The 4th came and went, we stayed at home (whilst Rowan went to the Blues Festival again. He is heading down to the Oregon Country Faire with friends this week-end, trying out those new wings for 3 days. If you see him there… say hi!
Rik and Christel over in the South of France sent him the obligatory beret for graduation this weekend! He looks good in it!
Wacked my back again, muscles or something today. argh. This runs interference with life altogether.
I now have a facebook account… check for me with a search for Gwyllm Llwydd… John Archdeacon, and many others are on there as well.
Working on the new Magazine, and uploading, loads of music to the radio station. We will start having radio shows again soon…
Picked up ‘Endogenous Sun’ from the muralist exhibit Tuesday. Getting it cleaned up from where someone spilt coffee or dirty water over it …. argh. Anyway, it looks like it may have found a home… I will keep you posted.
Have a good weekend!
On The Menu:
L’Ham de Foc – Husseyni Azeri
The Cloud Messenger (Parts 1 thru 4)
Ham de Foc – Concert a la ciutat de València
The Poetry Of Ancient India: Kalidasa
L’ Ham de Foc- el Que vull
L’Ham de Foc – Husseyni Azeri
The Cloud Messenger – Part 01
A certain yaksha who had been negligent in the execution of his own duties,
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 Janaka1 and whose shade trees grew in profusion.
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.
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?
As the month of Nabhas was close at hand, having as his goal the sustaining
of the life of his beloved and wishing to cause the tidings of his own welfare
to be carried by the cloud, the delighted being spoke kind words of welcome
to the cloud to which offerings of fresh kutaja flowers had been made.
Owing to his impatience, not considering the imcompatibility between a cloud
consisting of vapour, light, water and wind and the contents of his message
best delivered by a person of normal faculties, the yaksha made this request to
the cloud, for among sentient and non-sentient things, those afflicted by desire
are naturally miserable:
Without doubt, your path unimpeded, you will see your brothers wife, intent
on counting the days, faithful and living on. The bond of hope generally
sustains the quickly sinking hearts of women who are alone, and which wilt
Just as the favourable wind drives you slowly onward, this cataka cuckoo,
your kinsman, calls sweetly on the left. Knowing the season for fertilisation,
cranes, like threaded garlands in the sky, lovely to the eye, will serve you.
Your steady passage observed by charming female siddhas who in trepidation
wonder Has the summit been carried off the mountain by the wind?, you
who are heading north, fly up into the sky from this place where the nicula
trees flourish, avoiding on the way the blows of the trunks of the elephants of
the four quarters of the sky.
This rainbow, resembling the intermingled sparkling of jewels, appears before
Mt Valmikagra, on account of which your dark body takes on a particular
loveliness, as did the body of Vishnu dressed as a cowherd with the peacocks
feather of glistening lustre.
While being imbibed by the eyes of the country women who are ignorant of
the play of the eyebrows, who are tender in their affection, and who are
thinking The result of the harvest depends on you, having ascended to a
region whose fields are fragrant from recent ploughing, you should proceed a
little to the west. Your pace is swift. Go north once more.
Mt Amrakuta will carefully bear you upon its headyou whose showers
extinguished its forest fires and who are overcome by fatigue of the road.
Even a lowly being, remembering an earlier kind deed, does not turn its back
on a friend who has come for refuge; how much less, then, one so lofty?
When you, remembling a glossy braid of hair, have ascended its summit, the
mountain whose slopes are covered with forest mangoes, glowing with ripe
fruit, takes on the appearance of a breast of the earth, dark at the centre, the
rest pale, worthy to be beheld by a divine couple.
Having rested for a moment at a bower enjoyed by the forest-dwelling
women, then travelling more swiftly when your waters have been discharged,
the next stage thence is crossed. You will see the river Reva spread at the foot
of Mt Vandhya, made rough with rocks and resembling the pattern formed by
the broken wrinkles on the body of an elephant.
Your showers shed, having partaken of her waters that are scented with the
fragrant exudation of forest elephants and whose flow is impeded by thickets
of rose-apples, you should proceed. Filled with water, the wind will be unable
to lift you, O cloud, for all this is empty is light, while fullness results in
Seeing the yellow-brown nipa with their stamens half erect, eating the kankali
flowers whose first buds have appeared on every bank, and smelling the
highly fragrant scent of the forest earth, the deer will indicate the way to the
Watching the cataka cuckoos that are skilled in catching raindrops, and
watching the herons flying in skeins as they count them, the siddhas will hold
you in high regard at the moment of your thundering, having received the
trembling, agitated embraced of their beloved female companions!
