The Bull In The City [ 'Nagaramlo Vrushabham' ] Poem by M D Dinesh Nair

The Bull In The City [ 'Nagaramlo Vrushabham' ]

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'Nagaramlo Vrushabham' is a popular Telugu poem written by Srirangam Srinivasarao [Sri Sri ].
Here is the translation of it in English.


Chewing the cud with his half shut eyes
Without moving or shifting an inch
Perhaps with the memories from his previous birth
On the main road of the city
The bull stood casually.

The bull in the heart of the city-
As if he is the right owner of the road
Leaving the responsibility to the times
Heckling the scampering of the civilisation
Stood there he like the King!

Who dares to ask the bull to move
Look how he glances around
“Aye! Aye! you Motorist! What is the hurry with you”?
“And hey! you Brother Cyclist!
Careful! The bull wouldn't budge”!

An Anti-industrialist, A perfect pacifist,
A pure vegetarian and a true prohibitionist!
On the main road of the city
Obstructing the passage of the civic men
However long like this bull can stand like this!

You say “the bull has no sense”
“What about you, hey man? ”

Srirangam Srinivasarao (30 April 1910 – 15 June 1983) , popularly known as Sri Sri, was a Telugu* poet and lyricist. He was the first true modern Telugu poet to write visionary poems about issues that affected the day-to-day life of common man in a style and metre which were not used in classical Telugu poetry.

Sri Sri introduced free verse into his socially concerned poetry through 'Maha Prasthanam'. He wrote visionary poems in a style and metre not used before in Telugu classical poetry. He moved poetry forward from traditional mythological themes to reflect more contemporary issues.

He was awarded the Soviet Land Nehru Award of India.

‘The Bull in The City’ is the translation of one of his celebrated poems ‘ Nagaramlo Vrushabham’ written in Telugu. The poem is a satire on the industrial transition of 1950s and the materialistic pursuits of man that take away the little joys in his life. Man is a slave to time – animal is not.

*Telugu is a classical language in South India with more than 83 million native speakers.
Deepak Kumar Pattanayak 26 February 2014

First I must bow my head to Srirangam Srinivasarao, the greatest Telgu poet ever in reverence.......this poem is very insightful and a satire on industrial transition in 1950's as depicted here...Dineshji......thanks for sharing such rare poems of great poets of yesteryears.......I love reading these poems....

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Valsa George 27 February 2014

A beautiful translation....! But how long can the bull be allowed to stand in the middle of a road and that too in the heart of a city is a debatable issue! So you are a linguist... proficient in Telugu too! !

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Unnikrishnan E S 18 August 2016

Hi Valsa Madam, May I object to your usage of the words the bull be ALLOWED to stand....! You suggest that the bull needs permission from humans to stands where he wants. It is as if, the entire universe belongs to us, the humans. We have to really think, whether this is so. I am tempted to invite all you to read the famous write by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, named Bhoomiyude Avakaashikall- the inheritors of earth. He has asked this question, just because you have paid for and purchased the piece of land and hold a title deed (aadharam) , are you entitled to kick every other living things out of it? I believe, Sri Sri is also asking us the same question! A little loud thinking, Valsaji.

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Geetha Jayakumar 26 February 2014

Thank you for sharing with us the Deep and Insightful poem by great Poet Srirangam Srinivasarao [Sri Sri ]. This poem carries an indepth meaning, where the bull represents many characters. The ending is true in all the sense You say “the bull has no sense” “What about you, hey man? ”.....I loved reading each lines and Thanks for translation this beautiful poem.

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Rajesh Thankappan 26 February 2014

Though we have hear of bull in the China shop, but this one is lying right in the center of the road with an anti-industrialist attitude. A serious poem with a great sense of humor. Being a non-telugu I won't be able to read the original telugu version, but I am quite sure that you have done justice to the poem with your excellent translation. Keep the good work going.

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Unnikrishnan E S 18 August 2016

Hi Dinesh, I have read about Sri Sri and his writes, mainly poems. But reading him for the first time. You have chosen a very beautiful and relevant poem- relevant even today. Thank you for that. I have not read the original, though I do read/understand a little Telugu. So I can not comment on the translation. But definitely, the poem is rendered beautifully. Congratulations.10++

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M Asim Nehal 04 October 2015

Wonderful translation and a great tribute to a great poet....

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Valerie Dohren 06 March 2014

The Bull is obviously very wise. Interesting Dinesh.

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Tirupathi Chandrupatla 28 February 2014

Thank you Dinesh for a beautiful translation. Sri Sri is my favorite poet. The power of his poems is immense. The Bull in the City is indicative of all the obstructions we have for normal passage of time.

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Dinesan Madathil 27 February 2014

Thank you Rajeshji, Deepakji, Geetha and Madam Valsa for your comments. Madam Valsa, the bull will surely move away. The argument is the modern man has no right to frighten or coerce it away from where it stands because he has to move faster. Nature has not asked him to be a slave to time and enslave the other living beings as he longs to. Here the notion is not to leave the animal as it likes. But there are times it is' handled' by man for himself.

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