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Kamayani

Kamayani (1936) is a Hindi epic poem(Mahakaavya) by Jaishankar Prasad. It is considered the greatest literary works written in modern times in Hindi. It also signifies the epitome of Chhayavadi school of Hindi poetry which gained popularity in late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The narrative of this great epic hinges around a mythical story of ancient Indian history, where in the poet has created characters to reflect upon his perspective on human civilization. His Manu and Shradha are somewhat comparable with the Biblical characters of Adam and Eve and their dialogues and relationship at every bend of the narrative make them live and vibrant for a civilizational discussion of very high order.

They meet in a desolate land, devastated by the floods, following a holocaust. Loneliness urges Manu to brood and he sees a ray of hope in the rejuvenation of nature, which was yawing for a fresh dawn after a long spell of dark night. Here he meets and dates his fiance Shradha and the love story of Adam with Eve begins in Saraswat Pradesh.

The love scenes, though torrid, have been depicted with sensitivity and the poet very artistically present the raw instincts of human sensuality and brute passion even while describing the shrinking earth in the midst of oceanic expanse of surging waters.

Manu wants to possess his love exclusively and when a pregnant Shradha ignores his advances he feels jealousy of his own progeny. The breakdown of a family relationship of the couple because of the possessive instinct of the male father and the maternal care of the female mother is a universal irritant in all cultures. The reader gets joyously fascinated and awfully dejected when he reads that "The He She Dialogue" of a passionate man and a sensible women leads to an avoidable divorce, for which both of them repent later. The poet very sensitively handles this building up and breaking up of human relationship and offers his extra sensitive and deeply perceptive comments about woman and her maternal love for the siblings.

As a poet of nature and culture, Prasad has his sympathies with the female partner, but then his Manu finds another woman Ida, a princess and still more a woman with a rational vision and imperial responsibility. The typical male in Manu creates a series of crises in Ida's life and ultimately fights a violent struggle with the people of her kingdom. Depicting it with the help of a 'Dream', the poet of Kamayani brings Manu face to face with the realities of life and society.

This epic very perceptively portrays the tenderness and sensitivity of a 'He She Bond', so basic in universal human musings. The creative imagery of the poet takes his readers to fair pastures of 'Beauty', where morality and religion whisper.

The characters of Kamayani symbolize and convey an eternal message of a 'synthetic trio' of knowledge, action and desires in human life.

Manu starts getting involved in various emotions, thoughts and actions. These are sequentially portrayed with Shraddha, Ida, Kilaat and other characters playing there part, contributing in them. The chapters are named after these emotions, thoughts or actions. Some people consider that the sequence of chapters denotes the change of personality in a mans life with age.

Following is the sequence:

  • Chinta (Anxiety)
  • Asha (Hope)
  • Shraddha (Reverential belief, Faith, Virtue of being a woman)
  • Kama (Sexual love)
  • Vasna (Passion for material pleasure)
  • Lajja (Shyness)
  • Karma (Action)
  • Irshyaa (Jealousy)
  • Ida (Logic, Intellect)
  • Swapna (Dream)
  • Sangharsh (Internal conflict)
  • Nirved (Disregard of worldly things, Renunciation)
  • Darshan (Philosophy, Vision)
  • Rahasya (Hidden knowledge, Mystery)
  • Anand (Bliss, Self-realization, Shiva)

Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.