Perhaps the most lively and exuberant of Kalidasa's extant works, Ritusamharam is a glorious ode to nature's bounty and the enduring emotional response it evokes in mankind as a whole.
Recounted as a celebration of the passing seasons, it is a feast for the senses, capturing 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.
About the Author
Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India's classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. According to legend, he lived at the end of the fourth century, and was one the 'nine jewels' in the court of the Gupta king Chandragupta II. Although very little is known about his life, Kalidasa's popularity has endured for centuries.
A.N.D. Haksar (Translator)
ADITYA NARAYAN DHAIRYASHEEL HAKSAR is a well-known translator of Sanskrit classics. A long-time career diplomat, he served as the Indian high commissioner in Kenya and the Seychelles, minister in the United States and ambassador in Portugal and Yugoslavia. His translations from the Sanskrit include Hitopadesa, Simhasana Dvatrimsika, Subhashitavali, Kama Sutra, The Courtesan's Keeper, The Seduction of Shiva, Suleiman Charitra, Raghuvamsam and Three Hundred Verses, all published in Penguin Classics.