twinkling bright eyes in the gathering twilight. They look like tiny white fish , beneath the jutting out, boldly hemispherical eyelids.Thin, short nose. Well defined thin lips. Oval-rather- than-rounded cheeks. Hair combed with out much diligence, nonchalant. All these looked from the near, tend to make her appear innocent. But when looked at from a distance, her comely figure makes her appear like a seasoned woman. She is tall like a well built statue,- the strong well-rounded shoulders, bosom and behind, refuse to lay hidden contained behind the thick folds of her old white saree, – they strive to announce their presence, with every movement of her.
Alamelu likes the setting sun. Placing the brass pot down, she look with delight at her hands glowing red in the twilight. How great it would be , were she a bit pink. Alas Destiny! Mom is dark. Dad too used to be dark, mom says.
That guy, Yenkadu, keeps on creeping into her thoughts , insistently, – the owner of the cycle shop, Venkateswarlu, to be more formal.He is bolder, more forthright these days, it appears he went to Tirupati with friends and visited Lord Venkateswara. All this braggadocio for that. Just desserts, that he crashed down in the bicycle races and injured his leg. Limping now with a bandaged leg. The good Lord , teaches a lesson to all those who strut about proudly. But, poor guy, Venkateswarlu, nay Venkanna. Basically a fine guy. Presented her a sandal wood figurine of the Lord he brought from his trip. Handsome guy. Jovial. enchanting laugh.. Looks so very more charming when he laughs. Flat, broad chest.–
No, nice girls shouldn’t be thinking crassly. Better divert my thoughts towards mom. Amma , nice lady. She likes me like her own life. She went to the village fair at dawn, with Yenkadu, No. No YenkaDu again coursing in my mind. Why hasn’t she returned yet? She promised to take me to Tirupati, soon after I get married. Marriage , and mine, forget it ? No way.
Poor mom, keeps on asking every Tom, Dick and Harry whether he would marry me,- that too without a rupee as dowry. Preposterous !
Alamelu lifts her head and looks around , shocked. The river had swollen……