I perceive in an instant, friend, your delays on mountain after mountain
scented with kakubha flowersyou who should desire to proceed for the sake
of my beloved. Welcomed by peacocks with teary eyes who have turned their
cries into words of welcome, you should somehow resolve to proceed at once.
Reaching their capital by the name of Vidisha, renowned in all quarters, and
having won at once complete satisfaction of your desires, you will drink the
sweet, rippling water from the Vetravati River which roars pleasantly at the
edge of her banks, rippling as if her face bore a frown.
There, for the sake of rest, your should occupy the mountain known as Nicaih
which seems to thrill at your touch with its full-blown kadamba flowers, and
whose grottoes make known the unbridled youthful deeds of the townsmen by
emitting the scent of intercourse with bought women.
After resting, move on while watering with fresh raindrops the clusters of
jasmine buds that grow in gardens on the banks of the forest riversyou who
have made a momentary acquaintance with the flower-picking girls by lending
shade to their faces, the lotuses at whose ears are withered and broken as they
wipe away the perspiration from their cheeks.
Even though the route would be circuitous for one who, like you, is
northward-bound, do not turn your back on the love on the palace roofs in
Ujjayini. If you do not enjoy the eyes with flickering eyelids of the women
startled by bolts of lightning there, then you have been deceived!
On the way, after you have ascended to the Nirvandhya River, whose girdles
are flocks of birds calling on account of the turbulence of her waves, whose
gliding motion is rendered delightful with stumbling steps, and whose
exposed navel is her eddies, fill yourself with water, for amorous distraction
is a womans first expression of love for their beloved.
When you have passed that, you should duly adopt the means by which the
Sindhu River may cast off her emaciationshe whose waters have become
like a single braid of hair, whose complexion is made pale by the old leaves
falling from the trees on her banks, and who shows you goodwill because she
has been separated from you, O fortunate one.
Having reached Avanti where the village elders are well-versed in the legend
of Udayana, make your way to the aforementioned city of Vishala, filled with
splendour, like a beautiful piece of heaven carried there by means of the
remaining merit of gods who had fallen to earth when the fruits of the good
actions had nearly expired;
Where, at daybreak, the breeze from the Shipra River, carrying abroad the
sweet, clear, impassioned cries of the geese, fragrant from contact with the
scent of full-blown lotuses and pleasing to the body, carries off the lassitude
of the women after their love-play, like a lover making entreaties for further
And having see by the tens of millions the strings of pearls with shining gems
as their central stones, conches, pearl-shells, emeralds as green as fresh grass
with radiating brilliance and pieces of coral displayed in the market there, the
oceans appear to contain nothing but water;
And where the knowledgeable populace regale visiting relatives thus: Here
the king of the Vatsa brought the precious daughter of Pradyota. Here was the
golden grove of tala-trees of that same monarch. Here, they say, roamed
Nalagiri (the elephant), having pulled out his tie-post in fury.
Your bulk increased by the incense that is used for perfuming the hair that
issues from the lattices, and honoured with gifts of dance by the domestic
peacocks out of their love for their friend, lay aside the weariness of the
travel while admiring the splendour of its palaces which are scented with
flowers and marked by the hennaed feet of the lovely women.
Observed respectfully by divine retinues who are reminded of the colour of
their masters throat, you should proceed to the holy abode of the lord of the
three worlds, husband of Chandi, whose gardens are caressed by the winds
from the Gandhavati River, scented with the pollen of the blue lotuses and
perfumed by the bath-oils used by young women who delight in water-play.
Even if you arrive at Mahakala at some other time, O cloud, you should wait
until the sun passes from the range of the eye. Playing the honourable role of
drum at the evening offering to Shiva, you will receive the full reward for
your deep thunder.
There, their girdles jingling to their footsteps, and their hands tired from the
pretty waving of fly-whisks whose handles are brilliant with the sparkle of
jewels, having received from you raindrops at the onset of the rainy season
that soothe the scratches made by fingernails, the courtesans cast you
lingering sidelong glances that resemble rows of honey-bees.
Then, settled above the forests whose trees are like uplifted arms, being round
in shape, producing an evening light, red as a fresh China-rose, at the start of
Shivas dance, remove his desire for a fresh elephant skinyou whose
devotion is beheld by Parvati, her agitation stilled and her gaze transfixed.
Reveal the ground with a bolt of lightning that shines like a streak of gold
on a touchstone to the young women in that vicinity going by night to the homes of
their lovers along the royal highroad which has been robbed of light by a
darkness that could be pricked with a needle. Withhold your showers of rain
and rumbling thunder: they would be frightened!
