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Rituu-samhaara-KALIDASA Part -3

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 considered genuine.

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.

In This issue we are publishing the poems related to rainy seasons


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.

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