I will complete this article on Simile with one of the famous similes by Kalidasa for which he was named as Deepashika Kalidasa.
|संचारिणी दीपशिखेव रत्रौ
यं यं व्यतीयाय पतिंवरा सा
नरेन्द्रमार्गाट्ट इव प्रपेदे
विवर्णभावं स स भूमिपालः!!
|“Sancharini deepashikheva ratrau
Yam Yam vyatiyay patimvara sa
Narendramargatta eva prapede
Vivarnabhavam sa sa bhoomipalah”.
In this sloka, Kalidasa describes the Indumathi’s Swayamvaram. In the olden days, there was a practice where the girls can choose their husband and the practice was called Swaymvara where the prospective bridegrooms will assemble and the bride will be told about the achievements of the grooms by her assistant and the bride can choose the bridegroom and this she will announce by garlanding the one she wants to be her husband.
Here all the prospective grooms are seated in a line and Indumathi walks slowly with a garland in her hand and her friend explains the achievements of respective bridegroom as she passed each one of them.
As she approached a bridegroom, the excitement of the groom increases and the face glows with the desire and expectation to be the chosen one. However, as Indumathi ignores and goes past the bridegroom to the next one, the faces of each ignored groom dulls with disappointment.
To explain how the kings seated were excited and then disappointed, Kalidasa compares the situation to a man walking with a wood torch on a street lined up with rich and palatial bungalows, of kings and ministers, decorated with glittering gems.
As the man walks towards the bungalows, the bungalows shine brightly in the light from the torch and as the man walks past the bungalows, they slowly dim in the shades of the darkness.
Kalidasa compares the way the decorated bungalows shine first and then dim as the light of the torch moves away, to the faces of the kings that brighten as Indumathi approached them, followed by dullness once she moves away from them.
What a better comparison can be given to bring live the scene for us to visualize as we read the sloka? In fact there is a say, “Upama Kalidasasya”, that is, Only Kalidasa’s is Simile.
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