Passing that night above the roof-top of a certain house where pigeons sleep,
you, whose consort the lightning is tired by prolonged sport, should complete
the rest of your journey when the sun reappears. Indeed, those who have
promised to accomplish a task for a friend do not tarry.
At that time, the tears of the wronged wives are to be soothed away by their
husbands. Therefore abandon at once the path of the sun. He too has returned
to remove the tears of dew from the lotus-faces of the lilies. If you obstruct
his rays, he may become greatly incensed.
The Cloud Messenger – Part 02
Your naturally beautiful reflection will gain entry into the clear waters of the
Gambhira River, as into a clear mind. Therefore it is not fitting that you, out
of obstinancy, should render futile her glances which are the darting leaps of
little fish, as white as night-lotus flowers.
Removing her blue garment which is her water, exposing her hips which are
her banks, it is clutched by cane-branches as if grasped by her hands.
Departure will inevitably be difficult for you who tarries, O friend. Who,
having experienced enjoyment, is able to forsake another whose loins are laid
A cool breeze, grown pleasant through contact with the scent of the earth
refreshed by your showers, which is inhaled by elephants with a pleasing
sound at their nostrils, and which is the ripener of wild figs in the forest,
gently fans you who desire to proceed to Devagiri.
There, you, taking the form of a cloud of flowers, should bathe Skanda, who
always resides there, with a shower of flowers, wet with the water of the
heavenly Ganges. For he is the energy surpassing the sun, that was born into
the mouth of the fire by the bearer of the crescent moon6 for the purpose of
protecting the forces of of the sons of Indra.
Then, with claps of thunder, magnified by their own echoes, you should cause
to dance the peacock of the son of Agni, the corners of whose eyes are bathed
by the light of the crescent moon at the head of Shiva and whose discarded
tail-feather, ringed by rays of light, Parvati placed behind her ear, next
to the petal of the blue lotus, out of her love for her son.
Having worshipped that god born in a reedbed, after you have travelled
further, your route abandoned by siddha-couples carrying lutes because they
fear rain-drops, you should descend while paying homage to the glory of
Randideva, born from the slaughter of the daughter of Surabhi, and who
arose on earth in the form or a river.
When you, the robber of the complexion of bearer of the bow Sharnga, stoop
to drink the water of that river, which is broad but appears narrow from a
distance, those who range the skies, when they look down, will certainly see
that the stream resembles a single string of pearls on the earth, enlarged at
its centre with a sapphire.
Having crossed the river, go on, making yourself into a form worthy of the
curiosity of the eyes of the women of Dashapura, adept in the amorous play of
their tendril-like eyebrows, whose dark and variageted brilliance flashes up at
the fluttering of their eyelashes, and whose splendour has been stolen from the
bees attendant on tossing kunda flowers.
Then, entering the district of Brahmavarta, accompanied by your shadow, you
should proceed to the plain of the Kurus, evocative of the battle of the
warriors, where the one whose bow is Gandiva brought down showers of
hundreds of sharp arrows, just as you bring down showers of rain on the faces
of the lotuses.
Having partaken of the waters of the Sarasvati which were enjoyed by the
bearer of the plough who was averse to war on account of his love for his
kinsfolk, after he had forsaken the wine of agreeable flavour which was
marked by the reflection of Revatis eyes, you, friend, will be purified within:
only your colour will be black.
From there you should go to the daughter of Jahnu above the Kanakhula
mountains, where she emerges from the Himalaya, who provided a flight of
steps to heaven for the sons of Sagara, and who laughing with her foam at the
frown on the face of Gauri, made a grab at the hair of Shambhu and clasped
his crescent moon with her wave-hands.
If you, like an elephant of the gods, your front partly inclining down from the
sky to drink her waters which are pure as crystal, in an instrant, because of
your reflection on her gliding current, she would become very lovely, as if
united with the Yamuna in second location.
Having reached the mountain which is the source of that very river, whose
crags are made fragrant with the scent of the musk of the deer that recline
there, white with snow, reposing on the summit which dispells the fatigue of
travel, you will take on the splendour like that of the white soil cast up
by the bull of the three-eyed one.
If, when the wind is blowing, a forest fire were to afflict the mountain,
ignited by the friction of branches of the sarala trees, burning with its
flames the tailhairs of the yaks, it would befit you to extinguish it
completely with thousands of torrents of water, for the resources of the
great have as their fruit the alleviation of those who suffer misfortune.
The sharabha there, intent on springing in anger at you who departs from
their path, would lunge at you, only to break their own limbs. You should
cover them with a tumultuous storm of hail and rain. Who, intent upon a
fruitless endeavour, would not be the object of contempt?
