Two roads diverged in a yellow wood… And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth..Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim…I doubted if I should ever come back.
This precisely had been the story of mine, a race up the career road for thirty long years. The way led to another way and to another, with no sign of the finishing line. The mystery of the road not taken and the urge to go back, and to find where it had gone after it took the turn in the undergrowth, remained undying somewhere deep inside like a cinder warming my very soul. And then I took the U-turn.
It is not just ‘I’ here. Three generations of my people had left that road untended, the road that led to our cultural roots. The free voices that once rang in this fair road fell silent strangled by the pseudo highbrows. We have become people without history, our pride in our heritage reached its lowest low.
Out of anguish arose the book – ‘Andhranagari, Song of the Black River’ – a call from the end of that glorious road, from the now dismembered ruins of Amaravati. This was followed by ‘Andhrapatham’ a tour guide into the lives of our forefathers who still lived down that road. But these tentative steps could hardly stir a dead leaf from the accumulated undergrowth. I need more fellow travelers and those who would follow.
Amaravati through Ages
For a thousand years, the people of Andhra Pradesh had been living as paying guests in others’ homes. Finally destiny has forced us to come back and rebuild the home of our ancestors. But we hardly know them – Who were they? What did they do? We have no answers.
It is essential that we know our past especially now when we are building ourselves a future. The geographical canvas on which the new capital is taking shape is as wide as it is culturally deep. The lower course of Krishna from Nandi Konda to Nagaya Lanka is part of this grand urban design. The river Krishna is not only our lifeline but is also a repository of our past. Every inch of soil quenched by its life-giving waters has a story to tell.
Amaravati through Ages is a series of such stories to bridge the information gap between our grand and great grandparents and the generations next. These short stories will follow the standard lines of historical fiction.