Friday, October 31, 2014

Batuku Poru - B S Ramulu's Novel

Batuku Poru is a novel in Telangana Dialect.
Lives of Beedi workers of Karimnagar district comes out in its true colors in this novel.
I volunteered to translate the work into English.
Now, "Struggle of Life" is available in the market.

Here I bring an excerpt from the novel. 

I don't have to now, tell that this is one of the best Telugu novels ever written.People have alreday said that!
I am happy that I could translate it!!

Time was approaching eight or eight thirty. The time the bazzars open wide, the time children hurry to go to school. The time vegetable market is abuzz. Time people complete their private chores and begin with the public work.

“Your Mother! I would go to school. What should I eat and go” Sreenu was angry with displeasure and sadness twined together.

“Am I sitting quiet? One after the other I am doing things!” said Lakshmi and washed the rice and put it on the hearth.

“Take this bag and go get some vegetables from the market” again she gave him some task.
“It is school time. Give me a head bath. I wouldn’t go to the market. Sreenu protested and hurried mother.

“Ayyo! Your Servant me! Dal always, your father is complaining for the last three days. Please Go!” Lakshmi pleaded with him.

He thought it was unavoidable, grumbling, he took the bag and walked to the market. The sister followed the brother.

Washerwoman Maisi came for the clothes, saying “Give the clothes” from ten yards afar as if cautioning.

She collected the two quits that Nani soiled, and the clothes scattered here and there and gave her. She gave some more bed clothes. Bringing the sarees that she left from the wicker box, she said, “How is it if you come once in ten days? Should there be so many sarees? I washed two sarees myself!” almost chiding.

“When did ten days pass? Friday to Friday, it is eight days. For the wages of ten rupees, if not four times in a month, how many times can we come? The money that you give would not be enough for the soda that I use for the clothes.’ May be a life that is used to fighting, Maisi raised the voice up.

“Then why are you washing clothes? Tiring the limbs… stop it!” Can’t we wash our clothes?” she knew that it was not possible,  and the soap for the task itself would cost twenty rupees, she stiil laughingly chided the woman.

“It is the caste profession and that a morsel of rice would be available, we do this, otherwise what is theer in it? Washing your monthly dirty and soiled clothes, the body has dried off. All the day slogging in the sun, I turned into coal. With the spilling of the soda water, the hair turned red. With only two children people tell me that I look like an old woman. What is in caste profession. Our life is worse than all.” Saying so she folded the sarees and made a bundle. Looks like somehow Maisi is sick of the life. Lakshmi could not shout like earlier suppressing her.

“Now I would leave” Maisi started walking.

“Stop there. Don’t know when you would come again. I would give the saree on me too” she took a washed saree from the rod, and wearing it, she gave the saree on her.

“Then why don’t you give me the rice right now” taking the saree and folding it said, Maisi.
“Ayyo! I am here giving you the clothes and don’t know what happened to the rice on the stove!” she jumped to the stove in one leap. Water from the rice spilled out and the fire in the hearth was out. The rice was not cooked properly. It was half cooked and unevenly cooked. She picked through it and saw.

“May your stove burn! How many sides I should see?” she was vexed and was blowing into it. “rice is simmering, Go to another house and come. Then I would give you” she said.
“I would go the house of this sir then” Maisi went away with the bundle.

Sreenu came with the vegetables. “Brother did not allow me to carry the bag” complained Sraaswati.

“After a few days you only can go to the market alone, leave it!” laughingly said Lakshmi taking care not to suppress the urge to work.

“May be it is time, go to the school” she got up to wash the plates.

“Your Mother! You said you would give me a head bath with hot water today!” Sreenu wailed. He was tapping his feet on the floor and was moving the door sideways.

“Yes, I said, but did the work got over? Hurrying I put the rice for you only. Tomorrow I would give bath. Leave it!” convincing them she gave rice in the plates.

Sir said he would beat if at least today, I don’t take head bath, apply oil and comb” Sreenu made a sorrow face.

“What should I do then? Is my work coming to a rest? For today draw cold water and take bath go! Tomorrow I would rub your head” she cajoled him patting on the head.
People on the side are heckling that I am one with head that wreaks” Sreenu revealed the fact looking face down and with anguish.