There, with your body bowed in devotion, you should circumambulate the
foot-print of the one wears the half-moon diadem, which is continually
heaped with offerings from ascetics, and at the sight of which, at their
departure from the bodies, cleansed of their misdeeds, the faithful are able to
achieve the immuteable state of membership of Shivas following.
The bamboo canes filled with the wind sound sweetly. Victory over the three
cities is celebrated in song by the Kinnari demi-gods. If your rumbling like a
muraja drum resounds in the caves, the theme of a concert for Shiva will be
Having passed various features on the flanks of the Himalayas, proceed thence
north to Krauncarandhra, gateway for wild geese, which was the route to glory
for Bhrgupatiyou whose beautiful form is flat and long, like the dark blue
foot of Vishnu uplifted for the suppression of Bali.
And having gone further, become the guest of Mt Kailasa, the seams of whose
peaks were rent by the arms of the ten-faced one and which is a mirror for
the consorts of the Thirty Gods, and which, extending with lofty peaks like
white lotuses, stands in the sky like the loud laughter of the three-eyed
one accumulated day by day.
I foresee that when you, resembling glossy powdered kohl, reach the foot of
that mountain as white as a freshly cut piece of ivory, the imminent beauty
will be fit to be gazed upon with an unerring eye, like the dark blue garment
placed on the shoulder of the plough-carrier.
And if Gauri should take a walk on the foot of that pleasure-hill, lent a hand
by Shiva who has set aside his serpent-bracelet, your shape transformed into a
flight of steps, your torrents of water withheld within yourself, become a
stairway rising in front of her for the ascent of the jewel-slopes.
There the young women of the gods will use you as a showeryou whose
waters are brought forth by the striking together of the diamonds in their
bracelets. If, friend, you were unable to release yourself from them, being
encountered in the hot season, startle them who are intent on playing with
you, with claps of thunder, harsh to the ear.
Partaking of the waters of Manasa which bring forth golden lotuses, bringing
at pleasure momentary delight like a cloth upon the face of Airavata, shaking
with your winds the sprouts of wish-fulfilling trees like garments, enjoy the
king of mountains with various playful actions, O cloud.
Once you, who wander at will, have seen Alaka seated in the lap of the
mountain like a lover, with the Ganges like a garment that has slipped, you
will not fail to recognise her again with her lofty palaces and bearing hosts of
clouds with showers of rain at the time of year when you are present,
resembling a woman whose tresses are interwoven with strings of pearls.
The Cloud Messenger – Part 03
Where the palaces are worthy of comparison to you in these various aspects:
you possess lightning, they have lovely women; you have a rainbow, they are
furnished with pictures; they have music provided by resounding drums, you
produce deep, gentle rumbling; you have water within, they have floors made
of gemstones; you are lofty, their rooftops touch the sky;
Where there are decorative lotuses in the hands of the young wives; fresh
jasmine woven into their hair; where the beauty of their faces is made whiter
by the pollen of lodhra flowers; in the thick locks on their crowns are fresh
kurubaka flowers; on their ears charming shirisa flowers; and on the parting
of their hair, nipa flowers that bloom on your arrival;
Where the trees, humming with intoxicated bees, are always in flower; the lily
pools, having rows of wild geese as waistbands, always produce lotuses;
where the tails of the tame peacocks, their necks upstretched to cry out, are
always resplendent; and where the evenings are perpetually moonlit and
pleasant, and darkness has been banished;
Where the tears of the lords of wealth are of utmost joy, having no other
cause, there being no suffering other than that caused by the flower-arrowed
god which is to be assuaged by union with the desired one; where there is
separation other than that arising from lovers quarrels; and where there is
indeed no age other than youth;
Where yakshas, having assembled on the upper terraces of the palace, made of
crystal, accompanied by their excellent womenfolk, enjoy ratiphalam wine
produced by a wish-fulfilling tree, while drums whose sound resembles your
deep thunder are beaten softly;
Where the girls fanned by breezes cooled by the waters of the Mandakini
river, the heat dispelled by the shade of the mandara trees that grow on its
banks, are urges by the gods to play with jewels hidden by burying them with
clenched fists in the golden sands and which are to be searched for;
Where the handfuls of powder flung by those red-lipped women bewildered
by shame when their lovers passionately pull away their linen garments, the
ties of which have been loosened and undone by restless hands, although they
reach the long-rayed jewel-lamps, they fail to extinguish them;
Where ragged clouds, like yourself, brought to the upper stories of the palaces
by the leader of the wind, having committed the misdeed of shedding
raindrops on a painting, cleverly imitating puffs of smoke, flee immediately
by way of the lattices as if filled with dread;
Where at night the moonstones, hanging from a web of threads and shedding
full drops of water under the influence of moonbeams bright since the removal
