Seduction of Shakunthala

Dawn shook up and woke

With the sweetness of birdsong;

Crystalline  spray of cataracts

Stippled the verdure on the banks

Where river Malini sparkled in mischief

And washed the footpath

Of golden grains of sand

Mingling with polished pebbles.

Shakunthala yawned and stretched

And saw, with unexpected lassitude,

The morning sun peeking

Through the thatched eaves.

There was something in the air,

She mused without concern

And whiled away lazy moments

In anticipation

Of another humdrum day

In the hermitage.

At the threshold, she stood

At life’s ephemeral  moment

*Like an unworn gem,

*Like an unkissed bloom,

*Like an unplucked new leaf,

*Like an unsung melody,

*And untasted honey.

Though nubile, innocent she was,

Incognizant of the wiles

And worldly wickedness,

Living sheltered among sages!

The breeze was beckoning

And friends were waiting;

Down the footpath, she walked

Towards Malini’s shore,

Her heels digging deep into the sand

Marking her trodden path.

Some tremor tugged at her conscious self,

But she turned without thought.

She lifted her foot into her palm

As if to check for some unknown thorn!

What devious moment prompted her

To look towards the cluster of saplings?

Watching her with intent gaze

Was a resplendent creature,

A predator, albeit a king.

Facing that knowing look

Was the undoing of innocence.

There was no thorn in the sole,

But the disturbing tremor continued.

Two pairs of eyes met

In time old mating

And Shakunthala was lost

To her hermitage irrevocably

When she drowned in the eyes

Of the worldly wise monarch.

* Kalidasa

3 thoughts on “Seduction of Shakunthala

  1. Well, sounds like a romance novel’s beginning! What’s up with the worm in the ad below! That was very disturbing! What veggie is it supposed to be in? Liz

    • No idea about the worm. The story of the son is the beginning of the epic. Son’s names is Bharatha and the epic is Mahabharatham. India is Bharatha or Bharatham. Foreigners gave the name India because of Indus Valley. Shakunthala ‘s story is an ancient poem by Kalidasa. It affected Goethe by its beauty. Description of Shakunthala in her virginal state is from the poem written in Sanskrit. The similes always stuck with me. The king was a cad , but the poet made him more romantic. It could have been tragic.

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