Ambassador of India to Madagascar Abhay Kumar spoke on Ritusamhara and Meghaduta of Kavi Kalidasa at a virtual event organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence recently. Abhay K. has earlier edited 100 Great Indian Poems and CAPITALS, penned Earth Anthem that has been translated into 50 languages, floated the celebration of International Diplomats Day and has recently translated Kalidasa’s works from Sanskrit to English.
Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Founder of Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence, has given introductory words about the diplomat’s work in writing and literature. Poet-Diplomat Abhay then started his rendition with the Earth Anthem, underscoring the importance of biodiversity on the planet. Mentioning that out of 250 old and contemporary translations of Meghaduta, he chose to read a few before he embarked on his own and speaks of his astonishment of Kalidasa’s imagery woven in the poems. He correlated Kalidasa’s eco-poetry, Ritusamhara of 5th century AD in the context of a triple threat of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution.
Kalidasa’s vivid description of the 6 seasons and reference to different rivers, mountains, plants, flowers, insects objects both animate and inanimate and describes the plight of different animals in different seasons. He read excerpts from the work that built empathy and described antelopes, Lions, Snakes, Elephants, Peacocks, Frogs suffering in the scorching sun, and from intense thirst.
The Poet-Diplomat also underscores how at least one million species on the planet are at the risk of extinction and refers how Kalidasa’s poetry shows us the path to understand and love the nature and reduce the negative human impact on the environment. He also suggested measures such as using solar energy, making compost out of food waste, etc. He also opined that works by Maithili poet Vidyapati and world visionary Tagore must be read to appreciate the beauty of poetry.
An interesting Q and A of journalists, writers, community leaders and enthusiasts including Vijay Rana, Alok Agarwal, Madhava Turumella, Piyush Ojha, Manoj Talwar, Vedavyas Kasturi, Radhika Joshi, Sharad Jha, and Mukesh Karelia took place at the end. Sushil Rapatwar has provided technical support to the event.