of your obstruction, dispel the physical langour after sexual enjoyment on the
part of the women who are freed from the embraces of their lovers arms;
Where lovers, with inexhaustible treasure their residences, together with the
kinnaras who sing with sweet voices of the glory of the lord of wealth,
accompanied by celestial courtesans, engage in conversation and enjoy
everyday the outer grove known as Vaibhraja;
Where at sunrise the route taken by women the previous night is indicated by
mandara flowers with torn petals that were shaken from their hair by the
movement of their walking, by the golden lotuses that slipped from behind
their ears, and by necklaces of strings of pearls the threads of which broke
upon their breasts;
Where a single wish-fulfilling tree produces every adornment for women:
coloured garments, wine which is suitable for introducing an amorous
playfulness to the eyes, flowers together with buds which are distinctive
among ornaments, and red lac dye suitable for application to their lotus-like
Where horses, as dark as leaves, rival the steeds of the sun; where elephants,
as tall as mountains, pour forth showers, like you, from the pores of their
temples; and where the foremost warriors stood in battle against the ten-faced
one, the splendour of their ornmanets surpassed by the scars of the wounds
Where the god of love does not generally carry his bow strung with bees,
knowing that the god who is the friend of the lord of wealth dwells there in
person: his task is accomplished by the amorous play of talented women
whose glances are cast by means of curved eyebrows and which are not in
vain among the objects of their desire.
There, to the north of the residence of the lord of wealth, our home is to be
recognised from afar by an arched portal as lovely as a rainbow, near which a
young mandara tree, caused to bow down by bunches of flowers that may be
touched by the hand, is cherished by my beloved like an adopted son.
And within is a pool the steps of which are studded with emerald stone, filled
with flowering golden lotuses whose stalks are of smooth chrysoberyl. On its
waters the geese that have take up residence there do not think of Lake Manas
close at hand, and are free from sorrow, having seen you.
On its bank there is a pleasure hill whose summit is studded with fine
sapphires, beautiful to behold with a hedge of golden plantain trees. Having
seen you, O friend, with flashing lightning, near at hand, I recall that mountain
with a despondent mind, thinking, It is enjoyed by my spouse.
Here is a red ashoka with trembling buds and a charming kesara near a hedge
of kurubaka and a bower of madhavi. One desires (as I do) the touch of your
friends left foot. The other longs for a mouthful of wine from her, having as
its pretext a craving.
And between these is a golden perch with a crystal base, studded at its foot
with gems that shine like half-grown bamboo, on which rests your friend the
blue-necked one, who, at the days end, is caused to dance by my beloved
with claps of her hands, made pleasant by the jingling of her bracelets.
Having seen the figures of Shanka and Padma painted near the door, by
these signs preserved in yout heart, O noble one, you may distinguish the
residence, now reduced in beauty because of my absence. Indeed, at the
setting of the sun, even the lotus does not display its own splendour.
Having shrunk at once to the size of a small elephant for the sake of a swift
descent, resting on the pleasure mountain with lovely peaks that I have
mentioned, please cast your gaze in the form of a flickering bolt of faint
lightning upon the interior of the house, like the glow of a swarm of fire-flies.
The Cloud Messenger – Part 04
The slender young woman who is there would be the premier creation by the
Creator in the sphere of women, with fine teeth, lips like a ripe bimba fruit, a
slim waist, eyes like a startled gazelles, a deep navel, a gait slow on account
of the weight of her hips, and who is somewhat bowed down by her breasts.
You should know that she whose words are few, my second life, is like a
solitary female cakravaka duck when I, her mate, am far away. While these
weary days are passing, I think the girl whose longing is deep has taken on an
altered appearance, like a lotus blighted by frost.
Surely the face of my beloved, her eyes swollen from violent weeping, the
colour of her lower lip changed by the heat of her sighs, resting upon her
hand, partially hidden by the hanging locks of her hair, bears the miserable
appearance of the moon with its brightness obscured when pursued by you.
She will come at once into your sight, either engaged in pouring oblations, or
drawing from memory my portrait, but grown thin on account of separation,
or asking the sweet-voiced sarika bird in its cage, I hope you remember the
master, O elegant one, for you are his favourite;
Or having placed a lute on a dirty cloth on her lap, friend, wanting to sing a
song whose words are contrived to contain my name, and somehow plucking
the strings wet with tears, again and again she forgets the melody, even
though she composed it herself;
Or engaged in counting the remaining months set from the day of our
separation until the end by placing flowers on the ground at the threshold, or
enjoying acts of union that are preserved in her mind. These generally are the
diversions of women when separated from their husbands.
