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Beware The Cows are Coming
Beware The Cows are Coming
Description

About the Book

 

Beware! The Cows Are Coming! (Govulostunnayi Jagratta), a novella published in 1973, concludes a series of stories entitled Rukkulu that Raavi Sastry wrote in response to a poem of the same name by Sri Sri. He seeks to prove Sri Sri’s dictum that no subject is too insignificant for literature. Set between the Bolshevik Revolution and the independence of India, the novella tells the story of an ordinary woman’s rebellion against her sexual exploitation by a landlord and the injustice done to her son. The narrative is interesting in terms of its story-telling technique, especially its potential for subversion of the narrator’s voice.

 

About the Author

 

Rachakonda Viswanathasastry (1922-1993), popularly known as Raavi Sas try, is best known for his Aaru Saaraa Kathalu, a short story collection, and his novel Alpajeevi. As a writer and as a lawyer by profession Raavi Sastry worked for the underdog. His play Nijam was instrumental in bringing about a change in the laws relating to rape. He was first associated with Arasam (Progressive Writers, Association) and later with Virasam (Revolutionary Writers Association).

 

Translator’s Note

 

“THOUGH I USED to go about holding the papers on which I had written, saying, ‘Nobody should ever read my story. I won’t give it to anyone,’ I distinctly remember even now that I had wished then that it would be good if members of my family pulled out those papers by force and read them” (“Enduku Rasenu,” Kathalakonda Rachakonda: Raavi Sastry Visesha Sanchika, Hyderabad: Raavi Sas try Smaraka Sahitya Trust, n.d., 10). Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry said these words in 1965. It is no wonder then that a few years later Raavi Sas try, as he is known to all Telugu readers, should begin his novella, Govulostunnayi jagratta like this: “(‘The poor should not read this book. If they do, they will be liable for punishment. ‘-Kireetirao)” After such an injunction, how can you resist the temptation to read!

 

But resist you must, at least temporarily! For you must know something about Raavi Sastry (1922-1993) and some background to this book. Sri Sri wrote a poem entitled “Rukkulu” (“Verses”) wherein he argues that from a puppy to a horse’s bridle, anything could be the proper subject of poetry (literature). Taking cue from this poem, Raavi Sastry wrote eight short stories on eight of the subjects listed by Sri Sri and concluded the series with this long short story or novella, The Story of Maridi Mahalakshmi Known as the Horse’s Bridle or Beware, the Cows are Coming! (1973).

 

Apart from Rukkulu, Raavi Sastry wrote six other collections of short stories, seven novels and three plays. “Pipeelikam” (“Ant”) is one of his best short stories written in an allegorical mode in which he proves that real knowledge for an ant, the main character, lies in its knowing its place in the exploitative system, its identifying the snake as its enemyand its attempting to overthrow it. Today, when there is a lot of discussion on the crossing of generic boundaries, it is interesting to note that Raavi Sas try wrote an entire short story, “Viluvalu” (-”Values”) as early as 1949-1950 in the form of a poem.

 

Alpajeevi is the most well-known of his novels. It was written in the stream of consciousness mode. [Alpajeevi (A Man of No Consequence) translated by A. (DJ Men and Gold) Janakiram and Moodu Kathala Bangaram translated by C. Ramakrishnaiah have both been published by the Writers Workshop, Calcutta.] His play Nijam is said to have been responsible for a change in the law relating to rape. The play argues that when a woman is raped the burden of proving the crime should not be on her and that the accused man ought to prove his innocence.

 

Starting his career with romantic stories, Raavi Sastry turned his attention to recording the lives of people in the lowest rungs of society, of people who have been forced to become thieves, gangsters and criminals. The stories are only an excuse for him to expose the corruption of the social, political and legal system, which creates and sustains the underworld.

