For the letter U, I bring to you the story of King Udayana, who was a king of the region of Vatsa in India, and a contemporary of Gautama Buddha. While he most probably existed, there is not much known about his life or his reign. However, he was a popular figure in Indian literature, and many romantic and military stories were written about him. As for how much is real and how much is something out of a dream or imagined, we cannot say for certain. But it does make for great reading!
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Udayana: Unrivaled Love
Listen to the tale of Udayana,
A king bold, smart, and full of honor,
His heart was big, his courage strong,
His legend echoes on and on.
Let’s begin with King Pradyota,
A vain ruler, full of bravado,
He sought to gain Udayana’s magic,
To charm elephants, with the veena’s music.
Trickery was how Pradyota made his play,
And Udayana was captured that day.
His daughter, Vasavadatta, beautiful and bright,
Was sent to learn, but out of the captured king’s sight.
But the two young ones soon got wise
to the ploy (Once Pradyota’s lies
Were exchanged through blinds,
Curtains came down, opened closed minds!)
Udayana and Vasavadatta soon fell in love,
Their hearts shining like the stars above,
They sought to elope; made their escape (though not unseen)
To Kaushambi on a charmed elephant’s palanquin!
But Pradyota’s soldiers could not do anything,
And Vasavadatta soon became queen to Udayana, the king.
(Narada, the wise sage, came down from the heavens
Gifted a token that was the stuff of legends
A garland of Parijata – those flowers divine,
A symbol of their love that would forever shine.)
There is more to this story
royal, you see..
In bits and
ments, I’ll outline
And hope that helps you the whole tale divine!
The king deep in love put the kingdom in jeopardy
Loyal ministers plotted, thought up a clever though cruel remedy
Spirited away the queen to an ally king’s land
Then asked Udayana to seek that ally’s sister’s hand
in marriage.. Udayana, who was still grieving
(the ministers had left him believing
Vasavadatta dead) – agreed to marry
King Darshaka’s sister Padmavati.
The queen in hiding was Padmavati’s favorite,
Thus chance brought her to the royal suite
She came upon her beloved sleeping
Soon leaving Udayana wondering
Did he really see his queen, was he going
Crazy, or had he been dreaming?
Still, hope through his heart did again flow.
But, back to the new queen again we go.
These new bonds between two kings strong
Helped defeat enemies before long.
The ministers’ plan had worked like a charm,
And the kingdom was now free from harm.
The king was overjoyed to hear,
That his beloved queen was not dead, but near.
Thus, with his queens by his side,
Udayana ruled with grace and pride.
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
Day 25 Prompts for Udayana’s Unrivaled Love
The NaPoWriMo Day 25 prompt is: Begin by reading e e cummings’ poem [somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond]. This is a pretty classic love poem, so well-known that it has spawned at least one silly meme. Today’s prompt challenges you to also write a love poem, one that names at least one flower, contains one parenthetical statement, and in which at least some lines break in unusual places.
The APAD Day 25 prompt at Writer’s Digest is to Write a dream poem, and/or Write a reality poem.
So for the two prompts above, here is my checklist:
- a love poem – Y
- mention one flower – Y (the parijata)
- paranthetical statement – Y (a few!)
- line breaks in unusual places – attempted that, so, kind of Y
- a dream/reality poem – Y – one mention of a dream (which is really mentioned in Udayana’s story!)
References and Further Reading
- Wikipedia page on Udayana
- Udayana (Amar Chitra Katha). Read it here or get a copy here.
- Udayan: The Musician King of Vatsa: Revival of the classic epic from ancient India by Rajendra Kher
- Vasavadatta (Amar Chitra Katha). Read it here or get a copy here.
- The Katha Sarita Sagara
- Pratijnayaugandharayana (The Pledge of Minister Yaugandharāyaṇa)
My U Books
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and illustrations by Kadir Nelson (5 – 12 years, and up)
Description: The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States.
My Quick Thoughts: The poem within these pages is an anthem, a story of the indefatigable human spirit, of remaining unperturbed and rising undefeated no matter what. Both the uplifting words of the poem and the powerful images accompanying it make it a must-read. Plus, excellent backmatter in this book.
Up From the Sea
Up From the Sea by Lesa Lowitz (Novels-in-verse | 12 years and up)
Description: A powerful novel-in-verse about how one teen boy survives the March 2011 tsunami that devastates his coastal Japanese village.
My Quick Thoughts: A beautiful, tugging-at-heartstrings read that I finished in one sitting. This is a fictional book woven together out of various pieces of tough realities and some imagined places and events, and Leza Lowitz weaves them all together in a stunning narrative.
Units of Time and Books!
So I decided to join in for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. The topic this week is actually audiobook-related, but Jana over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl does say to pick any other topic (of our choice or from the archives) if audiobooks are not our thing. And since I do not listen much to audiobooks (almost never), I went hunting for themes which had some ‘U’ within, and here it is. Books with units of time in their titles!
- Just a Second by Steve Jenkins. This book is a very cool way to explore time! This non-fiction read for young readers will appeal to everyone. (4 – 7 years, and up)
- Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Brian Lee O’Malley. This standalone graphic novel for older readers is unique and so very full of unexpected things. Like the description says, it is a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.
- 5-Minute Productivity Workbook: Stop Procrastinating in Just 5 Minutes a Day by Susan Reynolds. I know I need to read it (well, use it, actually) and I currently have in my ARC shelf waiting to checkout (or rather, procrastinating already!) (self-help)
- Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (dare I read it? Dear readers, if any of you have read it, do let me know if I should dare to read this sure-to-be heart-wrenching title. (Literary fiction)
- Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket. I picked this one up at the local Goodwill from the book section for its title and cover more than its author, and devoured it! (Children’s Mystery/Humor, 8+ years)
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane. A book I talk about a million times on my blog without once having reviewed it (or have I already?). But what it does mean is that I simply love this book..(Technothriller/Literary Fiction)
- Day – The Days are Just Packed by Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes have provided me wisdom and joy for years now! And this one is one of my favorites…(a book for all ages)
- Week – Two Friends, One Dog, and a Very Unusual Week by Sarah Thomson and illustrated by Vin Vogel. This book for young readers (8 – 12 years, and up) is a read-in-progress for me, but such a sweet and delightful one so far.
- Month – Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel by Salman Rushdie. I am yet to read this one, but I have enjoyed Rushdie’s books – the ones I have read so far, and love the sound and the title for this one, so why not? (Literary Fiction/Magical Realism)
- In Five Years: A Novel by Rebecca Serle. The book description states that this is a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever. And when you check out the storyline, you will be tempted to add this to your tbr too. (Women’s Fiction)
- The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson (Author) and Rafael López (Illustrator). A sweet and endearing book with stunning illustrations about being who we are and learning to use our imaginations (5 – 8 years, and up)
- Decade – The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. A book I want to check out as my son just entered the twenties, and maybe pass it on to him too! (Psychology)
- Century – The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury compiled by Janet Schulman. A favorite in our home library, this one is beautiful in the artwork within and the stories selected by Schulman as well. (For all ages)
- Millenium – The Millennium Problems: The Seven Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Puzzles Of Our Time by Keith J. Devlin. A book I am dipping into, or rather just in chapter zero of sorts that gives us a background of the seven problems in the subtitle. Sure to be a cool read for anyone who loves mathematics! (Mathematics History)