- Book Genre: Classics
"As punishment for failing in his duty, an unnamed yaksha is cursed by the god Kubera to endure a hard year in exile. Thus separated from his beloved wife, he longs to send her word of his undying love and the pain he suffers over their parting. Unable to do so himself, the lovelorn yaksha implores a passing cloud to act as his messenger. And so entrusted with this impassioned message, the cloud must travel a vast distance to the city of Alaka in the Himalayas, where the yaksha’s wife waits, consumed by thoughts of her beloved. Filled with lush imagery—from the magnificence of the bountiful earth to the glory of the celestial gods, from the hypnotic lilt of birdsong to the passionate lovemaking of courtesans—The Cloud Message is as moving and resonant today as it was centuries ago. In Srinivas Reddy’s new and ingenious translation, Kalidasa’s celebrated poem comes to life in vivid detail. "
Book Pages : 200
SRINIVAS REDDY is a scholar, translator and musician. He trained in classical South Asian languages and literatures at Brown University and the University of California, Berkeley. His previous translations include Krishnadevaraya’s Telugu epic Amuktamalyada: The Giver of the Worn Garland and Kalidasa’s play Malavikagnimitram: The Dancer and the King—both for Penguin Classics. Srinivas is also a concert sitarist and has given numerous recitals around the world. He now lives in Gujarat and teaches at IIT Gandhinagar.
Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India's classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. According to legend, he lived at the end of the fourth century, and was one the 'nine jewels' in the court of the Gupta king Chandragupta II. Although very little is known about his life, Kalidasa's popularity has endured for centuries. // Hank Heifetz is an award-winning translator (from classical Indian languages and Spanish), poet and novelist. His many works include The Origin of the Young God, selected as one of the twenty-five best books of the year by the New York Village Voice in 1990, and The Four Hundred Poems of War and Wisdom, translated from classical Tamil (with George Hart), which was awarded the prize for best literary translation from a South Asian Language (2002) by the American Oriental Society. At present he is working on a novel and finishing a long literary translation of the ornate Sanskrit epic Sisupalavadha by the poet Magha.