A Lover’s Guide to Warangal!

Telugu eroticism of 15th century

Not many Telugus are expected to read the 15the century Telugu classic Kreedaabhiramamu. Written by Vinukonda Vallabharaaya, it is an erotic and playful text.

Jyotirmaya Sharma, formerly resident editor of Times of India in Hyderabad and later in The Hindu, wrote about the book in a recent column in Outlook magazine.

Sharma was reading the book in its English translation “A Lover’s Guide to Warangal” done by Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman.

Presently in the teaching assignment in Hyderabad Central University, Sharma fondly refers to the irreverent and playful approach of the author , which is a far cry from the current politically correct and monotonous writings.

He gives this witty comparison of Vallabharaaya between the mother of all languages, Sanskrit and Telugu, the writer’s own language.

“Between the aged mother

And the ravishing young daughter

I’ll take the daughter any day!”

The Telugu classic was rediscovered at the beginning of the twentieth century, but not unsurprisingly panned by scholars as obscene. The translators now try to put the text in the light of the vibrant literary milieu in which it was composed.

Thanks to Sharma for kindling in a 500-year-old Telugu classic. Those of us who can’t read the original Telugu text can at least get hold of the English translation. It’s available online.