Author: Ruskin BondPublisher: PenguinYear: 1996Language: EnglishPages: 243ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140258876
A compilation of love stories and poems from the classical literature and folklore of India. Both passionate and sensuous in its contents, this book is sure to appeal to the romantic in all of us. Set in regions of great natural beauty where Kamadeva, the god of love, picks his victims with consummate ease, these stories and lyrics celebrate the myriad aspects of love. In addition to relatively well-known works like Kalidasa's Meghadutam and Prince Ilango Adigal's Shilappadikaram, the collection features lesser-known writers of ancient India like: Damodaragupta (eight century AD), whose 'Loves of Haralata and Sundarasena' is about a high-born man's doomed affair with a courtesan. Jhanna (twelfth century), whose 'Tale of the Glory-Bearer' is extracted here for the story of a queen who betrays her handsome husband for a mahout, reputed to be the ugliest man in the kingdom; and the Sanskrit poets Amaru and Mayura (Seventh century), whose lyrics display an astonishing perspective on the tenderness, the fierce passion and the playful savagery of physical love. Also featured are charming stories of Hindu gods and goddesses in love, and nineteenth-century retellings of folk tales from different regions of the country like Kashmir, Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.