Sugatha Kumary Poems (Translations from Malayalam)

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1. Krishna, You Know Me Not /Krishna Nee Enne Ariyilla :
 By Sugata Kumari

Here in the corner of Ambady
Inside my small mud hut, I reside
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Clad in colourful skirts, anklets tinkling
With a shiny pot at my shapely waist
Black kohl of desire in my eyes,
I have never been to your side.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Half covered by the flirtatious Kalindi,
Eyes cast down shyly, body trembling,
I have never sought my clothes from you,
With my hands outstretched.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Inside the dark forests as your flute beckons
Dressing half -a-done, ignoring the boiling milk
Incomplete house hold chores, regardless of my
Robes slipping, hair undone, not seeing my crying
The raised eyebrows of my spouse,

I have never come running with my friends

To be with you.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

I listened as their anklets’ sounds faded afar-
Then with eyes cast down, always returned
To my work, chaining my life down within;
With a thousand little chores.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

When you shone like the full moon
Sensuous dancing gopikas all around you,
As the flute turns naughty and then maddening
Anklets burst out laughing, bangles around shapely

Flashing rainbow colours, golden bodies swaying
Dresses undulating, but I have never danced thus with
my hair all afire!
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Exhausted by the dance, body drenched in sweet sweat,
Resting myself against the flowering tree-
Bosom heaving with desire,
I have never stared at your enchanting face.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Never has any wily girl friend passed on
My lovelorn message to your ears.
Never have I waited for your approaching footsteps
Within a white flowered arbor, within the deep woods.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

As a hundred white flowers bloomed
Spreading intoxication in the moonlight,
I have never rested my eager head
Against that manly, blue chest.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

When your flute melodiously announced
The arrival of spring,
Locking myself within my home,
I offered my soul at your feet,
Shedding tears of joy, unknown to anyone.
Krishna, You Know Me Not.

Gokul resounds with heart rending cries!
Akroor has arrived to take away
Krishna to Mathura, they shout!
Struck dumb, motionless as I sit outside my house
Horse hooves approach, a chariot nearing.
As I raise my eyes…
You, radiate like the full moon night
Inside the King’s chariot.
Women cry from behind, cows and calves run alongside,
You look back, with anguished, reddened eyes .

As I freeze like a cold stone sculpture,
Though you know me not Krishna,
Your chariot stops for one moment before me.

You look at me, tears filling your eyes to the brim.
A compassionate smile, so divine from your lips for
Krishna, do you know me after all?
Krishna! did you know me all the while?

2. Samana Hridaya, Ninakayi Padunnen ( For you, Equal Hearted One, I sing)

I know, somewhere unknown to me
You dwell, oh equal hearted one.
I sing for you
You wait for my song,
Pained, when it is still.

You object, ” You do not write now-a-days”
You find my words familiar,
These are the lines I should have written
You tell me softly.
Your get teary eyed, at what wets mine.
Children’s faces, a tied up  bird,
A limping little puppy,
The old face staring, sightless
Love which smiles simply at each other;
The disappearing twilight, saffron clad, young
The two garlands of rose petals, blackened by webs
Hanging inside a bedroom, on a nail of memory.
A song that eases, a pain in the heart, without reason;
A tender hand stretching, fearsome, skinny-
These that create tears in my eyes, make yours glisten too.
You lift your eyes wide, when my wings flutter.
You hum an old line, written by my pen.
Though you do not know my face, you know my spirit.
Thus, far away from me, you
Equal hearted one, you live.
When I think of you, my throat clears again.
My life is not in vain, my friend,
When I sing for you.
My song is not in vain, my friend’
When you hum along with it.

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