During the day, when she has distractions, separation will not torment her so
much. I fear that your friend will have greater suffering at night without
distraction. You who carry my message, positioned above the palace roof-top,
see the good woman at midnight, lying on the ground, sleepless, and cheer her
Grown thin with anxiety, lying on one side on a bed of separation, resembling
the body of the moon on the eastern horizon when only one sixteenth part
remains, shedding hot tears, passing that night, lengthened by separation,
which spent in desired enjoyments in company with me would have passed in
Covering with eyelashes heavy with tears on account of her sorrow, her eyes
which were raised to face the rays of the moon, which were cool with nectar
and which entered by way of the lattice, fall again on account of her previous
love, like a bed of land-lotuses on an overcast day, neither open nor closed.
She whose sighs that trouble her bud-like lower lip will surely be scattering
the locks of her hair hanging at her cheek, dishevelled after a simple bath,
thinking how enjoyment with me might arise even if only in a dream, yearning
for sleep, the opportunity for which is prevented by the affliction of tears;
She who is repeatedly pushing from the curve of her cheek with her hand
whose nails are unkempt, the single braid, plaited by me, stripped of its
garland, on the first day of our separation, which will be loosened by me when
I am free from sorrow at the expiry of the curse, and which is rough to the
touch, stiff, and hard.
That frail woman, supporting her tender body which he has laid repeatedly in
great suffering on a couch, will certainly cause even you to shed tears in the
form of fresh rain. Generally all tender-hearted beaing have a compassionate
I know that the mind of your friend is filled with accumulated love for me. On
account of that I imagine her condition thus at our first separation. Even the
thought of my good fortune does not make me feel like talking. All that I have
said, brother, will be before your eyes before long.
I think of the eyes of that deer-eyed one, the sideways movements of which
are concealed by her hair, which are devoid of the glistening of collyrium,
which have forgotten the play of their eyebrows on account of abstinence
from sweet liqour, and whose upper eyelids tremble when you are near: these
eyes take on the semblance of the beauty of a blue lotus that is trembling with
the movement of a fish.
And her lovely thigh will tremble, being without the impressions of my
fingernails, caused to abandon it long-accustomed string of pearls by the
course of fate, used to the caresses of my hand at the end of our enjoyment,
and as pale as the stem of a beautiful plantain palm.
At that time, O cloud, if she is enjoying the sleep she has found, remaining
behind her, your thunder restrained, wait during the night-watch. Let not the
knot of her creeper-like arms in close embrace with me her beloved, somehow
found in a dream, fall from my neck at once.
Having woken her with a breeze cooled by your own water droplets, she will
be refreshed like the fresh clusters of buds of the malati. Your lightning held
within, being firm, begin to address her with words of thunder; she, the proud
on whose eyes are fixed on the window occupied by you:
O you who are not a widow, know me to be a cloud who is a dear friend of
your husband. With messages stored in my heart I have arrived at your side,
and with slow and friendly rumblings I urge along the road a multitude of
weary travellers who are eager to loosen the braids of their womenfolk.
When this has been said, like Sita looking up at Hanuman, having beheld you
with her heart swollen with longing and having honoured you, she will listen
attentively to you further, O friend. For women, news of their beloved that
brought by a friend is little short of union.
O long-lived one, following my instructions and to bring credit to yourself,
address her thus: Your partner who resides at the ashram on Ramagiri, who is
still alive though separated from you, inquires after your news, madam. This
is the very thing that is first asked by beings who may easily fall into
He whose path is blocked by an invidious command and is at a distance, by
means of these intentions, unites his body with yours, the emaciated with the
emaciated, the afflicted with the deeply afflicted, that which is wet with tears
with that which is tearful, that whose longing is ceaseless with that which is
longed for, that whose sighs are hot with that whose sighs are even more
He who has become eager to say what is to be said in words in your ear, in the
presence of your female friends, with a desire to touch your face, he who is
beyond the range of your ears, unseen by your eyes, addresses these words
composed on account of his desire, through the agency of my mouth:
I perceive your body in the priyangu vines, your glances in the eyes of the
startled deer, the beauty of your face in the moon, your hair in the peacocks
feathers and the play of your eyebrows in the delicate ripples on the river, but
alas, your whole likeness is not to be found in a single thing, O passionate
Having painted your likeness, with mineral colours on a rock, appearing angry
because of love, as soon as I wish to paint myself fallen at your feet, my
vision is clouded again and again with copious tears. Cruel fate does not
permit our union, even in this picture.