Only one day today, if tomorrow Saturday passes through, day after is Sunday, school wouldn’t be there, I would give head bath leisurely what else?” Give sister also bath” she cajoled him.

However much it is there in the heart that she should make her children up like all the others, with the unending work, that is remaining a wish unfulfilled. Do they know how to take bath or what? If one side is drenched, the other would not even get wet. Even after pouring water in hurry, the knee remains as oily as it was. If she wants to give them a bath, the work would never come to a pause. “Poor kids” her heart went for them.

“I have to leave I have to leave” from a distance the washerwoman Maisi came yelling.
She put the rise that was put in two plates for the children into one and gave it to Maisi. Lakshmi sat to cut the vegetables.

Children took bath and dried themselves with the towel.

She gave them rice in the plates and gave some mango chutney.

“Your Mother! I wouldn’t eat with chutney go! I would get curds. Give me four annas.” 

Sreenu asked rubbing the plate on the ground as if complaining why chutney every morning.
‘Aan! As if money is there! Eat if you want or leave it!” she turned the anguish inside into anger she shouted making a grim face.

“Then I wouldn’t go to school!” Sreenu made fuss.

Don’t go, what is in it for me? Who would become wise when studying? If you don’t want to study, make beedis like me. You would at least get a little money. When I say eat well and go to school, it is becoming a big thing! Like father, would you take a job in the shop then?” said Lakshmi.

Lakshmi in order to make the existing line small would draw a bigger line. When talked about bigger tasks Sreenu would get cold. Whenever such words are told Sreenu would shut mouth like as if someone tells a rat, there look the cat!.

He did not talk further and ate then arranged his books. He looked here and there and asked mother “Where is my fountain?”

“What do I know? Wherever you have thrown it. Look for it”

“I want a slate pencil” Saraswati asked.

“What did you with yesterday’s one?’ asked Lakshmi looking angrily.

“I left it here only, now it is not there” said Saraswati pointing at a cornice.

“You need a new slate pencil every day. Would throw them somewhere. Then come asking for it. Study fistful and pencils handful! It is only after all studying!” Lakshmi became angry. She cut off the fibre on another bundle of leaves and removed the reddened leaves.

“Only you have thrown my fountain somewhere. Would give to the hand of the brother well. He would play and throw it somewhere.  Again you would blame me.” Saying Sreenu searched all the cornices.

Pen was found. He opened the cap and saw. Nib was broken.

“Mother! Nib is broken. I want eight annas. Only you have broken it giving it to brother. I don’t know! Aan!” Sreenu put the blame on the mother.

“Why did I give? You pulled it when sister was holding and did it not hit the wall? I don’t know. I don’t have money. Write however you want, go!’ Lakshmi chided.

“When I pulled it from her it was alright” those words came out as if trying to make an untruth appear true. The words were giving out the truth after all.

“Abbo! Pranks! They don’t go with me. If I put it on her, you thought I would give money isn’t it? I would slap you on the cheek if you utter lies.’ She lifted the hand as if to hit.
“The math tables book is torn. How should I get them by heart? Your Mother, Sir would thrash, I wouldn’t go to school, go!” he invented another reason to bunk school and told.
‘Ahaan! That saw is over and you started this saw! It is after all to extract money somehow from me isn’t it? Go copy tables from someone’s book in the school. Is there a tree of money in the backyard to buy a book whenever it is torn?” Lakshmi said shifting Nani from the left arm to the right and suckling.

“I would just not go to school” Sreenu made fuss, hitting the door to the wall again and again.

“If I kick, the bones should break. Till now chased me saying you would go to school. After eating well, now say, you wouldn’t go. Aaan!” Lakshmi acted as if going to hit Sreenu, acting like getting up. It was like she got the real message.

“Aan, I know you donkey. You have not got the tables by heart and making this ruse. Go get thrashed well by the master, what is for me?” Did I say no when you were studying?” she scolded.

“Your Mother! When should I study? Always you ask me to carry brother.” He wanted to tell something more. Lakshmi picked up in the middle.

“Carried him much! Leave it! If you don’t carry, would he not play?’