 

Now a word about Raavi Sastry’s style. Story-telling comes very naturally to him. In his oral mode of retelling a story, one description leads on to another and with the generous sprinkling of similes each sentence turns out in the end to be much more complex. All that is fine in the source language. How to re-present this in English? We have made an attempt not to break the sentences and to keep as close to the Telugu text as we could in our translation. For, how else could we have preserved the complexity of Raavi Sastry’s style? For instance, there is word-play in the source text. The protagonist, Kireeti Rao’s uncle is Rajayogi pedanyanagaru. His name oscillates, depending on the context, between conveying his ascetic (Rajayogi) pose and his pleasure-loving (Rajabhogi) nature. The honorific garu which is appended to his name is contrasted with the ending, gadu, in the names of Godasu and Satyamurthy, to indicate either the class status of the characters or the attitude of the speaker towards the characters. The names have been retained exactly as they appear in the source text. To cite one more instance of word play. The word, Rangam, suggests not just the name of Lachchayyamma’s cousin, but Rangoon and the scene of the battle, though for the sake of clarity, we had to sacrifice this pun in the translation. Sometimes, a series of long sentences is followed by short, cryptic sentences. We have attempted to retain this stylistic device in the translation. We have had to however sacrifice the flavour of Raavi Sastry’s characteristic use of the North coastal Andhra dialect in our translation.

 

This novella was written with the social conditions in the Telugu society between the Bolshevik Revolution and the struggle for independence in India as the background. The role of the landlords in the freedom movement and their relationship with the British come up for close scrutiny, even as they remain as the backdrop to the struggle of the poor Lachchayyamma to claim the rights of her son by the landlord, Rajayogi pedanayanagaru.

 

We have found the experience of translating this novella both challenging and rewarding. We thank Dr. S. Carlos, the Director of the Centre for Translation, Sahitya Akademi, Bangalore for his co-operation. We thank Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for giving us the opportunity to translate this text. We cannot adequately thank all those who have encouraged us at every stage and those who have read through our earlier drafts and offered valuable suggestions.

Beware The Cows are Coming

Item Code:
NAI330
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2003
ISBN:
9798126011734
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5 inch
Pages:
200
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 255 gms
Price:
$15.00   Shipping Free
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About the Book

 

Beware! The Cows Are Coming! (Govulostunnayi Jagratta), a novella published in 1973, concludes a series of stories entitled Rukkulu that Raavi Sastry wrote in response to a poem of the same name by Sri Sri. He seeks to prove Sri Sri’s dictum that no subject is too insignificant for literature. Set between the Bolshevik Revolution and the independence of India, the novella tells the story of an ordinary woman’s rebellion against her sexual exploitation by a landlord and the injustice done to her son. The narrative is interesting in terms of its story-telling technique, especially its potential for subversion of the narrator’s voice.

 

About the Author

 

Rachakonda Viswanathasastry (1922-1993), popularly known as Raavi Sas try, is best known for his Aaru Saaraa Kathalu, a short story collection, and his novel Alpajeevi. As a writer and as a lawyer by profession Raavi Sastry worked for the underdog. His play Nijam was instrumental in bringing about a change in the laws relating to rape. He was first associated with Arasam (Progressive Writers, Association) and later with Virasam (Revolutionary Writers Association).

 

Translator’s Note

 

“THOUGH I USED to go about holding the papers on which I had written, saying, ‘Nobody should ever read my story. I won’t give it to anyone,’ I distinctly remember even now that I had wished then that it would be good if members of my family pulled out those papers by force and read them” (“Enduku Rasenu,” Kathalakonda Rachakonda: Raavi Sastry Visesha Sanchika, Hyderabad: Raavi Sas try Smaraka Sahitya Trust, n.d., 10). Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry said these words in 1965. It is no wonder then that a few years later Raavi Sas try, as he is known to all Telugu readers, should begin his novella, Govulostunnayi jagratta like this: “(‘The poor should not read this book. If they do, they will be liable for punishment. ‘-Kireetirao)” After such an injunction, how can you resist the temptation to read!

