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In a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas, a gifted but unknown poet named Kalidas nurtures an unconventional romance with his youthful muse, Mallika. When the royal palace at Ujjayini offers him the position of court poet, Kalidas hesitates, but Mallika persuades him to leave for the distant city so that his talent may find recognition. Convinced that he will send for her, she waits. He returns years later, a broken man trying to reconnect with his past, only to discover that time has passed him by.
A classic of postcolonial theatre, Mohan Rakesh's Hindi play is both an unforgettable love story and a modernist reimagining of the life of India's greatest classical poet. It comes alive again in Aparna and Vinay Dharwadker's new English translation, authorized by the author's estate. This literary rendering is designed for performance on the contemporary cosmopolitan stage, and it is enriched by extensive commentary on the play's contexts, legacy, themes and dramaturgy.