Today's Beautiful Gem: `The stroll of the first couple'
by Kaalidaasa from `Meghadoota (Transport of Love)'

"hitvA tasmin bhujagavalayaM s'ambhunA dattahastA
krIDAs'aile yadi ca viharet pAdacAreNa gaurI
bhangIbhaktyA viracitavapuh: stambhitAntarjalaughah:
sopAnatvaM kuru sukhapadaspars'am ArohaNeSu

"If Gauri, hand in hand with Siva, who laid aside
His armlet of snakes, takes a walk on the mountain of pleasure,
then divide yourself, freezing all the waters inside of you,
to create a cascade of steps to make their climb comfortable."

Note: The metre is mandAkrAnta (slow moving). Kaalidaasa was perhaps
the first poet in whose Meghadoota, the cursed lover separated from
his dear love requests the passing clouds to convey his feelings of
the heart. He uses his extensive geographic knowledge as well as
his exquisite poetic imagery to the fullest extent in this book of a
little more than one hundred verses. Since Sivaratri was celebrated
a day or two ago, I thought the above verse will be appropriate.
More about Meghadoota later. By the way, there are two theories as to
the name of the poet. Most of the people accept that it is kAlidAsa
(a disciple of goddess Kali). However, a few believe that if it were
so, it must be spelled kAlIdAsa (as in canDIdAsa). This minority
believes that the poet is a worshipper of kAli (God of kAla (Time),
viz., s'iva) and that grammatically also this is correct. The views
of knowledgeable readers are requested.

om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao