KALIDASA, (kaalidaasa), India's greatest Sanskrit poet and
dramatist. In spite of the celebrity of his name, the time when
he flourished always has been an unsettled question, although
most scholars nowadays favor the middle of the 4th and early 5th
centuries A.D., during the reigns of Chandragupta II
Vikramaaditya and his successor Kumaaragupta. Undetermined also
is the place of Kaalidaasa's principal literary activity, as the
frequent and minute geographic allusions in his works suggest
that he traveled extensively.
Numerous works have been attributed to his authorship. Most of
them, however, are either by lesser poets bearing the same name
or by others of some intrinsic worth, whose works simply chanced
to be associated with Kaalidaasa's name their own names having
long before ceased to be remembered. Only seven are generally
Rituu-samhaara, (Seasonal Cycle), a poem describing the six
seasons of the year in all their changing aspects.. It is a
genuine work of Kaalidaasa, must surely be regarded as a
youthful composition, as it is distinguished by rather
exaggerated and overly exuberant depictions of nature, such as
are not elsewhere typical of the poet. It is of tangential
interest, however, that the Ritusamhaara, published in Bengal in
1792, was the first book to be printed in Sanskrit.
The burning sands emit furious heat
afflict the snake, with lowered hood panting,
speeding with crooked creep aggrieved.
Behold ! the snake now with fear no more,
Rests in the shade, at his enemy peacock’s feet.
Malignant heat makes the thirst more acute
and now the king of the jungle of prowess famed,
Forgetting his valour pants perturbed,
Open-mouthed, dangling - tongued, with
And kills not the nearby elephants too.
Beneath the parasols of the unshrivelled hoods
Sweltered and thirsty
dry throated huge elephants,
To come by cool showers—
just a few drops of water,
Overcoming the fright of the lion
glide about him with no more fear.
Beneath the parasols of the unshrivelled hoods
of the thirsty cobras
now fearless muddy frogs rest
emerging from the ponds.
Joggling thirsty elephants with quick impact
pull out the lotus pedicels and stalks,
frighten the fishes and cranes,
and puddle the water of the pool
with splatter dash.
With his shineless jewel1
in the blaze of the sun,
the coiled up, giddy tongued snake
and no more swallows the thirsty frogs.
With upraised heads and nostrils wide,
bloody dangling tongues and foamy mouths,
the thirsty herds of buffaloes
emerge from the caves of the hills
in search of water,
And leave behind the hovering hoof-crushed dust.
Scorched by the blaze,
with thirst unquenched,
the parched - throated deer with swift feet run,
The blue of the sky and the forest’s end
are the mirage once and again and again.
* Scorched by the blaze,
Ahoy! the bewitching cloud
dir="ltr"> moves like a wild elephant,
And with fresh showers it captivates the hearts,
dir="ltr"> And thunder lightning roars resonant
dir="ltr"> like the beat of drums.
Enthralling the lustful hearts
dir="ltr"> with lovely splendour
dir="ltr"> the lustrous cloud with his lightning standard
steps into the sky like an Emperor proud.
Sweet heart, the rainy season has come.
Lustrous like a lotus blue
or diffused stratums of sooty black,
or deep blue like a pregnant woman's teats,
the clouds-have pervaded the entire sky.
Thirsty chatakas implore incessantly
for the cool drops of Swati,
Fanned by the Zephyr, with myriad streams,
the hulking clouds reverberate with pleasing notes.
Thunder strikes like drums.
With rainbow in his hand,
Echoing his twanging bow-string of lightning flash,
And showering sharp drops of rain like piercing shafts. T
The clouds rend as under the love-lorn hearts.
Musically Cackling peacocks
spreading their lovely long iridescent feathers,
kiss and embrace their peahens with honour
and dance with an elegant gait,
beholding' clouds in the sky.
The muddy rivers with enhanced vigour,
uprooting the trees from their banks,
go to their lover the Ocean
with a furious speed
like immodest wanton women.
Again and again the clouds
roar with an unbearable echoing violent force,
And winds howl in the dark blind night.
Yet a stray streak of dazzling lightning flash
indicates to the lewd dame the path to the renderbous.
Terrible and mighty thunderous roar
swells from the clouds,
And fills in the lightig - distressed-hearts
spanless unbounded echo's fright.
And young dames in their bed chambers
embrace their lovers,
forgetting their delinquencies,
as the echo throes their hearts
with an excited zeal.
Tears drip from the lovely, blue, lotus eyes,
And drench the tendril like rosy lips.
No more do they bedaub their bodies
with saffron and musk,
nor wear ornaments or garlands redolent,
he love lorn dames lament.
The frightened frogs behold with awe
the muddy roaring waters
gliding fast, with a python's gait,
yellowed by leaves and insects afloat.