A Letter from Somebody I “Loved” (For Yandamuri Fans)
A coherent arrangement of words for abstract, but cogent thoughts is what touches us. It doesn’t matter if the central idea is about life and love; or death and sorrow – the language can still touch our hearts. That is the power of language – possibly any language. The language for romance and love, some say, is Urudu. For me, it is Telugu. The beauty of Telugu language can be seen, heard and felt in written and spoken words and verses.
How does it feel like to be in love? For that matter what is love? Is love a tangible thing or an abstract idea? Is love merely a self reinforcing feeling where liking and/or attraction become strong and turned into something inexplicable, and therefore you love? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know this for sure: love is beyond simple physical attraction. Whatever may be its final manifestation, love germinates from an inexplicable liking to an idea, a thought about the person it is targeted at. It doesn’t matter if that person is real or simply fictional (raakumaari leka raakumaarudu).
When I was about 18, I loved somebody. That somebody is a work of fiction. To be more precise, she is a dead character in a novel. I am sure it is not just me. The words the author used to describe her thoughts made many teenage boys of my generation to fall in love with an “idea” called Ramya.
If your husband is in his 40s, and if he is (or was) in the habit of reading Telugu fiction, ask him if he read Yandamuri’s vennello aadapilla when he was a teenager. If he did, ask him how he liked Ramya’s character. Most men probably won’t be able to express or won’t admit it, but I can speak for many of them: they loved (the idea and mind of) Ramya.
This podcast is my rendering of Ramya’s last letter. Listen to the podcast and rediscover your love for Telugu language. And then get back into the habit of reading more in Telugu.
Broadcast date: 2007-10-05
Audio Language: Telugu