Thursday, February 15, 2007


The maidens were busy with their household chores, and Chandrapida heard with delight the names of these lovely girls and the instructions given to them, such as -Lavalika, spread the pollen of ketaki flowers on the graden trenches; Sagarika, sprinkle jewel dust on the pools of scented water; Rajanika, go to the avenue of tamal trees and place jewelled lamps there; Kumudika, protect the pomegranate trees with nets, otherwise the birds will ruin the fruit; Nipunika, decorate the dolls with saffron marks; Utpalika, take that golden broom and sweep the emerald floors on the banana arbour; Malatika, go paint the roof of Kamadeva's shrine, Nalinika, it is time to feed the swans, give them lotus honey;Kadalika, see that the peacocks are taken to the bath-house, Kutalitika, offer these mango buds to the pigeons; Pallavika, pluck some leaves from the top branches of the pepper tree and give them to the partridges;Madhukarika, weave some garlands with flowers; Mayurika, tell those two kinnaras to stop their music now; Harinika, it is time for you to give the caged parrots their daily talking lessons.

Chandrapida was enjoying the bustle of activity in which these charming maidens were engaged. And then, suddenly, his eyes rested on Kadambari herself. She was reclining on a small couch covered with silk. Two maidens fanned her, and the rhythmic movement of their arms made it appear that they were swimming in the river of Kadambari's beauty.

From Banabhatt's Kadambari (tr. from Sanskrit by Vishwanath S. Naravane)


Blogger Shreemoyee said...

Thanks for posting the excerpt. Lovely.

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Blogger shampa said...

Glad you liked it. Have been reading quite a few translations lately, and boy! am I charmed by the ornamental decorative prose of our sanskrit poets.

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Oh yes very much especially since I am using the names as suggestions for my soon-to-come niece. Also I blogrolled you, hope thats ok with you.

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