Lakshmi knows that she herself gives work and also shouts. Even the just to forget the stress, she would shout at Sreenu. He is the only one who would bear he anger. Poor fellow!
“Did you not make me twine the thread when I said I would mug up tables?” without his help work would not be over. Even then Lakshmi acts smug.

‘Abbo! You must have twined on bundle of thread. Then where from did you think money would come for your teas, biscuits, and pencils. I would stop making beedis. Would you eat gruel. You should get up in the night and study well.” Lakshmi made a suggestion showering love.

“I got up to study and did you not ask me to fetch dung? Did you not make me draw water for dung sprinkling? Sreenu said complaining.

Lakshmi was happy heart of hearts for the courage of Sreenu matching word for word. It is not as if she does not know all those things. They are knowingly unavoidable tasks. That is why when he makes a cross question, she would evade the answer intelligently and throw the blame on Sreenu and keeps her status.

“Have done a lot OK! It is after all, you people who jump around and make the entire front yard bumpy! If you don’t jump around, nothing would happen however many days, I don’t sprinkle dung water” she said.

“What happened, give me money for the nib” Sreenu brought up the matter that was supposed to be forgotten.

“May your chiding drown! Here1 take! With all the love inside, talking apparently with anger, handed over a eight anna coin. “Buy a slate pencil for sister also” said Lakshmi. Sreenu with the bag of books in hand, Saraswati with the slate with the eight annas ran enthusiastically.

Lakshmi heaved with rest and happiness.

“Avvalla! I would miss all the ruckus till one in the noon!” thought Lakshmi for self.
As if reminding that he is there, Nani in the arms started crying. “Ya! Now I have it with you! Do you want me to throw in some school?’ she pinched his cheek, kissed and then started suckling.

She cooked the vegetables. The hearth made of bran fell off. “may the hearth burn off! Fell off so soon1’ she muttered and showed two pieces of wood into it and threw some wood shavings and started to blow making noise. She brought water in the mud pot and placed it on it.

“When should this water boil, when should I give this fellow a bath, when should he go to sleep, when shoul my leaves be over, when should my work come to an end, when should I get to the company, she started feeling pensive, picked up the basket of leaves, scissors, and the bundles of leaves and sat with tehm before the stove for cutting the leaves.

“One task would get over if I give him a bath and make him sleep. All the clothes of the children are soiled. If I give them to the washer woman she would spoil them. Even after her washing the clothes remain dirty. “He’ has only two shirts. One on the person is also soiled. I have to wash his shirt also, so thinking again she got up from the leaves and put the clothes in the water. She washed the underpants and the vest that the husband left after bath in the morning and laid them to dry, then she with the leaves.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Are Veins Blue?

