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Gold Nuggets (Selected Post-Independence Telugu Short Stories)

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Item Code: NAE652
Author: Bh. Krishnamurti And C. Vijayashree
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 9798126019303
Pages: 491
Cover: paperback
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 690 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

This collection of post-independence Telugu short stories reflects all the major trends and thematic concerns of the Telugu short stories of the post-independence period. The Telugu short story right from its inception in 1910 has demonstrated its serious engagement with social issues and is imbued with a strong sense of social awareness and responsiveness. The post-Indepenence Telugu short story continued this tradition in terms of its theamatic preoccupations. The selection comes from different regions of Andhra Pradesh: Andhra ( Costal Districts), Rayalaseema and Telangana and record with rare sensitivity the specificites of the sub-cultures of these regions. The stories trace the impact of all the important socio-political movements that have swept across the telugu land in the post-independence era: socialism communism, feminism, civil right movement and the dalit movement. The lives of Telugu people, urban and rural upper middle class, middle class and the downtrodden, professionals and beggars-are represented in a rich mosaic of differences.

About the Author

Bh. Krishnamurti, individually acclaimed linguist and scholar has more than twenty publications in the areas of Indian Languages, grammar, education and society. Retired as Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad University, he has been a visiting professor of linguistics in various universities in the USA.

C. Vijayashree, A critic and translator has published widely in the area of post-colonial literatures. She is presently teaching English in Osmania University in Hyderabad.


This is a collection of short stories mainly selected from bangaaru kathalu (Golden Stories), the best of 60 post-independence short stories compiled and edited by Vakati Pandurangarao and Vedagiri Rambabu after a three-day workshop in January 1997 in Hyderabad, followed by much exercise for final filtering. Though the volume was published in 2001, it was the result of extended celebration of the Golden Jubilee of India's Independence. We conducted a workshop of translators during October 10-12, in which each translator read two stories assigned to him or her in English translation and the discussion that followed the presentations was found very useful and constructive. After the workshop we received the final versions of translations in a month's time. Editing and preparing the press-copy took us over six months. The stories outside the above anthology are 'mugguru biccagaaLLu' (Three Beggars) by Viswantha Satyanarayana, 'proddu caalani mani Si' (All Day with wis'wapati) by Madhurantakam Rajaram, 'jiiwadhaara' (Life-Stream) by Kalipatnam Ramarao.

We are grateful to all the translators who participated in the workshop and produced excellent English translation of the stories assigned to them. We thank Viswanatha Pavani Sastry and Madhurantakam Narendra for giving us the copyright to include the translations of 'mugguru biccagaaLLu' and 'proddu caalani mani Si', respectively. Our thanks are due to the authorities of the Sahitya Akademi for approving this project, and mainly to its Secretary, Professor K. Satchidanandan, the Regional Deputy Secretary, Sri A. Krishna Murthy and their staff for their cordiality and cooperation in successfully implementing the project. During the printing of the final copy, Krishnamurti had spent two months at Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany; it was the facilities of the Institute that enabled communication between the editors and the press. We thank the Institute authorities for making this possible. Nutan Art Printers have prepared the master copy for printing. The management and staff of the press deserve our appreciation for their help and cooperation.

We hope that these stories will now find their way into the other Indian languages by translators who need to translate them with the help of a bridge language.


The Telegu short story has come of age. With nearly a hundred years of history behind it, the short story is one of the most flourishing and dynamic genres in modem Telugu literature. It owes its origin to Gurajada Apparao's 'diddubaa'Tu' published in 1911. Apparao (1861-1915), considered the father of modem Telugu literature, used literature as an instrument of social reform and change. The potential of the short story form to address various issues without the metrical constraints of the verse form or the diffusion of the novel form attracted a number of able practitioners. Among the pioneers of the Telugu short story, Chinta Deekshitulu, Veluri Sivarama Sastry, Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry, Kodavatiganti Kutumbarao, Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Munimanikyam Narsimha Rao, and Chalam figure prominently.

By the 1950s, Telugu short story acquired technical sophistication and international recognition. Palagummi Padmaraju's 'gaaliwaana' (The Hurricane) won the second prize in an international competition held by the New York Herald Tribune in 1952. Puranam Subrahmanya Sarma's 'niili' won the first prize in the Telugu section of the 1953 version of this competition. Such achievements indicate that the gains of the early period had now been consolidated. The phenomenal expansion of the weeklies and the dailies in Telugu, which were competing to pay cash prizes for the best stories published in their columns, led to many gifted writers to come to light. With the foreign rule gone, the writers concentrated on internal problems of the diverse Indian society. Middleclass themes like the retirement blues, social evils like the dowry system and child marriage, the exploitation of the poor by the moneyed class, the oppressive practice of untouchability and others kinds of caste discrimination, corruption, drought, famine, the movement of rural population to urban areas, and discrimination against women- offered a great wealth and variety of topics for the short stories by gifted creative writers. A modern standard variety of Telugu had gradually evolved and become the medium of writing prose. When it was first exemplified in the writings of Gurajada Apparao and Gidugu Ramamurthy at the beginning of the twentieth century, there was great resistance from traditional pundits.

