Mar 4th

Sakuntala 19. The reunion at last

By Raja
On his way to the hermitage
Of Maricha, the great Sage,
Dushyanta saw a little boy
Handling a lion cub like a toy.

An ascetic girl was shouting,
“The lion cub you’re hurting.
Don’t drag it like that.
Be careful, it may bite.”

“A naughty boy you’re
You show no fear.
So, they named you
Sarvadamanan, it’s true.”

Like his own son
The king felt then.
This feeling ran,
As he had no son

The girl shouted again,
“Leave the cub, son,
Or else, its mother will
Pounce upon you and kill.”

The boy didn’t care
But laughed at her.
He continued to play
Without any say.

The king eagerly examined
The boy’s right hand.
He saw all signs of royal
And felt them unbelievable.

He advised the boy
“Lion cub is not a toy.
This is sacred place
More devoted for peace.”

The girl replied him,
“Oh King, this game
He plays quite often
Not as hermit’s son.”

“I’m surprised to see
This boy appears to be
Similar to your face,
This, I can easily trace.”

“He’s from the Puru’s family.
Of late, he’s too naughty.
His mother is the daughter
Of a celestial mother.”

“She delivered this son
And here he was born
In her late father’s hut,
As forced by her fate.”

“Sakuntala is his mother.
And this boy loves her.
Where has his bracelet gone?
It works like a talisman.”

Somewhere on the ground
It was searched and found
By Dushyanta, the king
With no miracle happening.

The girl said, “It’s a talisman.
That can be picked up by none
By chance, when it falls,
Excepting three persons.”

“The boy, his mother
And also his father,
When others take
It’ll turn into snake.”

“It never turned snake
When you tried to take,
So, you’re his father.
I’ll inform his mother.”

Sakuntala came out,
Slowly from the hut.
She was surprised
To see her husband.

“Oh dear, how harsh I was
But now I fully realize.
I’m fortunate to see you.
What I say now is true.”

When he said like this,
She accepted his words,
Saying, “It’s our fate
That kept us both separate.”

The little boy was curious
To know, who he was?
To explain the kid, she tried
But her voice got choked.

It was a glorious end,
An occasion Godsend,
That brought the family
Together once again happily.

Sarvadamanan, their son
As Bharath was later known
It was by this famous son,
This country, Bharath was born.

                     The End
Mar 4th

Sakuntala 18. The King's ring

By Raja
The palace guard chief,
Caught hold of a thief
Tied his hands behind
And at him, he shouted.

“Oh thief, this diamond ring
Has the sign of our King,
Where did you steal it?
I’ll kill you for robbing it.”

“No Master, I didn’t steal it.
Near the lake, in a hut,
I live there as a fisherman,
With my wife and children.”

“One day, a fish I caught.
Its stomach when I cut
I found this precious ring.
To sell it, I was trying.”

“At that time, I was caught.
I’m not a thief, in fact.
If you don’t believe me
Kill me or leave me.”

The chief smelled the ring
Fish’s smell, it was giving.
“This is a wonder really.
How it went into its belly?”

The chief gave it to the King,
Who saw his own ring,
And his memory, he got back,
In that, had his flashback.

He gave gifts to the thief
And ordered the chief
To release him at once,
As the ring came, by chance.

The King’s heart melted.
This, he never expected.
How badly he treated
His wife, he regretted.

He became too restless.
He spent nights sleepless.
He hated everything good.
He was scantly taking food.

No minister went near him.
Royal court missed him.
Queens yearned for him.
His past almost killed him.

There was no festival,
Annual or periodical,
This caused displeasure
To the public everywhere.

With no royal jewels
And proper dress,
His look was stale.
His lips looked pale.

Luster, his eyes had lost.
His breath became hot.
His mouth didn’t speak.
He became very weak.

Yet, the people opined,
That his beauty shined,
His grace was still there.
His charm went nowhere.

To Madavya, his friend,
About his grief, he told,
“When the darkness left
The past memory I got.”

“Cupid once again threw
His soft flower arrow
That makes me feel
For that innocent girl.”

Sakuntala’s portrait,
Madavya brought,
For the king to see
To keep his mind free.

“Oh Madavya, her face,
Her appeals, her tears,
Appear before my eyes
And bring me now tears.”

“How she would have felt
When I didn’t accept
Her words till the last,
To think now, I’m upset.”

“How badly I treated her?
Who would have taken her?
Perhaps, her celestial mother
Could have now kept her.”