Wrong. Blood is never blue. Ever. Period. (And, this is an excellent example of why you should never ingest information from Yahoo Answers uncritically.)
The bright red color of arterial blood stems from a complex that’s formed between hemoglobin, iron, and molecular oxygen. This complex mainly absorbs higher energy (shorter wavelength) blue and green light, leaving behind primarily just red wavelengths for our eyes to detect. However, even when blood is largely depleted of oxygen, it is never blue: it’s more of a deep maroon color. And, although I have not participated in a surgery myself, those who have (including my girlfriend, a veterinary student) assure me that in surgery, veins within the body do not appear blue either. So, not only is blood not blue, veins on their own aren’t either. “Blue veins”, then, are a phenomenon unique to the skin.
So, what’s going on here?
The most comprehensive answer that I’ve been able to find comes from a paper by Kienle et al. published over twelve years ago in the journal Applied Optics and entitled “Why do veins appear blue? A new look at an old question”. Based on the findings of the authors, three reasons emerge for the blue appearance of veins in skin. The first two are physical and stem directly from the way in which light interacts with blood (how it is absorbed) and with skin (in this case, how light is reflected). The final reason is psychological, dealing with the way in which our brain processes information relatively to generate color perception. (Greg Laden sort of hinted at some of this recently on his blog).
Since the paper in question is a study in optics, it is way outside of my area of expertise. So, just in case you wanted an in depth technical critique of its methodology, you’re not going to find it here. However, I can give you a basic summary of the paper’s major findings. And then, if you still have the desire (and the ability) to explore the subject in greater depth, you can parse through the paper yourself.
To tackle this problem, the authors measured how much light of various wavelengths was reflected from both real blood vessels in skin and imitation vessels in a skin-like environment, using a sophisticated technique that gave them spatially-resolved measurements. The synthetic vessel (which was a capillary tube filled with blood and placed in a milky substance with optical properties similar to skin) allowed the authors to experiment with a variety of parameters (particularly vessel depth and diameter), and they were then able to validate their results by taking measurements on actual vessels in skin. Using this set-up, they were able to demonstrate that the optical properties of skin and blood (combined with the influence of relative color perception) explain why veins in skin appear blue, despite not actually being blue.
Skin does not absorb much light at any wavelength, making it look white (depending on how much melanin is present, of course–making this discussion only really relevant to people with lighter skin). Blood, on the other hand, absorbs light of all wavelengths (but less in the red part of the spectrum). However, blue light does not penetrate the skin as well as red light. If a vessel is near the surface of the skin, almost all blue light is absorbed by the vessel, so even though only about 1/4 of the red light is reflected, the ratio of red light reflected to blue light reflected is about 10:1. This vessel appears red.
If the vessel is deeper (about 0.5 mm or more), not as much blue or red light will be absorbed. Importantly, this effect will be more pronounced on blue light than on red light since blue light doesn’t penetrate skin very well (the ratio of red light reflected to blue light reflected is about 3:2 or less). This is the case for the “blue veins” observed in skin. Once the vessel is deep enough, though, it won’t be seen at all, as light of all wavelengths will be reflected before it can interact with the blood.
Perplexingly, this 0.5-mm-deep vessel appears blue despite reflecting slightly more red light than blue light. This is where relative color perception comes into play. The surrounding skin reflects more red light than blue light (by a ratio of about 5:3), and it does not absorb as much of either type of light as a blood vessel does. Since vision is influenced in part by relative perception, if something purple is placed next to something red, the purple object will appear blue.
None of this, however, addresses the question of why veins specifically appear blue. To answer this one, I can fortunately once again rely on the expertise of Meredith, my vet student girlfriend. The reason why only veins appear blue is that veins are the only vessels we actually observe through the skin. This is due to the fact that veins are larger, have thinner walls, and are more superficial than arteries (and, no, I don’t meant that veins prefer People or Us Weekly over The New Yorker–“superficial” is just medical speak for closer to the surface). All of these aspects of veins have clear biological rationales. Beyond just carrying blood back to the heart, the primary function of the venous system is as a blood reservoir. In fact, about two-thirds of your blood volume is held in your veins at any given time, hence their larger size. Because the heart has to push blood directly through arteries, their walls are subject to higher pressures than the walls of veins, so they need to be thicker. Finally, veins are located closer to the surface of the skin, because they also play an important role in heat exchange with the outside environment (to help cool the body). Arteries could perform this function just as well, but it’s much more advantageous to keep those higher pressure blood conduits deeper in the body and protected from injury.
The take-home message here is that the bluish appearance of veins in the skin has everything to do with where they are located, and nothing to do with the concentration of oxygen within them. In fact, if we could see them through the skin as well, even arteries would look blue.

A Query - An answer - Poem by Zimbo

A Query – An answer

‘Two bungalows
Four cars
In city a house
Four flats
Bank balance
Ten debit cards
This, my friend! is
My progress of thirty years
How about you’

Quizzically he looked
Towards me

What is there!
A few hundred poems
Tens of stories
Another few hundreds of articles
Bundle of diaries
In them
Lines and letters
Word pictures
Life depictions and more life sketches
Sound and echoes
Hyperboles, similes
Few more lecture notes

Is my property
Our two children
That is my life
Not just that my friend
A table, a chair
Basketful fruits
A flute to play

More than that
What else

Is needed, tell me

A Telugu poem by Zimbo, translated by Vijayagopal

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Deepavali and the difference

Two images of the same lamps!
See the difference!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vidwan Viswam - Poem

It is hundred years since this genius is born.
Here is his poetry published in 1954.

Lives are not vessels made of stone.
They are full blown flowers that would shed petals with even a whiff of wind.
They cannot turn into dice and roll, says the poet here in one of the quartets.
What profound thoughts!

