Kavi Samaya 3: Women

This week’s kavisamaya verse delicately touches on three conventional aspects of a grown woman’s beauty: the side-glances dark as blue lotuses, or bees, which she casts from eyes that extend right to her ears; the fine line of hair on her belly; and hips so heavy she can barely walk.


नीरात् तीरमुपागता श्रवणयोः सीम्नि स्फुरन्नेत्रयोः

श्रोत्रे लग्नमिदं किमुत्पलमिति ज्ञातुं करं न्यस्यति ।

शैवालाङ्कुरशङ्कया शशिमुखी रोमावलीं प्रोञ्छति

श्रान्तास्मीति मुहुः सखीमविदितश्रोणीभरा पृच्छति ॥

Climbing out of the water

onto the riverbank,

the moon-faced girl

touches the side of her face

where ears are bordered by irridescent eyes

to see if a blue lotus is caught there.

She tries to wipe off the line of hair

rising to her navel,

thinking it is river-weed.

And she keeps asking her friend

why she is so tired,

not realising her hips are growing heavy.


From the description of the nāyikā in Bhānudatta’s Rasamañjarī

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