pachai maamalai pol mene

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

the bright lamp of Kalidasa ...

सञ्चारिणी दीपशिखेव रात्रौ यम् यम् व्यतीयाय पतिम् वरा सा।
नरेन्द्रमार्गाट्ट इव प्रपेदे विवर्णभावम् स स भूमिपालः॥ ६७
काळिदासप्रणीते रघुवंशमहाकाव्ये ६ सर्गात्

sañcāriṇī dīpaśikheva rātrau yam yam vyatīyāya patim varā sā|
narendramārgāṭṭa iva prapede vivarṇabhāvam sa sa bhūmipālaḥ|| 67
kāḻidāsapraṇīte raghuvaṁśamahākāvye 6 sargāt

a gem of a slokam from Kalidasa..

The scene is the Svayamvaram.. the seclection of groom by the bride to be.. by Indumathi, the charming princes... Many suitors are arrayed in expectation,, and Aja, the prince from the clan of Raghu is also there..

The princess, holding a garland meant for the one whom she would ultimately choose, is moving along a long line of princes who are all lined up, expecting that one of them would be chosen as the groom..

The glory and the history of each prince is explained to the girl and she would cast her glance too on the prospective suitor, and as she is not impressed, would move ahead, leaving each one in the line faded and jaded in despair.. 

While describing the situation, Kalidasa uses the simile and imagery of a bright lamp.. which is being carried in a procession in the royal throughfare. during a dark night... 

The road is arrayed with many attractive buildings.. 
As the lamp  moves ahead, the fronts of each building is seen it all its brightness and attractiveness..

 But when the processions moves on and the lamp too is carried away, the bright face of the buildings just plunge into darkness and anonymity.. 

Just like that, when the princess was approaching each prince, his face brightened up in expectation and ecstasy.. But as she moved on passing him off, his face became drained of colour .. as he was disappointed..

"Indumatee, in the process of selection of a groom for herself was walking ahead like a bright lamp, along the line of many kings, and whichever king whom she had rejected became jaded and dejected, just like what happens to a building along the royal thoroughfare as a bright lamp is being carried along during night, and the lamp while approaching brightens up the building and plunges the same building into darkness as the lamp is carried further ahead.."

The Upama used here is sublime.. And in literary circle, Kalidasa became famous as Deepashikhaa Kaalidasa for this single imagery..

It is legend that Aja was chosen by Indumatee as her prince charming.. and a battle ensued.. 
Aja and Indumati were married and lived happily.. and so on.. 

But the imagery just brightens up the heart of every generation.. of lovers of literature..

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