Rip it and look into your mind
Burn the meanness,
get into a beautiful boat and go
You are your own pointer!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

బీభత్స, వినోదాల మధ్యనే కదా జీవితం!

An article I wrote long back.

జీవితం కష్టసుఖాలు కలగలసిన కాలక్రమం. మనుషులుగా మనం మాత్రం ప్రతినిత్యం ఈ సత్యాన్ని మరిచిపోవాలని ప్రయత్నం చేస్తుంటాం. కానీ ప్రకృతి మాత్రం తన ప్రకృతిని ప్రదర్శిస్తూనే ఉంటుంది. ‘‘ఈ ప్రకృతిని పూర్తిగా అర్థం చేసుకోవడం, అనుభవించడం వీలుగాదు’’ అన్నాడు డేవిడ్‌ థోరో. అలా అనుకోవడం తప్పులాగుంది. అందుకే ప్రకృతి తన తీరును మన ముందు ఉంచుతూ ఉంటుంది.

భూమి రకరకాలుగా మారి ఈనాటి రూపం పొందింది. దానిమీద వాతావరణం తయారయింది. నిప్పుదొరికి మన బతుకులను మార్చేసింది. నీరు మన ఉనికికే ఆధారంగా నిలబడి ఉంది. ఇలా మనల్ని, అంటే మానవజాతిని ముందుకు నడుపుతున్న ఈ శక్తులే ఒక్కోసారి మనల్ని ఉక్కిరిబిక్కిరి చేస్తాయి. భూమి, దాన్ని ఆవరించుకుని ఉన్న తత్వాలు ఇలా విలయతాండవం చేసినప్పుడు మనుషులు ఒకసారి విస్తుపోయి ‘‘అవునుగదా!’’ అనుకుంటారు.

చరిత్రలో, కథల్లో, సాహిత్యంలో వైపరీత్యాల గురించి లెక్కలేనన్ని విశేషాలున్నాయి. అయినా అవన్నీ ఒకక్షణం పక్కన బెట్టి మనమంతా సరదాగా, మరో రోజు గురించి, సంవత్సరం గురించి ఆలోచిస్తాం. అది సహజం. జీవితంలోని ఈ నాటకీయత, ఈ సంబరాలు, భయాలు అన్నీ కలిస్తేనే అది అసలు సిసలయిన సత్యమవుతుంది.

చావు తప్పదు. అయినా దాన్ని గురించి ఆలోచించడమే తప్పనుకుంటాం. అపాయాలు, ఆపదలు తప్పవు. అయినా వాటి గురించి అనుకోకుండా ఉండడం అలావాటు చేసుకుంటాం.

గుజరాత్‌లో పొద్దున్నే జెండాకు దండం పెట్టడానికి బయలుదేరిన ఎంతోమంది పిల్లలు ఇంటికి తిరిగి రాలేదు. రావడానికి ఇల్లూ మిగలలేదు. వాళ్ళూ మిగలలేదు. జెండా పుణ్యమా అని కొందరు బ్రతికి బయటపడినవారు ఉన్నారు. ఇళ్ళు మాత్రం ఇసకలో కట్టిన పిచికగూళ్ళలా కుప్పకూలాయి.

టీవీలో మధ్యాహ్నం దాకా సంబరాలు చూసినవారు, ఆ తర్వాత సర్వనాశనమయిన పట్టణాలను, బతుకులనూ చూశారు. అప్పటిదాకా దేశభక్తి, క్రమశిక్షణలతో ఉప్పొంగిన గుండెలు, ఒక్కసారిగా బరువెక్కాయి. అందరి మనసుల్లోనూ ఒకటే భావం! ఆ కూలిన ఇంటి ముందు నిలబడి, దిగులుగా చూసే పరిస్థితి నాకే వచ్చి ఉంటే? గుండె మరింత బరువవుతుంది.

