Saturday, 1 December 2012

Prabuddha VIII

This is the eighth part of the translation of Mahagama Sekera's epic poem 'Prabuddha', an exercise that has the permission and blessings of the immediate family of Mahagama Sekera. Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII were published in
From that moment
he was one of them
from that moment
he too danced with them
in tune and in step
in perfect harmony.

It was the festival of intoxication:
floating in alcoholic stupor
lost in lust
high on power greed
high on money need.

And the lecherous eye
cast its inevitable glance
not on his incomparable voice
but its profit potential. 

From then on
he mixed sweetner into love
stirred it up into lust
poured his voice
and let it sit
trapped in the circularity  
of music record.

They were sold in the thousands
these intoxicating discs
his voice swirled in city mansions
echoed among splendid furniture
wafted from balconies.
His voice descended from up above
wandered from avenue to road to pathways
city to town to village
into the ears of impressionable youth;
and they began wearing bellbottoms
wrapped around themselves large, wide belts,
gathered in street corner and junction
danced the twist
sang with him
‘‘The time it is a-passing
to freeze it all,
hold it tight
this is it,
fun, fun, fun!’

The voice that went away like wind
came back as shining silver rupee coins.


  1. Mr. Mahagma Sekara i think has tried to view life through the characters he has met via 'Prabuddha' and also he has provided us a good comparison about'the differences- societal and psychological that people holds their within. and you have added 'some poetry in to his ideas by translating his version and sharing them with your readers i am sure and i believe that you have not harmed the core idea of his life understanding.

    all the best for the future translations writing - all 'poetry' type.

  2. Sandika, I beg t differ. I like Malinda, a guy like me, but he should have left this work for his dad. Translation seriously erodes the quality and essentially squeezes out the wealth and depth of the masterful writing of that colossal figure. If he wins any accolade, that would not be for his translation, but for the thoughts of the original writer.

  3. not looking for accolades. and i won't submit this for publication until my father and others who are qualified to critique have read it and commented. my father would have done a better job, i agree.