This is from The Little Clay Cart, a Sanskrit play probably composed around the 2nd century BC, and commonly attributed to a possibly mythical king and playwright called S(h)udraka.  I liked the rambling explanation of the simple word ‘lost’ through half a dozen similes.


SAKARA: What do you mean, lost?

VITA: Lost –

                  like the sight of a blind man,

                  like a sick man’s former health,

                  an idiot’s understanding,

                  an idle man’s hopes of success,

                  or like true knowledge in an absent-minded rogue.

                  As soon as she met you, she disappeared,

                                    as pleasure does in the presence of a foe.  


Source: Sudraka, Mrcchakatika I, after verse 42, quoted in Source: Shulman, David, The King and the Clown in South Indian Myth and Poetry (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985), p. 170

Photo credit: Hans at pixabay


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