“Friend, when I left
Her in the forest,
After me she ran,
Back expecting me.”

“At that time, this ring,
I gave her, assuring
That my messenger
Will bring her here.”

“As my absent memory,
Betrayed me very badly,
I was harsh with her
Unmindful of her tear.”

“Oh Ring, why you let down her
By falling into the water?
Here, why have you come again,
When she had already gone?”

“Before me, when she stood
With unfair words, I abused.
Her portrait now, I’ve praised.
Like this, why am I tried?”

“Since I had lost my sleep,
I had no dreams to keep
And enjoy her presence,
Not even in my dreams.”
Mar 3rd

Sakuntala 17. The King's Court (II)

By Raja
To show the king,
As a proof, his ring,
She lifted her finger,
But alas, it wasn’t there.

The ring had fallen
In the lake when
A bath on the way,
She took, that day

The king ridiculed
And mockingly said,
“It’s a good example
For a cunning girl.”

She tried to tell him
Events of that time,
When he was too close
To her on those days.

“There was a young deer
That entertained a fear
To drink the cup of water
When you gave it there.”

“It accepted my offer
And drank the water.
You may remember
This incident earlier.”

He laughed and said,
“Words of this kind
Young girls do coin
To cover up men.”

“You Respected King
What’re you talking?
In our hermitage she was living.
She doesn’t know cheating.”

Like this Gowthami said,
For which the king replied,
“In the nest of other birds
Cuckoo bird lays its eggs.”

“The girl tribe is like that
In tricks, they’re experts.
When they try to cheat,
Wise men cannot take it,

Sakuntala said in anger,
“Oh you so inferior,
You’re a well closed
By hideous grass lid.”

“With the yardstick of yours
You try to measure others.
You think others will do
Like what nonsense you do.”

He said, “For her false plea
She throws fire on me.
Aspersions on me to cast,
It’s not fair on her part.”

“It’s natural for a girl
Wounded like her to yell.
My life-book is open
To be read by anyone.”

She replied, “In that case
Are you the only one wise
Who knows everything,
Others know nothing?”

“Are you the only one wise
Knowing the fair rules?
The shameless drop out girls
They know not fair rules?”

“On the fame of Puru race
And his honey-like words
I fell in the trap he threw.
Now, I’m called a shrew.”

“To control, if there’s no rein
The feeling speed kills a man.
Cunning lesson she didn’t learn.
Like the royal cunning lesson.”

Like this, the disciple observed.
The king opposed his words.
And said, “If you’re a speaker
Of truth, I want an answer.”

“If I’m what you say whatever,
What’s it I gain by cheating her?
In one word the disciple replied,
“Downfall” – This much he said.

The king said, “The Puru race will
Never seek their downfall.”
“Oh King, why this exchange
Of words, it looks strange.”

“We’ve told what our guru
Has asked us to tell you.
Now we’re leaving this place
She’s now left to your choice.”

She shouted, “What’s it?
In the hands of a cheat
My marriage is undone.
Why leave me here alone?”

“How will your father
Again accept you there
When the king blames you
And the shame fell on you?”

“This is your husband’s palace.
So, you serve in this place,
Spend your time here.
Never try to come there.”

Like this the disciple said,
But the King then refused
To retain her in the palace
Warned and said like this:

“Why are you giving her
False hopes to remain here?
A person of self-control
Can he touch any other girl?”

“Which one is a greater sin?
To touch a wife of next man,
Or abandon a wife as wrong?
May be, we’re both erring.”

The head priest said at last,
“In my house, let her be kept,
Till she delivers the child,
With the mercy of God.”

“A forecast says, your son,
Among others, the first born,
Only will ascend the throne,
And rule the world, in his turn.”

“If she delivers a son,
With such divine signs,
In his body, better
As wife, you take her.”

“If signs aren’t there,
We’ll then send her
To the Sage, her father,
And she’ll stay there.”

The King agreed to this.
But she cried like this,
“Oh mother earth split
And take me inside it.”

With the Head Priest,
She went out at last.
The King thought of her
Yet, he wasn’t clear.

A strange thing happened
When she openly cried,
Up a Goddess* took her
And disappeared with her.”

The king said, “It is better
We close this chapter,
As already decided
Let it not be reopened.”

He retired to his chamber,
But still didn’t remember,
All that had happened,
What she had narrated.

