Indian classical poet Kalidasa’s mini-epic ‘Ritusamhara’ can now be read in English, thanks to a new translation, published by Penguin Random House.
Originally penned by Kalidasa in Sanskrit, the long poem is a glorious ode to nature’s bounty and the enduring emotional response it evokes in mankind as a whole.
“It is perhaps the most lively and exuberant of Kalidasa’s extant works,” the publishing house said.
Translated from Sanskrit by A N D Haksar, the English version titled “Ritusamharam: A Gathering of Seasons”, offers insights into human condition.
Recounted as a celebration of the passing seasons, the work of literature is a feast for the senses.
It captures the myriad facets of love and longing in a kaleidoscope of sumptuous imagery: the mischievous moonlight that, like a pining lover, steals glances at sleeping maidens; the monsoon-bloated rivers that rush to the sea with a lustful urgency; the flame of lovemaking that is kindled anew at the onset of winter; the heady scent of mango blossoms that makes even the most unyielding of hearts quiver.
Even animals, big and small, are swept into the playful pattern of the great poet’s lyrical homage.
“A N D Haksar’s supple and spirited translation is accompanied by an absorbing introduction and notes that shed further light on this extraordinary work,” Penguin Random House said.