Watching me with my arms stretched up into the air for an ardent embrace
when you have somhow been found by me in a vision or in a dream, the local
deities repeatedly shed teardrops as big as pearls on the buds of the trees.
Those winds from the snowy mountains which having broken open the sepals
of the buds of the devadaru trees become fragrant with their milky sap and
which blow southwardsthey are embraced by me, O virtuous one, with the
thought that your body might previously have been touched by them.
How can the night with its long watches by compressed into a moment? How
may a day become cooler in every season? Thus my mind, whose desires are
difficult to satisfy, is rendered without refuge by the deep and burning pangs
of separation from you, O one of trembling eyes.
Indeed, ever brooding, I maintain myself by means of myself alone.
Therefore, O beautiful one, you also should not fear. Whose happiness is
endless or whose suffering is complete? The condition of life rises and falls
like the felly of a wheel.
The the holder of the bow called Sharnga rises from his serpent bed, the
curse will end for me. Having closed your eyes, endure the remaining four
months. After that, we two will indulge our own various desires, increased by
separation, on nights lit by the full autumn moon.
And he said further, In the past you embraced my neck as we lay on our bed,
you called out something in your sleep and woke up. When I asked over and
over, you said to me with an inward smile, I saw you in my dream enjoying
another girl, you cheat!
Having ascertained from the telling of this account that I am well, do not be
suspicious of me on account of any rumour, O dark-eyed one. They say that
love somehow perishes during separation, but because there is no fulfilment,
the love for that which is desired with increasing desire, becomes a even more
Having comforted her thus, your friens whose sorrow is great in her first
separation, return at once from the mountain whose peaks were cast up by the
bull of three-eyed one. Then you should prop up my life which flags like
kunda flowers in the morning with her words about her welfare, and an
account of her.
I hope, friend, that you are firmly resolved upon this friendly service for me. I
certainly do not regard your silences as indicating refusal. When requested
you also apportion rain to the cataka cuckoos in silence, for the response of
the virtuous to those who make a request is the performance of that which is
Having undertaken this favour for me who bears this request that is unworthy
of you, with thoughts of compassion for me, either out of friendship or
because you think that I am alone, proceed to your desired destination, O
cloud, your splendour enhanced by rainy season, and may you never be
separated like this even for a moment from your spouse, the lightning.
Ham de Foc – Concert a la ciutat de València
The Poetry Of Ancient India: Kalidasa
The autumn comes, a maiden fair
In slenderness and grace,
With nodding rice-stems in her hair
And lilies in her face.
In flowers of grasses she is clad;
And as she moves along,
Birds greet her with their cooing glad
Like bracelets’ tinkling song.
A diadem adorns the night
Of multitudinous stars;
Her silken robe is white moonlight,
Set free from cloudy bars;
And on her face (the radiant moon)
Bewitching smiles are shown:
She seems a slender maid, who soon
Will be a woman grown.
Over the rice-fields, laden plants
Are shivering to the breeze;
While in his brisk caresses dance
The blossomed-burdened trees;
He ruffles every lily-pond
Where blossoms kiss and part,
And stirs with lover’s fancies fond
The young man’s eager heart.
Look To this Day
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
THE HERO AND THE NYMPH
A monologue from the play
PURURAVAS: [Angrily] Halt, ruffian, halt! Thou in thy giant arms
Bearest away my Urvasie! He has
Soared up from a great crag in the sky
And wars me, hurling downward bitter rain
Of arrows. With this thunderbolt I smite thee.
[He lifts up a clod and runs as to hurl it; then pauses and looks upward.]
I am deceived! This was a cloud
Equipped for rain, no proud and lustful fiend,
The rainbow, not a weapon drawn to kill,
Quick-driving showers are these, not sleety rain
Of arrows; and that brilliant line like streak
Of gold upon a touchstone, cloud-inarmed,
I saw, was lightning, not my Urvasie.
[Sorrowfully] Where shall I find her now? Where clasp those thighs
Swelling and smooth and white?
This grove, this grove should find her.
And here, O here is something to enrage my resolution.
Red-tinged, expanding, wet and full of rain,
These blossom-cups recall to me her eyes
Brimming with angry tears. How shall I trace her,
Or what thing tells me “Here and here she wandered?”
If she had touched with her beloved feet
The rain-drenched forest-sands, there were a line
Of little gracious footprints seen, with lac
Envermeilled, sinking deeper towards the heel
Because o’erburdened by her hips’ large glories.
I see a hint of her! This way
Then went her angry beauty! Lo, her bodice
Bright green as is a parrot’s belly, smitten
With crimson drops. It once veiled in her bosom
And paused to show her naval deep as love.