(*Menaka, her celestial mother)
Mar 2nd

Sakuntala 16. The King's Court (I)

By Raja
The Sage Kanva’s party,
Met in the hours early,
The chief guard of palace,
At the gate’s entrance.

They wanted to meet,
The King in his court,
The chief guard waited
For the King’s command.

A poet sang, “With no rest,
You do work for the rest,
Like a tree swallowing the heat
Giving its shadow to the rest.”

Next poet sang, “More wealth
Means more relatives on earth.
But the people consider the king
As a relative, more than anything.”

The King was so pleased,
With their flowery words,
He forgot his tiresomeness
And felt of his freshness.

From the air, a song came.
It sang, “A Thief-bee came
For fresh honey, kissed
Mango flower and sucked.”

“It was so happy then
Like the fresh lily one,
But soon it forgot
That fresh honey taste.”

The King was absorbed
In the song that floated
On the air to reach his ears.
His heart, it did pierce.

It was from his queen
Hamsavati, the one
Dear to the king once,
But later not in that race.

He said, “I’m in the dark
When I just look back.
Something inside, I feel,
What is it? I can’t tell.”

The chief guard said
“Oh King, there’s a maid,
At the gate, with hermits,
Who’re her escorts.

“They’re from Sage Kanva.
Her name is Sakuntala.
They want to meet the King
And tell His Majesty something.”

King told him to bring them all,
Straight to the sacrifice hall.
The hermits and the girl
Stood in the main hall.

Sakuntala felt something,
And to know the meaning
Of her right eye throbbing,
She was then enquiring.

The King asked them,
“Is there any problem
For which you’re here.
Tell me without fear.”

Sarangarava replied
“We feel honoured
By Your Excellency
And your kind enquiry.”

The King asked, “What’s your
Great Master’s order?
I’m here to carry it.
Let me know it.”

The message he then read,
“My daughter, you married.
Without anyone’s knowledge.
Now I agree to this marriage.”

“She carries your baby.
Now accept her lawfully
As your wife openly
And ceremoniously.”

Gowthami also said,
“Elders, you avoided,
Nor she consulted,
But you both married.”

“How can others say
On this affair anyway?
Who can advise you
When it’s known to you?”

The King doubtfully said,
“A kind of scheme is laid
Before me to trap me.
This is what I now see.”

Sakuntala felt his words,
As fire fell into her ears.
She waited there to hear
More from him further.

“How do you say this girl
Married to me at my will?
By a mistaken identity
This has come up for scrutiny.”

When she heard this reply
She felt let down badly.
Was the King talking
Or his ghost talking?

“When the power is up
Man’s head reels up.
He changes his word.”
The disciple then said.

“I’m taken to task severely
And also unnecessarily,”
Like this, the king said
As the royal head.

Then he saw her deeply
And thought doubtfully
“Is this girl before me
Really belongs to me?

“I’m unable to reject,
Nor able to accept,
Is it true, what I hear?
I’m not very much clear.”

“What’s the meaning
Of your silence, Oh King,”
The disciple finally asked.
For that the king said:

“Oh you holy men,
Please carefully listen.
I’m trying my best
To recollect the past.”

“I don’t remember
To have met her
Anytime in the past.
This is my word last.”

“Now pregnant she is.
How can I accept this?
I’m not her husband,
As you all demand.”
.
Sakuntala’s turn came
And she told him,
“With an open heart
I played my part.”

“By nature, we’re plain.
Pious life, we’ve chosen.
We trust a good person.
You’re cheating a woman.”

“A sacred agreement,
In which you took part,
Is now broken into pieces
On some silly excuses.”

The king closed his ears
With his two hands.
“Stop this nonsense.
Talk something else.”

“You’re a disgrace
To your high race
And wish to degrade
My position,” he said.
Mar 1st

Sakuntala 15. The journey continued

By Raja
Kanva told his disciple,
“You entrust this girl
To the King and tell
Him about our goodwill.

“Tell him that her deep love
Came naturally somehow,
Without our instigation
Or other’s persuasion.”

“We’re pious people,
While he’s above us all.
Let him treat her as one,
Among the other queens.”

Sarangarava, his disciple,
Understood the principle,
And agreed to convey it
To the King, when he met.

Kanva then advised her
“Sakuntala, my dear,
You must take care
Of your conduct there.”

“Do elders’ work properly.
Move with queens friendly.
You don’t speak rudely,
Even if the King is angry.”