A number of anthologies of Telugu short stories have been published. The Central Sahitya Akademi has published four anthologies of short stories: Tallavajjhula Sivasankara Swami (ed.) andhrakathaamanjuuSa (The Treasure of Telugu Short Stories) (1958), D. Ramalingam (ed.), telugukatha (The Telugu Short Story), 1988, D. Ramalingam (ed.) okataram telugukatha (The Telugu Short Story of One Generation), V. Pandurangarao and V. Rambabu (eds.), bangaaru kathalu (Stories of Gold) 2001, published to commemorate the Golden jubilee of India's independence.

Gold Nuggets is largely based on bangaaru kathalu and so called to suggest its links to the original and preserve the significance of the occasion of its origin - the Golden jubilee of India's independence. Twenty-eight stories selected from this anthology have been translated by fifteen translators at a Workshop organized by the Sahitya Akademi in October 2002. Three stories, which are not a part of this anthology but are by major writers- Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Kalipatnam Rama Rao and Madhurantakam Rajaram are added since any anthology of Telugu short stories would be incomplete without the work of these trend- setters in the field. The stories in the original volume by these authors had to be replaced since the English translations of those stories were already available in print.

We are confident that this anthology reflects all the major trends and thematic concerns of the Telugu short story during the period under consideration. These stories come from different regions of Andhra Pradesh: Andhra (coastal districts), Rayalaseerna and Telangana and record with a rare sensitivity the specificities of sub-cultures in these regions. They trace the impact of all the important socio-political movements that have swept across the Telugu land in the post-independence era: socialism, communism, feminism, civil rights movement and dalit movement. The lives of the Telugu people, urban and rural; upper middle class, middle class and the downtrodden; professionals and beggars - are represented in a rich mosaic of differences here.

The Telugu short story, right from its inception in 1910, has demonstrated a serious engagement with social issues and is imbued with a strong sense of social awareness and responsiveness. Post- independence Telugu short story continued this tradition in terms of its thematic preoccupations. One important trend that emerges here is the celebration of the power of the 'small man'. A number of stories in this collection mark the victory of the victim and the emancipation of the exploited. Collective action is suggested as the key to liberation: 'amballabaNDa', 'Ants', 'The Village Well', 'Moonlight in the Forest', 'The Beggar's Flag', 'Flood' exemplify this trend. The writers visualize the fulfillment of their dream of an egalitarian society by empowering the lowly and the hitherto exploited sections of the society. Land emerges as an important metaphor and is shown as a vital bond that determines the identity of an individual in stories such as 'The Trusted Land' and 'The Earth Bound Heart'. The complex inner life of an average person is powerfully portrayed in the psychological stories that probe the depths of human thought, emotion and experience. 'Money', 'Water', 'Dear Mind! Don't get too...', and 'Lead Us into Light' belong to this category. Stories such as 'The Choice', 'The Boat Moves on', 'Three Beggars' represent the alternative ethical and moral order prevalent in the lives of those who live on the margins of the so-called civilized society. Man-woman relationship and the validity of marriage as an institution come in for scrutiny in 'Love and Life', 'Agony', and 'Shreds of Paper' and 'Shards of Glass'. Stories dealing with urban life critique the corruption and failure of the administrative systems in the independent nation state: 'Salvation', 'A Vision of Falling Trees', and 'Five Stars at the End' represent this trend. Those set in rural locale focus on the village politics and the collapse of traditional social ties and familial bonds. They represent how new forms of exploitation have replaced the old ones in the villages. The writers lash out at the corrupt politics through the locale of the village, which represents a microcosmic view of the situation at the centre. On the whole, the post-independence Telugu short story has remained firmly entrenched in the contemporary socio-cultural ethos addressing the here and now.

The fictional mode employed is realism and the characters portrayed are no heroes or heroines but men and women we encounter in everyday life. The heroes when they do appear come from the exploited and marginalized sections and their heroism lies in their courage to break the shackles of enslavement and consolidate a collective movement for emancipation. Writers, however, show a penchant for formal experimentation: allegory, symbolism, subversion, met fictional narrative, psychological realism and the stream of consciousness technique are some of the newer modes of narration employed in these stories. Ornamentation is kept to the minimum and an urgency to tell an unvarnished tale of human exploitation and power abuse dominates a large number of stories included here.

The emergence of regional literatures written in the dialects of Rayalaseema and Telangana and the rural literature highlighting the distinctive features and problems of rural life may be identified as the major development in the post-independence Telugu short story. For nearly fifty years, the literary output of the urban, middle class, educated society constituted the mainstay of Telugu short story and it represented their values, concerns, ideologies and class- consciousness almost to the exclusion of people from the rural areas. But in the post-independence era, distinct voices of the rural poor, the industrial labour, dalits, women and the other hitherto silenced sections of society are heard in clear and forthright terms. All these echoes are meticulously preserved in this anthology.


Note on transliterationxiii
The Choice1
The Boat Moves on9
A Flower Blossoms18
Three Beggars27
Shreds of Papers And Shards of Glass47
The Beggars' Flag56
The Last House of The Village80
The Village Well144
All-Day With Viswapati174
Revolutionary Grandmother189
The Flood202
Lead Us From Darkness To Light213
The Cost of Tears234
Love and Life246
The Watch277
The Trusted Land301
Dear Mind! Don't Get Too…..314
A Little Lamp322
Moonlight In The Forest331
The Earth Bound Heat383
A vision of Falling Trees397
Amballa Banda409
Five Stars At The End422
Note on the Authors452
Note on Translators456
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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