Today's Beautiful Gem: Vasanta (Spring)
in Rtusamhaaram by Kaalidaasa (Translation by Chandra Rajan)

"Trees put forth flowers, waters abound in lotuses,
women's thoughts turn to love; the air is sweetly scented;
mornings are pleasant and days delightful:
all things are more alluring in springtime, my love.

"The waters of pools, gem-studded girdles,
the moon's brilliance, women proud of their beauty,
mango trees bowing low with blossoms: on each
Spring pours its profusion of bounty and grace.

"Struck by spring fever, to cool their bodies,
people quickly put off heavy garments
and wear thin ones instead, dyed red with lac-juice,
and perfumed by the incense of black aloes.

"People thrill with joy gazing at hillsides
richly decorated with flowering trees;
rocky hilltops inlaid with lace of alpine flowers,
valleys overflowing with raptures of joyous koels.

"His choicest arrow-- the lovely spray of mango flowers:
his bow-- prettily-curved Kimsuka blooms:
the bowstring-- rows of honey bees:
the royal white umbrella, spotless-- the moon:
his proud elephant-- the balmy southern breeze:
cuckoos his bards:
May bodiless Love, world-conqueror, joined by Spring
grant you all happiness, evermore."

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao