Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eh Kaun Su Des - Loona I

What Is This Land?

What pleasant land is this
And which this river
That like a snake of fire
ravishes the pale valley
lying softly here?

This is Chamba, my beautiful
And Ravi is the river
Known in the heavens as Aravati
Daughter to the sage Pangi
Sister to Chandrabagh
On earth the daughter was suspected
And into a son made
Bitter was the price paid
for this silver river
by the queen, her mother
and the valley she named
Chamba after her.

Listen, my love
How lovely is the birdsong here
As if a lover is calling out
To his loved one
As if the hollow of a bamboo flute
Has struck the perfect note
As if a ripple of laughter has flown
From lovers upon a couch
Lovely like the first sigh,
of first time lovers
on their first mating
Or like the dying notes
of a sad song
steeped in melancholy.

Come, let’s fly heavenwards now
Come, for the sun has risen
It is time for us to go
To dissolve in this fragrance
And find our way back home.

This song is from the opening sequence of the play. Natti and Sutradhar, heavenly beings from Indra's court, introduce the readers to the beauty of the Chamba valley.


  1. I am not sure why I thought that the first lines are rather erotic for me - I guess it is my own response to the poet...the music is melodious and the duet effect again is like a celebration of a Spring in life - lovewise.

    Thanks Manjul,

  2. Thanks Julia,

    You didn't imagine it. The entire imagery of Loona is steeped in a sort of sublimnal eroticism - the text is full of fire snakes and passion vipers, and a detailed exploration of the nature of desire.