peddala maMchunu raajula
vaddanu guurchuMDi niicha vaakkulu palikea
peddalu bhuviloe biitiri
graddalugaa kuMdavarapu kavichouDappaa!
పెద్దల మంచును రాజుల
వద్దను గూర్చుండి నీచ వాక్కులు పలికే
పెద్దలు భువిలో బీతిరి
గ్రద్దలుగా కుందవరపు కవిచౌడప్పా! (పద్యం 27)
Posing as the most respectable of the lot
They sit near the king and make all low talk
These posing elders in this world are white
Scavanger vulters, Oh Kundavarapu Kavi Choudappaa!
The word ‘pedda’ (పెద్ద) in Telugu language means differently in different usages i.e., in no unambiguous terms it means an aged person; it means a respectable person and it also means a person holding a position that has some authority in society. The word ‘పెద్దలు’ (peddalu) therefore means, persons holding authority in society; and elders in age.
In this poem, Kavi Choudappa used the word ‘పెద్దలు’ (peddalu) to denote both these meanings and infused some sarcasm, criticism into both these meanings since this is a peom that criticises those ‘elders’ in the society who are more inclined to use their proximity to the more powerful persons holding positions in the governing mechanism (in the days when Kavi Choudappa was alive, the King) only for their own advantage often harming good people against whom they nurture enmity.
In every society, there is always the possibility of existence of persons who would like to use their proximity to the Authority to their own advantage. The easiest way to corrupt the mind of an Authority (be it a King or an Official in present day circumstances) is by talking to him in the language he likes to hear, by talking to him about the things that gratify the darker side of his imaginations or mind.
Kavi Choudappa compares those persons who wouldn’t hesitate to use their proximity to the King (or the Authority) to their own advantage by talking all filthy things, to the scavenger vultures which feed on filth and go on living a disgusting life.