What is Chitra Kavya?

I don’t know about you, but I know precious little about Indian poetry. I have heard of Kalidasa but that’s pretty much it. As a matter of fact, I don’t know very much about poetry–let alone Indian poetry. In the last few months, I have embarked on this project to rectify that. Here is my first attempt.

The history of Indian poetics goes back to 200 B.C. when Bharatha Muni compiled the Natyashastra. Poetry was accorded a high status in India. Poets were understood, enjoyed and venerated. Bharateeya Kavyashastra as it is called is replete with poets, critics, and connoisseurs who understood and contributed to poetry.

Dr. Shankar Rajaraman is a psychiatrist, Sanskritist and poet. He dreams up a very specific and difficult type of poetry called Chitrakavya. Dr. Shankar is an Ashtavadhani and has translated Gangadevi’s poetry, Madhura Vijaya and Uddhana Kavi’s Kokila Sandesha.  Here, he talks about Chitrakavya, a particular type of poetry that uses word play a lot.

View the show in Youtube here