“Treat your servants kindly.
Don’t talk arrogantly,
Out of your rich pleasure
Or your valuable treasure.”

“This kind of girl only
Is fit to head a family.
Others are black sheep
In any family upkeep.”

Gowthami, her foster mother,
All the way accompanied her,
Before parting her father,
Sakuntala again shed tear.

Kanva said, “My dear girl,
You’re like my eye ball.
Don’t shed any tear
Or go with any fear.”

“You’re joining the King.
A son, you’ll be having.
You’ll be busy very soon.
And forget this pain by then.”

“When shall I be here,
With your goodself, father?”
She asked him anxiously
Holding his hand tightly.

He said, “My dear child,
With your dear husband
And my grandson, later,
For rest, you can be here.”

Gowthami said, “Let us move.
It’s time for us to leave.
Your father has to perform
His religious rites in time.”

Sakuntala told, “Oh father,
Your busy duties will never
Allow you to remember
Your separated daughter.”

“But I feel the separation
In my case has already begun.”
Like this, she expressed
Her sad feelings at the end.

Kanva consoled her again
“Near our hut, your grains
Have not sprouted yet.
My sorrow, how to forget?”

He turned back to return.
Her friends came to join.
All the three walked back
Tears drenched their cheeks.
Mar 1st

Sakuntala 14. Preparation for the journey

By Raja
It was time for the dawn.
Behind the western mountain
Went the cool setting moon.
In the east, came the rising sun.

Sage Kanva’s disciple got up
And the time, he checked up.
The reddish sky showed,
The morning had just arrived.

Lotus flowers in the ponds
Were cut off from their bonds
With the moon, felt like those maidens
Who cried for their separated lovers.

The dew drops sucked
The early sunlight, so red.
All the thatched huts woke
With the dance of peacock.

The black deer stretched
Their bodies and stood
Near the sacrifice altar
Waiting for their master.

Friend Anusuya thought
“O’er the King’s contact
With Sakuntala, in secret,
Anyone can easily comment.”

“I got up this early morning.
What’s there to do? Nothing.
To perform morning duties
Why my both hands refuse?”

“Happy may be the Cupid,
For joining my friend,
With a man, a deserter,
More or less, a cheater.”

“The curse on the King,
Perhaps, is now acting.
May be he’s innocent.
Not as I earlier meant.”

“All those tall promises,
He gave my friend once,
But why he hasn’t so far
Sent anyone for her?”

“If we send to the king,
His own wedding ring,
He may, perhaps, remember
The secret marriage with her.”

“But how to send it?
Will any hermit take it?
She’s now in the family way
And is carrying his baby.”

“The situation is so critical
There’s no solution simple.
Her father should know this
To avoid, later on, any fuss.”

Pryamvada called Anusuya,
“See, before sending Sakuntala
To her husband’s palace
A celebration is taking place.”

“Just now I saw her father,
Blessed and informed her,
“Don’t worry, with proper escorts,
You’ll go to your husband’s place.”

“From the sky a voice came.
It mentioned your name.
What happened, it revealed,
Saying, it benefits the world.”

Anusuya said, “I’m happy.
At the same time I’m sorry,
To think she’s leaving us,
Though for her own place.”

“We should all celebrate
Now this happy event
By decorating her
In a grand manner.”

Amidst the hermit-wives,
Sakuntala sat on a dais,
Decorated with flowers,
And other ornaments.

It was a pleasant moment
For everyone to comment.
Elders sprinkled holy water,
With raised hands blessing her.

“May you be the queen
To adorn the throne!”
May your fame shine
Among all the queens.

“May Gods in the heaven
Bless you with a son!
May this God child
Rule the entire world!’

Sakuntala cried and said,
“Among all, I’ll regard,
In my life, as the best,
This very pleasant event.”

“When another occasion
For a similar decoration
Will come, to be done
By my friends again?”

They consoled her,
And requested her
Not to shed tears on
Such a happy occasion.

The show came to an end
And it was time to send
Her with proper escort
All the way, through out.

A boy gave her presents
Like bangles and bracelets.
They were in a tree hole,
Meant as gift for this girl.

She gave it pots of water.
So, it gave this gift to her.
She looked more beautiful
After wearing the jewels.

Sage Kanva then prayed,
“I pray to the forest God.
To her place, I’m sending her.
For her happy future, bless her.”

A disciple, Sarangarava
Of the Sage Kanva,
There, was called in
To lead the mission.