ఆపదలు చెప్పిరావు, ప్రకృతి వైపరీత్యాలు అర్థం కావు. మానవులంతా బతుకుదెరువు పేరుతో అపాయాల్లోకి నడిచివస్తున్నారు. అందరూ ఒకే చోట గుమికూడుతున్నారు. గుజరాత్‌ భూకంపం మరీ పెద్దది. అందుకే పల్లెల్ని కూడా అది నేలమట్టం చేసింది. గుడిసె, చిన్న ఇల్లు కూలితే అందులో ప్రమాదం తక్కువ. అందులో చిక్కుకున్న వాళ్ళను రక్షించడమూ సులభం! ఆరేడు అంతస్తులుగా ఇళ్ళు కట్టుకుని నగరాల్లో బ్రతుకుతున్నవారే ఈ భూకంపంలో ఎక్కువగా మరణించారు, నష్టపోయారన్నది మాత్రం నిజం.
మన దేశంలో రాజధానితో సహా ఎన్నో నగరాలు, భూకంపాలకు గురయ్యే అవకాశం ఉందని తెలుసు. తుపానులు, వరదలు మొదలయిన బీభత్సాలకు నగరాలు, జనావాసాలు గురవుతూనే ఉన్నాయి. అలాగని అందరూ ఆయా ప్రాంతాలను వదిలి వెళ్ళిపోతున్నారా? కనీసం భయపడుతున్నారా?

ఇక్కడ నష్టం జరిగే వీలుందని తెలిసి కూడా, చింతించకుండా ఉండిపోవడం రెండు కారణాల వల్ల జరుగుతుంది. ఒకటి, తప్పని పరిస్థితుల్లో, అంతకంటే మంచి అవకాశం లేకుంటే అక్కడే ఉండడం మంచిది. అపాయం వచ్చిననాడు చూడవచ్చు! రెండవది, ఒక రకమయిన మొరటుబారిన బ్రతుకుతీరు. ‘‘మనకు గతం మంచి పాఠాలు నేర్చుకునే అలవాటులేదు’’ అంటారు గోల్డెన్‌.
ప్రమాదం జరిగితే వెంటనే పుట్టే ప్రశ్న ‘‘ఎందుకిలా జరిగిందీ?’’ అని. వైజ్ఞానికులు చాలా రకాల ప్రమాదాలకు కారణాలు చెప్పగలుగుతున్నారు. కొన్నింటిని ముందుగా సూచించగలుగుతున్నారు కూడా!

ఒకప్పుడు ప్రమాదాలు జరిగితే, వివరాలు అంతగా తెలిసేవి కావు. సమాచారప్రసార సాధనాలు బాగా పరిణతి చెందిన ఈ రోజుల్లో ప్రమాదం తాలూకు వివరాలు క్షణాల మీద మన ముందు దర్శనమిస్తున్నాయి. ఒక్క క్షణం విస్తుపోయినా దూరం నుంచి చూసిన వారు మళ్ళీ రోజువారీ కార్యక్రమంలో మునిగిపోతారు. వార్తల ఛానల్స్‌ భూకంపం భీభత్సాన్ని చూపుతుంటే, మిగతా ఛానల్స్‌ వినోదాన్ని చేటలతో చెరుగుతూనే ఉన్నాయి. జీవితమూ అంతే! మనం, మనవారు కానంతవరకు ఫర్వాలేదు. అయితే ప్రమాదంలో తీవ్రంగా నష్టపోయిన వారికి మాత్రం, వెంటనే కొంత, తర్వాత మరికొంత, శాశ్వత ప్రాతిపదిక మీద ఇంకొంత సాయం అవసరం.

పట్టించుకోనివారు ఉన్నట్లే, చేతనయినంత సాయం చేసేవారు కూడా ఉండడం గమనించదగింది. కాలం గడిస్తే 26 జనవరి భూకంపం చరిత్ర అవుతుంది. కొందరికి మాత్రం అది వ్యక్తి చరిత్రలో భాగమవుతుంది. వారి కోసం మనమేమి చేయగలం?

Telugu Ratham - Nalinimohan

I spoke about Dr Nalinimohan in a meeting conducted by Telugu Ratham on 20th Oct 2014.
The honored speakers who spoke before me are Dr Sivaprasad, Dr Sundara Ramakrishna, Sri Sannidhanam Narasimha Sharma and Sri Sudhama. They spoke about Sripada, Divakarla and P T Reddy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Theory

Did I share it already?
Even then, it is worth a revisit!