Varṣā

To celebrate that most magnificent of the six Indian seasons or ṛtus, the monsoon or Varṣā, now in full swing, we have two very different verses.  The first is from the famous comedy, Śūdraka’s Mṛcchakaṭikā, which has enjoyed a revival of sorts lately with productions as far afield as Oregon. The play is perhaps known more for its drama than its poetry, but the long description of a storm in the fifth act, from which our verse is taken, has some particularly beautiful poetic portraits.

एते हि विद्युद्गुणबद्धकक्षा

गजा इवान्योन्यमभिद्रवन्तः।

शक्राज्ञया वारिधराः सधारा

गां रूप्यरज्ज्वेव समुद्धरन्ति ॥

Like elephants these clouds,

streaming rain,

their girths bound with chains of lightning

charging headfirst into one other,

seem to be hauling up the earth with silvery ropes

on Indra’s orders.

 

5.21 Mṛcchakaṭikā 

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