Sakuntala again wept
“With my heavy heart
I’m leaving this place
Which kept me in peace.”

Pryamvada replied her,
“In this parting hour,
I see, not only your eyes,
Also this forest shedding tears,

“The poor deer left grazing.
The peacocks stopped dancing.
The creepers shed their leaves
As if they had lost their lives.”

Sakuntala asked her father,
“When that young deer
Delivers its little kid
Will you send me a word?”

Kanva replied, “Why not?
Sure, I’ll not forget it.”
Up to the lake, he went.
There, he had to halt.

Their long journey this way,
Started on an auspicious day,
Amidst all the weeping eyes
And the parting good wishes.
Feb 28th

Sakuntala 13. The trouble started

By Raja
The friends of Sakuntala,
Anusuya and Pryamvada,
Brought flowers from the garden
As their usual daily routine.

Anusuya said, “Sakuntala
Married the King Dushyanta,
Who’s now in his palace,
Leaving her at this place.”

‘I’ve a doubt, how far
He’ll remember her
In the present political situations
And many other compulsions.”

Pryamvada said, “He’s great,
And will never do like that,
But how her father will take,
Here, when he comes back?”

Anusuya replied, “Yes,
This marriage, he’ll bless.
As without his efforts
It was arranged by Gods.”

It was at this moment
The Sage Durvasa went
And knocked the gate
Of the Sakuntala’s hut.

She was mentally preoccupied
Thinking of her husband,
So, to the call, she didn’t respond,
When the door, the Sage knocked.

He was terribly upset
And cursed her for it.
“You, arrogant girl,
You’ll face the trouble.”

“I stood at your door step.
But you failed to open it up.
You’ve forgotten all others,
But not the dear one of yours.”

“Never will you remain,
In the memory of his own,
Even if the past events,
Are taken to his notice.”

Both her friends begged,
“Oh Sage, pardon this maid,
This is her first offence,
Of ignoring your presence.”

The Sage said, “My curse
Will never become false.
If any of his jewel is shown
Back his memory will return.”

She had the royal ring
Given to her by the King.
So, they were happy
At the Sage’s mercy.

They decided, “Let us keep it
Away from her, as a secret,
As it’ll be a shock to her
If it goes into her ears.”

This way, the trouble started.
Her bad days were ahead.
The innocent pious girl
Faced the first ordeal.

(Note: (1) Durvasa was a hot tempered Sage and gave
curses to anyone, who disrespected him)
(2) These poems are based on Kalidasa's Sakuntalam.
Feb 28th

Sakuntala 12. Heart to heart exchange

By Raja
Sakuntala slightly reprimanded,
And from her friends demanded
An apology for their impertinence
To question on his queens in the palace.

The King smiled and said,
“No attention I’ve paid
To take it as a mistake,
So, never mind for my sake.”

Her friends, on hearing this,
On some plea, left that place,
While she was in the scene,
Along with the King alone

With no previous guidance,
It was her first experience,
With a man of her choice.
To speak, she had lost her voice.

He said, “Don’t be afraid.
When I’m here by your side.
I see now you’re so tired.
And also too much worried.”

“Your sweating body needs
Cool air from wet lotus leaves.
To keep it cool, shall I fan you?
It’s a pleasure for me to do.”

For this, she was reluctant,
As it was a discourteous act
Against a man of dignity
And a noble royal authority.

He said, “In this hot sun,
Your slender body will burn.
So, don’t leave this place.
You must take my advice.”

She said, “I blame my fate.
A situation it did create,
Where I’ve no qualification
To wish for a top association.”

He thought, “The strange Cupid
Had his selfish object fulfilled
But he doesn’t allow girls
To suffer any kind of pains.”

“When lovers come too close,
They just wish to disperse,
For fear of surrendering
Their bodies, though willing.”

When he pulled her dress
She shouted, “This is a place
Where pious hermits stay,
Keep up to the decorum, I pray.”

He consoled her saying,
“Why are you crying?
Your elders are too good.
Never will you do them bad.”

“The daughters of royal sages
Prefer Gandharva type marriages
And their elders approved,
Thereafter, had it regularized.”

A few steps, she went ahead,
But turned back and said,
That his unfulfilled desire
Shouldn’t make him forget her.

He said, “Oh my dear girl,
In my heart, you live still,
Though you may now leave,
It craves ever for your love.”

On the way he found
A bangle on the ground
He took it in his hand
And had it examined.

