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Meghdootam by Kalidasa

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Source: LiTgloss at Buffalo

For the uninitiated: Kalidasa is considered the greatest Indian poet and dramatist. Meghdootam, literally translated is “cloud messenger”. These are a few initial lines of Meghdootam:

कश्चित् कान्ताविरहगुरुणा स्वाधिकारात्प्रमत्त: शापेनास्तड्ग्मितहिमा वर्षभोग्येण भर्तु: ।
यक्षश्चक्रे जनकतनयास्त्रानपुण्योदकेषु स्त्रिग्धच्छायातरुषु वसतिं रामगिर्याश्रमेषु ॥१॥

A certain `yaksha` who had been negligent in the execution of his own duties, deprived of his powers on account of a curse from his master which was to be endured for a year
and which was onerous as it separated him from his beloved, made his residence  among the hermitages of Ramagiri, whose waters were blessed by the bathing of the daughter of Janaka [Sita] and whose shade trees grew in  profusion.

तसिमन्नद्रौ कतिचिदबलाविप्रयुक्त: स कामी नीत्वा मासान् कनकवलयभ्रंशरिक्तप्रकोष्ठ: ।
आषाढस्य प्रथमदिवसे मेघमाश्लिष्टसानुं वप्रक्रीडापरिणतगजप्रेक्षणीयं ददर्श ॥२॥

That lover, separated from his beloved, whose gold armlet had slipped from his bare forearm, having dwelt on that  mountain for some months,
on the first day of the month of Asadha, saw a cloud embracing the summit, which resembled a  mature elephant playfully butting a bank.

तस्य स्थित्वा कथमपि पुर: कौतुकाधानहेतो: अन्तर्बाष्पश्चिरमनुचरो राजराजस्य दध्यौ ।
मेघालोके भवति सुखिनोऽप्यन्यथाव्रत्ति चेत: कण्ठाश्लेषप्रणयिनि जने किं पुनर्दूरसंस्थे ॥३॥

Managing with difficulty to stand up in front of that cloud which was the cause of the renewal of  his enthusiasm, that attendant of the king of kings, pondered while holding back his tears.
Even the mind of a happy person is excited at the sight of a cloud. How much more so, when the one who longs to cling to his neck is far away?

This is by no means an authoritative translation, and texts such as these can not have one. For they were written in allegorical style, drawing upon a lot of context from other stories.
The works of Kalidasa and many other Indian writers are subject to many different interpretations.


Written by ppatil

June 20, 2009 at 2:41 am

Posted in literature, sanskrit

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