I am Gopalam Karamchedu also known as Vijayagopal. I am a writer communicator. I share my thoughts and the collections here. My interests include, books, management, classical music, culture, languages etc..Thanks to all the friends who make my efforts meaningful. You are welcome to add material here. Write to me if you want to contribute.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Penku Purugu - Chaganti Somayajulu
Here is an interesting story by the master story teller Sri Chaganti Somayajulu.
I don't have any intention of infringing on the copyrights here.
This is a tribute by an ardent fan!
The Dung Beetle
Till yesterday or the day before Appayamma also eked out her living with
scrubbing and cleaning utensils. In the Gunadalas street she is addressed as
She now has no need to clean utensils and other things. It is past nine
months since she has come over that need. Appi took another birth and turned
There are advantages in cleaning utensils. Family people give rice and
curries to her. When a festival or an occasion, marriage or such comes up they
would not let her go just like that. The work may be menial but has its
Appi, till the other day went to cleaning work, in inadequate dirty
stinking clothes. Now, after turning into Appayamma, her body is full of twines
that bloom. Hair that was like jute because of no oil or such, now shines like
a black bee, with curls and is hanging as a long plait behind.
Appayamma did not find anything to do in the street. That is a street of
waged workers. Men and women go out for work. Alone, unable to spend time with
the old and children left behind, she ventured onto the road.
She likes the cattle that stray on to the road. If the bullock carts come
she would lose herself. She loves the carts too. Carts means, the bullocks and
the he buffalos tied to them are dearer to her.
By nine the wagers street was deserted. Appayamma came on to the road and
stood up. There is a line of carts coming up. She was waiting for them with
ecstasy. On looking at the Naidus on the
carts, her liking for the bullocks and the he buffalos increased. Carts are
from Bhogapuram. Her mother’s village Lingalavalasa is half a mile away
She asked the Naidu sitting on the first cart “Oh! Brother! Which village
are the carts from?”
“Bhogapuram” answered Naidu.
“Only since I could make out, I asked after all. Is Surinaidu of
Lingalavalasa alright?” she questioned in turn.
“What about him. He is like a bullock. He is there on a cart behind” he
The line of carts was very long. The city businessman has bought the ground
nut crop of three villages in one go. The carts from all the villages around
Bhogapuram were there. Waiting for Surinaidu, Appayamma was examining each and
very cart. She forgpt her purpose of coming onto the road and was pining for
Surinaidu appeared. He was sitting on the front portion of the cart. Does
he know Appi like one thing? They are from the same village. In dresses and
diggings if he would not know her whoelse would know?
“Hey! Suriga!” she accosted him. Surinaodu could not recognize Appayamma.
On listening to the voice he shuddered and looked at her. He jumped from the
cart and stopped it. The whole line of carts came to a halt.
“Oh! Appi! Is that you?’ have picked up a lot of city style! I mistook you
for some Brahmin lady!” he said with wonderment. Appi laughed. Her eyes got
closed. Her body shhok..
Suri mistook Appi for a Brahmin lady. It is two years since he saw her.
Appi stopped going to the mothers palce since two years.
“Would you, at least this year, come to the Mother God’s Festival?” he asked.
“I shall” said she. She thought it would be imperative to go to the village
after Appi became Appayamma.
“Don’t ever forget Suri. OK” said Suri.
“Would I talk if I forgot?” she said. All the carts behind were stopped.
“Hey! Drive the cart!’ someone shouted.
For Naidu, driving the cart was sure difficult. He was aghast seeing Appi.
What does he know that Appi is now Appayamma. What does he know that her body
would be filled with twines, flowers and colours? What does he know that she
would leave her pliats hanging with flowers in it? What does he know that
golden pendants would be hanging from her ears?
Only that he would know, Appayamma stopped the bullock carts. Only to show
the difference between Appi with the waterpot and the city Appayamma shining
with twines and colours, she stopped the carts.
The carts went their way.
Appi’s husband is Kamaraju. He established a brick kiln. Bricks fetched
good returns. In the street where laborers never had a dime, Kamaraju became a
man with papers. Now, there are color notes in handfuls. Appi came out of the
tedium of cleaning utensils. Golden pendants came to her ears.
Appayamma came onto the road because she found the street sans any idea.
She could see money scattered on the road. Why sit idle? If there is more money
would it be bitter? Their street was the main road for many villages. All the
carts go that way only. There would be dung all the time filling the road.
There is money in the dung! If one makes dung cakes, there would be fistful of
Appayamma is buying a lot of sarees. Now there are colors in all the
sarees. Twines and flowers in them. Her hands are full of dung. There are dung
heaps all around the house. There are wet dung cakes on all the walls. Her
house is filled with the stench of the dung. The whole body reeks of dung.
Appayamma is good looking. She has the right age too. She is a blue shining
lotus. She is the beetle in the dung. Dung beetle is a good looking creature.