Bharat Ek Khoj

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Kalidasa Part-l
(Episode 18)

Nehru cited traditions that Kalidasa lived during the reign of the Chandragupta ll Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty. Vikramaditya came rested on the literary and cultural brilliance of his court where he collected some of the most famous writers, artist and musicians, the 'nine gems' of the imperial court. As one of the gems, Kalidasa was among the fortunate who experienced life's beauty and tenderness more than its rough edges. His writing reviled this love of life and a passion for natures beauty.

In our times Mohan Rakesh have scripted the play Ashadh Ka Ek Din on Kalidasas life in his native village where he thrived early in the romantic companion ship of beautiful mallika. A lovers tryst on the river front is seen as disturbed by a deer-cub short by a hunter, who turn out to be aware of kalidasas poetic prowess. The kings messenger calling the genius to join Ujjain royal court soon arrives and a reluctant mallika bids him adieu. The lovelorn poet writs his long poem meghadutam (the cloud messenger) where a lover made captive and separated from his beloved, ask a cloud, during a rainy season, to cary his message desperate longing to her at Alkapuri, crossing over hills and dales, lakes and rivers, dense forests and roaming deer.

Kalidasa in real life, is now confeered royalty under the title 'Matri Gupta' his new princes wife Priyangumanjari, pays a visit to Malika's village out of curiosity-but the indignant Mallika spurns all offers of royal help, now sure that kalidasa would never return. Meanwhile, kalidasa move on his magnum opus, the play Abhijnanam Shukantalam presented here blinding dialogue with full-throated Naty sangeet (dramatic Songs) inspired by kirloskars Marathi musical Shakuntala and sung with gusto by the protagonists to take dramatic action forward.

The king Dushanta comes hunting to a forest fair there is the hermitage of the saga canva. The king is prohibited from hunting the hermitage deer, but is offered hospitality bu the sagas beautiful foster-daughter Shakunlala in no time the king falls hermit girl reciprocated by the latter and encouraged by companions Anasuya and Pryamvada. After a brief interlude of sweet romancing they get married.

On Kalidasa Nehru court approvingly the American scholar, Ryder Kalidasa understood in the 5th century what Europe did not learn until 19th that the world was not made for man, that man reaches his full stature only as he realizes the dignity and the worth of life that is not human. That Kalidasa seized this truth is a magnificent tribute to his intellectual power, a quality quite as necessary to great poetry as perfection of form.