These are her tears that from those angry eyes
Went trickling, stealing scarlet from her lips
To spangle all this green. Doubtless her heaving
Tumult of breasts broke its dear hold and, she
Stumbling in anger, from my Heaven it drifted.
I’ll gather it to my kisses.
[He stoops to it, then sorrowfully:]
O my heart!
Only green grass with dragon-wings enamelled!
From whom shall I in all the desolate forest
Have tidings of her, or what creature help me?
Lo, in yon waste of crags the peacock! he
Upon a cool moist rock that breathes of rain
Exults, aspires, his gorgeous mass of plumes
Seized, blown and scattered by the roaring gusts.
Pregnant of shrillness is his outstretched throat,
His look is with the clouds. Him I will question:
Have the bright corners of thine eyes beheld,
O sapphire-throated bird, her, my delight,
My wife, my passion, my sweet grief? Yielding
No answer, he begins his gorgeous dance.
Why should he be so glad of my heart’s woe?
I know thee, peacock. Since my cruel loss
Thy plumes that stream in splendour on the wind,
Have not one rival left. For when her heavy
Dark wave of tresses over all the bed
In softness wide magnificently collapsed
On her smooth shoulders massing purple glory
And bright with flowers, she passioning in my arms,
Who then was ravished with thy brilliant plumes,
Vain bird? I question thee not, heartless thing,
That joyest in others’ pain.
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Hero and the Nymph. Trans. Sri Aurobindo. Hyderabad: Government Central Press, 1911.
An Indian poet and dramatist, Kalidasa lived sometime between the reign of Agnimitra, the second Shunga king (c. 170 BC) who was the hero of one of his dramas, and the Aihole inscription of AD 634 which praises Kalidasa’s poetic skills. Most scholars now associate him with the reign of Candra Gupta II (reigned c. 380-c. 415).
Little is known about Kalidasa’s life. According to legend, the poet was known for his beauty which brought him to the attention of a princess who married him. However, as legend has it, Kalidasa had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. A devoted worshipper of the goddess Kali (his name means literally Kali’s slave), Kalidasa is said to have called upon his goddess for help and was rewarded with a sudden and extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the “nine gems” at the court of the fabulous king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lanka during the reign of Kumaradasa.
Kalidasa’s first surviving play, Malavikagnimitra or Malavika and Agnimitra tells the story of King Agnimitra, a ruler who falls in love with the picture of an exiled servant girl named Malavika. When the queen discovers her husbands passion for this girl, she becomes infuriated and has Malavika imprisoned, but as fate would have it, Malavika is in fact a true-born princess, thus legitimizing the affair.
Kalidasa’s second play, generally considered his masterpiece, is the Shakuntala which tells the story of another king, Dushyanta, who falls in love with another girl of lowly birth, the lovely Shakuntala. This time, the couple is happily married and things seem to be going smoothly until Fate intervenes. When the king is called back to court by some pressing business, his new bride unintentionally offends a saint who puts a curse on her, erasing the young girl entirely from the king’s memory. Softening, however, the saint concedes that the king’s memory will return when Shakuntala returns to him the ring he gave her. This seems easy enough–that is, until the girl loses the ring while bathing. And to make matters worse, she soon discovers that she is pregnant with the king’s child. But true love is destined to win the day, and when a fisherman finds the ring, the king’s memory returns and all is well. Shakuntala is remarkable not only for it’s beautiful love poetry, but also for its abundant humor which marks the play from beginning to end.
The last of Kalidasa’s surviving plays, Vikramorvashe or Urvashi Conquered by Valor, is more mystical than the earlier plays. This time, the king (Pururavas) falls in love with a celestial nymph named Urvashi. After writing her mortal suitor a love letter on a birch leaf, Urvashi returns to the heavens to perform in a celestial play. However, she is so smitten that she misses her cue and pronounces her lover’s name during the performance. As a punishment for ruining the play, Urvashi is banished from heaven, but cursed to return the moment her human lover lays eyes on the child that she will bear him. After a series of mishaps, including Urvashi’s temporary transformation into a vine, the curse is eventually lifted, and the lovers are allowed to remain together on Earth. Vikramorvashe is filled poetic beauty and a fanciful humor that is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition to his plays, Kalidasa wrote two surviving epic poems Raghuvamsha (“Dynasty of Raghu”) and Kumarasambhava (“Birth of the War God”), as well as the lyric “Meghaduta” (“Cloud Messenger”). He is generally considered to be the greatest Indian writer of any epoch.
No Visuals, but the music is great….
L’ Ham de Foc- el Que vull