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Srinatha Mahakavi’s poetic wit (2)

Srinatha Mahakavi’s poetic wit (2)

So far as Telugu Classical literature is concerned, two poets are known as ‘Mahakavis’. ‘Mahakavi’ means an exceedingly great poet. First of these two great poets is Tikkana Mahakavi, who belonged to 13th Century AD. The second poet is Srinathudu.

Srinathudu lived life to its full. He never bothered to excessively care about the customary respectable behavior rules of a Court Poet. He visited places where no poet having links with royal life would be expected to visit or dare to visit. Where ever he was, he closely observed the goings on there and told poems explaining the things there extempore. The ability he had to tell poems lucidly and complexly as well, made him popular in both genre of poetry i.e., ‘chaaTu poetry’ (oral tradition) and ‘prabamdha poetry’ (writing tradition). He described simple facts of nature and village life as well, in as simple terms as possible that the poems are understood, enjoyed and remembered easily by one and all.

chali praveaSiMchu naagulachavitinaaDu
merayu veasavi rathasaptamii dinamuna
nachchasiitu praveaSiMchu beTTu perigi
maargaSira poushamaasaala madhya veaLa.

చలి ప్రవేశించు నాగులచవితినాడు
మెఱయు వేసవి రథసప్తమీ దినమున
నచ్చసీతు ప్రవేశించు బెట్టు పెరిగి
మార్గశిర పౌషమాసాల మధ్య వేళ.

chill enters on the day of Nagulachaviti
on the day of Rathasaptami summer shines
real winter rises and makes its presence felt
during the days of Margasira and Pousha months.

This poem is from Srinatha Mahakavi‘s Sivaratri Mahatmyamu (4th Canto, 29th poem). In this poem, Srinatha Mahakavi describes the seasonal changes that take place in nature, in the simplest of terms, so that it is a fit poem to be taught to children and got it by-hearted by them as traditional knowledge about the significance of the days and the seasonal changes that take place in nature on those days.

‘Nagulachaviti’ is the short name for the 4th day in the first half of Telugu lunar month ‘Kartikam’ (which corresponds to the English month November), known as ‘kartika Sudhdha chaturdi’. Traditionally it is believed that winter season starts from this day and chill in the climate is experienced by one and all. Likewise, ‘Ratha saptami’ is the short name for the seventh day in the first half of Telugu lunar month ‘Magham’ (which corresponds to the English month February), known as ‘Magha Sudhdha saptami’.  Traditionally it is believed that summer season starts from this day and dryness as well as heat is experienced in the climate by one and all. The second half of the poem says about the days when the winter rises to its peak i.e., during the days of English months December and January – Margasira and Pousha months in Telugu calendar.

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