Bharat Ek Khoj

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Kalidasa Part II
(Episode 19)

Nehru cities the French critic Sylvan levy in The Indian theatre : Theatre is an excellent expression of civilization even in its infancy. With its translation and interpretation of real life it can be confined to a single striking form free from insignificant accessories and generalization with symbols.

Abhijananam Shakutalam opens with Shakuntla wrapped in thought of king Dushyanta and his oblivious to arrivel of the irascible saga Durvasa. The latter take immediate offence, cursing shkuntala to forget the one whose sweet memories has made her unmindful of his presence. Her companion Anasuya and priyamvada panic and, at their entreaty, Durvasa softens his curse to make it in applicable on production in signia. The time arrive know for the hermit-girl to leave for her aboard, but entourage is give a distinctly cold welcome by the king. Having forgotten all about his marriage and even pregnancy of Shakuntala, the king expresses righteous bewilderment at very suggestion of a runaway marriage and the hermits are equally indignant at the king refusing to accept a lawfully wife. The meeting breaks amidst much acrimony and Shakuntala is reported to be whisked away from her ignominy by heavenly fairies.

The scenario changes from Kaladasa play to Kalidasa as in Ashad Ka Ek Din. Mallika is Chastised by an uncle for having declined royal bounty. When who appears but Kaladasa himself, virtually glosing over his long absence and hoping to finds thing as they were when he had left, Kaladasa regrets his ears in Ujjain as 'Matrigupta' unable to adjust to royalty and never forgoting Mallika in all his creative outpourings. He offers to begin life with Mallika once again, but the 'present' intervenes, she is married now and has a child. Kaladasa walks out to never to returned again.

Nehru alludes to Sylvan levy again. The Indian orginallity lay in the expression of aholistic approach in its dramatic act, it combined and condensed the dogma, the belief system and institution... And here was Ryder assessing poetical fluency as well as intellectual grasp of time since the world began. Because he processed this harmonious combination, Kaladasa rank with Sophocles, Virgil and Milton.