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Keyholing on Kailash

Do ‘sainiks’, the soi-disant custodians of our culture, even know the ka-kha-ga of our samskruti? Let them go to paataal, let us check out this scene in Sanskrit.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2009 12:26 IST

Do ‘sainiks’, the soi-disant custodians of our culture, even know the ka-kha-ga of our samskruti? Let them go to paataal, let us check out this scene in Sanskrit. (In passing, noticed how curiously similar ‘Muthalik’ is to ‘Mut-tawallee’ and ‘Mut-aween’, the common term for Islamic religious police?) All right, ACTION!

Scene II
(Shiva, Parvati onstage)
Paanipeedanavidheranantaram
Sailaraajaduhiturharam prati
Bhaavasaadhvasaparigrahaadabhoot
Kaamadohadamanoharam vapuh
(After their wedding, Uma feels a surge of love for Shiva mixed with fear and her body becomes more beautiful)

Vyaahrtaa prativacho na sandadhe
Gantumicchadavalambitaamsukaa
Sevatesma sayanam paraangmukhee
Saa tathaapi rataye pinaakinah
(When Shiva tries to talk to her, Uma does not answer. When he touches her garment, she tries to get up and go away. On the bed, she turns her back to sleep. Yet, she arouses love in Shiva)

Kaitavena sayite kutoohalaat
Parvatee pratimukham nipaatitam
Chakshurunmishati sasmitam priye
Vidyutaahatamiva nyameelayat
(When Shiva feigns sleep, Parvati turns her face towards him to survey him; but when he opens his eyes with a laugh, she leaps up as if hit by lightning)

Shoolinah karataladvayena saa
Sannirudhya nayane hrtaamsukaa
Tasya pashyati lalaatalochane
Moghayatnavidhuraa rahasyabhoot
(When Shiva tries to take off her garment, she closes his eyes. However, seeing his third eye staring at her, she is crestfallen at the failure of her plans)

Darpane cha paribhogadarsinee
Prshthatah pranayino nishedushah
Prekshya bimbamanubimbamaatmanah
Kaanikaanyapi chakaara lajjayaa
(After lovemaking, Parvati examines the love marks on her body in the mirror. However, seeing Shiva's reflection observing her, she bashfully does this and that)

Vaasaraani katichid kathanchana
Sthanunaa padamakaaryata priyaa
Jatamanmatharasah saneih saneih
Saa mumocha ratidukkhasheelataam
(After a few days, with great effort, Shiva makes her more at ease. Having experienced the ecstasy of love, step by step, Parvati drops her shyness)

Dashtamuktamadharoshthamambikaa
Vedanaavidhutahastapallavaa
Sheetalenaniravaapayat kshanam
Maulichandrashakalena soolinah
(When Shiva wounds her lips with a passionate kiss, Parvati eases her pain with the cool rays of the moon resting on his head)

Raavanadhvanita bheetayaa tayaa
Kanthasaktadrdha baahubandhanah
Ekapingalagirau jagatguroor-
Nirvivesa vishadaah shashiprabhaah
(When terrifying noises from the forest make her shiver in fear, Shiva locks her in his arms and comforts her)

Conclusion
Samadivasanisheeyam sanginasthatra Shambhor-
Shatamagamartoonaam saarthamekaa nisheiva
Na cha suratasukheircchinnatrshno babhoova
Jvalana iva samudraantarggatastajjalaugheih

(Days and nights went by in this manner. Shiva’s surging love was unquelled and burned even more, like the fire raging within the ocean)…

Maestros Sadanam Balakrishnan (Shiva in Kathakali) and Sonal Mansingh (Parvati in Odissi) will enact the scene above, in the first such combined depiction of Mahakavi Kalidasa’s verses: for the text you just read is taken from the 8th canto of his Sanskrit play, Kumarasambhavam (The Birth of Kartikeya). I am obliged to Sudha Gopalakrishnan, scholar and former Director, National Mission for Manuscripts, for sourcing these shlokas.

Come to Delhi and see this pearl of classical Hindu culture for yourself at the India Habitat Centre on February 2 at 7 pm. Or would the sainiks like to disrupt it instead for corrupting public morality?