It would have fallen
Back when she ran.
He kept it in his heart.
It consoled him, he felt.

For the bangle, back she came
He showed her the same.
When she asked for it,
In her hand, he inserted it.

His touch jolted her up.
“Oh my dear, hurry up.”
Like this, she cautioned him,
Lest someone might see them.

In the wind that blew,
A dust just then flew,
Towards her, close by,
And settled in her eye.

It irritated her eye.
He said, “I’ll try
To remove the dust
If only you permit.”

She hesitated for fear,
He may go so near
To do something else,
Taking this as an excuse.

But he caught her face,
Opened her eye by force,
Blew away the dust
With his mouth just.

Her inviting lips quivered,
Her body also shivered,
Her face, when he touched
While her modesty prevented.

She said, “My eyes are free.
Clearly now I can see.
This act of your kindness,
How can I repay, but I’m helpless.”

“Not necessary,” he replied,
“The smell of your face I had,
Like a honeybee that enjoyed
Lotus flavor and got satisfied.”

To leave, it was time for her,
As she heard her foster mother
Calling her before the fall of night,
The time for any girl to stay in the hut.

Behind the bush, he hid.
Forced by her, this he did.
She went back to the hut,
With her heavy heart.

“With smart eyelids, pretty face,
She turned back face to face.
Her fingers guarded her lower lip,
That didn’t show any tip.”

“Though I lifted her face,
And she also showed her face,
I couldn’t then give her a kiss,
Sorry, this chance I did miss.”

“Where can I go now?
I’ll spend my time how?
Will that chance come again?
Together when we’ll remain?”

“Evening rites will start.
Demons will sneak out.
The sacred fire will burn.
They will spoil it, in turn.”

“It’s time for me to go there
And guard their sacred fire.”
So, saying he proceeded,
To do his duty as a guard.
Feb 27th

Sakuntala 11. Face to face meet

By Raja
Sakuntala came out
With the real fact
For her sickness,
Her love, it was.

Her friends, she then asked,
“If you agree, tell me a word
How to draw his attention?
My mind is under tension.”

Pryamvada saw the king,
“He’s not properly sleeping,
He seems to be very weak.
This is how I see his look.”

The king also felt like that.
“My wet-tear-cheek took rest
O’er my hand every night
But the hand had slipped out.”

“This is the hand that pulled
The bow, but never failed,
While its gold bangle
Presents a look so dull.”

Pryamvada and Anusuya
Then told Sakuntala
“Let us send a love letter.
This idea sounds better.”

When she was hesitating
They told her, “Better sing
A song in the name of the king
With all your feelings.”

Sakuntala replied, “I can sing
But my heart is shaking
As it should not be a joke,
For someone to mock.”

Dushyanta thought again,
“Why you’ve this pain?
Why this fear in you?
To hug, my hands await you.”

“How can I ridicule you,
When I’m craving for you?
Gems are searched for!
Gems search no where!”

Her friends chided her,
“Self-condemnation is unfair.
Against the cool moon light
Who’ll take an umbrella at night?”

The king stared at his lover
“My eye lids wink never
When I look at her!
It’s no wonder!”

“I see in the girl’s face,
A touch of shyness in trace,
Her raised eye lids towards me,
Show her true love for me.”

Sakuntala sang, “I know not
What’s in your heart?
Pity on me, haven’t you?
Wish, I ever be with you!”

Dushyanta then came out
He spelled his mind out.
“The moon, the day destroys,
Not the lotus flowers.”

“It’s true, Cupid burns you.
Yet, my dear girl, it’s for you
He completely destroys me.
And doesn’t leave me free.”

Her friends invited him,
“You’re most welcome.
Will you give her a solution
To free her from this tension?

He told her, “Oh beauty,
Why do you worry?
In your body’s heat,
Your bangles may melt”

“Hope your friend’s fever,
Is, by now, over,”
Like this Dushyanta
Anxiously told Pryamvada.

Pryamvada, in turn, replied,
“The medicine on hand
Is readily available for that,
With the king, who can cure it.”

“Like this she’s laid up,
As her love for you is so deep,
Now, your duty it has become,
To give her a new life, well in time.”

He said, “I’m blessed
As both of us desired
The same thing to happen
With the sanction of the heaven.”

Depressed Sakuntala smiled,
But pretended and said,
“Stop this, he has other duties
To attend to in his palace.”

“Love makes one mad,”
He said, “You make me sad,
By not believing my love,
While in my heart you live.”

