Presently, I am busy with my dream book-project on a subject which is extremely colourful and fascinating. I am trying to illustrate and translate into English some selected poems from an ancient Indian anthology, written about two thousand years ago, the magic of which still lives on!
The central theme of this captivating anthology called GATHA-SAPTASHATEE is human-relations, mostly romantic, full of passionate love.
Written in a language called Maharashtree-Prakrit (Long since out of use), GATHA-SAPTASHATEE is known to Indologists as a collection of small poems with charmingly unique style, mischievous and full of wit.
It happens to be the earliest secular poetry in the vast ocean of the religious and spiritual literature of the ancient india. Full of novel descriptions of the rustic landscape and the nature in the wild, G.S. also provides us with interesting glimpses of the day to day affairs in the satavahana period of the Indian history. The region it covers, is what we recognize today as Maharashtra with some parts of Madhya. Pradesh Gujarat and Andhra.
In my look there won’t be just colourful illustrations, but my effort will be to absorb and discuss the subtle nuances of this wonderful poetry and capture the ethos of the historic period as reflected is the GATHA-SAPTASHTEE.
- Arundhati Vartak