 

But resist you must, at least temporarily! For you must know something about Raavi Sastry (1922-1993) and some background to this book. Sri Sri wrote a poem entitled “Rukkulu” (“Verses”) wherein he argues that from a puppy to a horse’s bridle, anything could be the proper subject of poetry (literature). Taking cue from this poem, Raavi Sastry wrote eight short stories on eight of the subjects listed by Sri Sri and concluded the series with this long short story or novella, The Story of Maridi Mahalakshmi Known as the Horse’s Bridle or Beware, the Cows are Coming! (1973).

 

Apart from Rukkulu, Raavi Sastry wrote six other collections of short stories, seven novels and three plays. “Pipeelikam” (“Ant”) is one of his best short stories written in an allegorical mode in which he proves that real knowledge for an ant, the main character, lies in its knowing its place in the exploitative system, its identifying the snake as its enemyand its attempting to overthrow it. Today, when there is a lot of discussion on the crossing of generic boundaries, it is interesting to note that Raavi Sas try wrote an entire short story, “Viluvalu” (-”Values”) as early as 1949-1950 in the form of a poem.

 

Alpajeevi is the most well-known of his novels. It was written in the stream of consciousness mode. [Alpajeevi (A Man of No Consequence) translated by A. (DJ Men and Gold) Janakiram and Moodu Kathala Bangaram translated by C. Ramakrishnaiah have both been published by the Writers Workshop, Calcutta.] His play Nijam is said to have been responsible for a change in the law relating to rape. The play argues that when a woman is raped the burden of proving the crime should not be on her and that the accused man ought to prove his innocence.

 

Starting his career with romantic stories, Raavi Sastry turned his attention to recording the lives of people in the lowest rungs of society, of people who have been forced to become thieves, gangsters and criminals. The stories are only an excuse for him to expose the corruption of the social, political and legal system, which creates and sustains the underworld.

 

Now a word about Raavi Sastry’s style. Story-telling comes very naturally to him. In his oral mode of retelling a story, one description leads on to another and with the generous sprinkling of similes each sentence turns out in the end to be much more complex. All that is fine in the source language. How to re-present this in English? We have made an attempt not to break the sentences and to keep as close to the Telugu text as we could in our translation. For, how else could we have preserved the complexity of Raavi Sastry’s style? For instance, there is word-play in the source text. The protagonist, Kireeti Rao’s uncle is Rajayogi pedanyanagaru. His name oscillates, depending on the context, between conveying his ascetic (Rajayogi) pose and his pleasure-loving (Rajabhogi) nature. The honorific garu which is appended to his name is contrasted with the ending, gadu, in the names of Godasu and Satyamurthy, to indicate either the class status of the characters or the attitude of the speaker towards the characters. The names have been retained exactly as they appear in the source text. To cite one more instance of word play. The word, Rangam, suggests not just the name of Lachchayyamma’s cousin, but Rangoon and the scene of the battle, though for the sake of clarity, we had to sacrifice this pun in the translation. Sometimes, a series of long sentences is followed by short, cryptic sentences. We have attempted to retain this stylistic device in the translation. We have had to however sacrifice the flavour of Raavi Sastry’s characteristic use of the North coastal Andhra dialect in our translation.

 

This novella was written with the social conditions in the Telugu society between the Bolshevik Revolution and the struggle for independence in India as the background. The role of the landlords in the freedom movement and their relationship with the British come up for close scrutiny, even as they remain as the backdrop to the struggle of the poor Lachchayyamma to claim the rights of her son by the landlord, Rajayogi pedanayanagaru.

 

We have found the experience of translating this novella both challenging and rewarding. We thank Dr. S. Carlos, the Director of the Centre for Translation, Sahitya Akademi, Bangalore for his co-operation. We thank Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for giving us the opportunity to translate this text. We cannot adequately thank all those who have encouraged us at every stage and those who have read through our earlier drafts and offered valuable suggestions.

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