“You’ve many lovers”
Anusuya said, “She’s
Too innocent to move
And properly behave.”

He said, “Many queens
May decorate the throne.
But, I’m sure, her name
Only will bring us fame.”

Happy Sakuntala was
On hearing this assurance,
And her friends two,
Both were happy too.”
Feb 27th

Sakuntala 10. Visit to the hermitage

By Raja
Dushyanta, the strongest king,
With his men was guarding
The place of fire sacrifice,
With no untoward incidence.

One hermit commented,
“The King’s bow-sound
Kept at a far distance
All the fighting demons.”

“So, the entire fire sacrifice
Resulted in a grand success,
With the vigil kept by him
Without fail, all the time.”

The King on the other side,
Was mentally so worried,
That all his thoughts were
On Sakuntala, his lover.

“The penance power is great.
A girl is under another’s feet.
Yet, I’m like running water
That can go back never.”

“Oh Cupid, churning the heart
Of mankind, for you, is an art.
How sharp your arrow is?
Yes, I do know this.”

“In you, Lord Shiva’s anger
Is still remaining as fire,
Like the fire below the sea,
That never ceases to be.”

“Or else, how’ll you burn,
The lovers under the sun,
Like me, who have faith
In your known path.”

“Oh flower, an arrow you’re.
Oh moon, cool you’re.
They’re not true,
This, we the lovers knew.”

“The cool moon spits hot rays.
Sharp are those flower-arrows.
This way only feels a lover,
In his love-life every hour.”

“If you attack a charming girl
With your flower-arrow still
I’ll welcome your action,
Despite my sleepless inaction.”

“Hundreds of ceremonies,
With care I did, more or less,
Today, against me, you did try
To shoot your arrow, why?”

“Hermits give me leave now,
As they’ve fulfilled their vow,
By completing the sacrifice
In our protective presence.”

“Sakuntala may be resting
At the river bank, braving
The midday sun patiently.
Let me go there silently.”

“The bud one, she plucked
As flower, just blossomed,
And wet milk drips out
From a broken twig bit.”

“The timely gentle breeze
Mixed with smell of lotus,
Beside the cool Malini water
Will cure her love-fever.”

“The white river sand,
Her steps on this sand,
The front one, the back one,
Lead to the bank, one by one.”

“I’m seeing the heaven.
Also I find she’s the one,
Lying in bed of flowers,
With her maids serving her.”

“Let me closely watch her.
Her friends are fanning her
With fresh lotus leaves
In the cool river breeze.”

“Perhaps, she’s feeling too hot
In this burning summer heat,
Or, she’s not well, as I see,
What could the reason be?”

“Oil massage o’er her breasts,
Or the pale stem of the lotus
As a single bangle in her arm,
Perhaps, causes her no harm.”

“The lover’s fair body
Reveals her real beauty,
Though it suffers pain,
For a well known reason.”

“It’s true, the summer heat,
Attacks one, as in an army front,
But her maids’ excellent service
Goes beyond this summer force.”

Pryamvada and Anusuya,
Were talking about Sakuntala,
That the reason for her sickness
Was the King, nothing else.”

In the same way, he also felt.
“This kind of fever is hot,
More from the moon’s heat
In the body, that spreads out.”

Straight Anusuya asked,
“What’s in your mind?
None can easily guess
But it’s under stress.”

“We look at it like this.
It’s only love sickness.
That’s what we feel.
Truth you must reveal.”

“Any medicine will act
Only when you tell the fact,
You must now explain,
What causes your pain?”

Sakuntala said, “It’s true
I’m not well, but no clue,
At this stage, I can give
Nor, any reason I’ve.”

The king felt once again,
“Her cheek is now thin,
With her sagging breasts,
And staggering waist,”

“Tormented with love she is,
Though her beauty never fades,
Like the withered Madhavi leaves
Shaken by the blowing winds.”

“She’s too young to tell
Them the cause of her ill
But I see her hungry eyes
Just look into my eyes.”

“My coward heart
Doesn’t still react
To her inner feeling,
Why it’s hesitating?”

Though Sakuntala felt shy,
She told the reason why?
Each word came out
From the bottom of her heart.

“The very moment his sight
Fell on me, I’m not alright.”
“My love with him causes,
In my heart deep distress.’

The King was happy to hear
This kind of reply from her.
All the doubts, once he had,
At one stroke, were cleared.

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