Abhisara – The Tryst: ISC Rhapsody Question and Answer

 Short Answer Questions :

Question 1. : What aspects of nature are described in the poem ?

Answer : The poem describes two different aspects of nature – at one part it shows  – “the murky sky of August”,  “the flash of lightning”,  “the thundering storm”,  which describes the turbulence in the weather. On the other hand, the poem also describes the  “silent town”  under the  “full moon”, the  “trees were full of blossom”,  “Gay notes of a flute”,  “the festival of flowers”, the “plaintive calls”  of the “love sick koels”  from “mango branches”, which shows calm and stable mood of nature.

    Both these aspects are contrasting to each other and indicates foreshadowing of the life of Vasavadatta.  The dark and stormy weather  with lightning and thunder indicates the upcoming troubles and turbulence in the life of  the beautiful court dancer, Vasavadatta.

  While the calm and cheerful atmosphere of spring time in the later part of poem indicates the upcoming stability and calmness and relief from troubles in Vasavadatta’s  life.

Question 2 : Describe the first meeting between Upagupta and the young dancing girl.

Answer:   In their first meeting, Upagupta, an ascetic and epitome so kindness, wisdom and selflessness, was sleeping on the dusty road by the city wall of Mathura. While Vasavadatta, the beautiful dancing girl of Mathura, loaded with shinning jewels and expensive dress, on her body and proud of her beauty, youth and fortune. 

   Vasavadatta, stumbled over the body of Upagupta, who was sleeping on the ground, unarmed by the harsh weather conditions. She felt fascinated by the austerity of the monk. Vasavadatta begged pardon and invited him to her house stating that the dirty ground was “not a fit bed” for him.

    However, Upagupta unaffected by her beauty and wealth told her to go back to her home and said that he would visit her when the right time would come.

Question 3 : Comment on the concluding line of the poem”I am here” in the context. 

Answer:  The line  “I am here” is spoken by Upagupta to Vasavadatta, when she wanted to know who her saviour was.

  The line signifies the fulfillment of his promise made to visit her when “the right time” would come. Here the  “right time” refers to the time when Vasavadatta really needs him. 

   Vasavadatta was fascinated with him and invited Upagupta to visit her home in their first meeting. But he rejected her invitation at that time and told that he would come when the right time would come. 

   Later on when, Vasavadatta was afflicted with small pox, her beauty and wealth were faded away and she was driven out of the city. She was lying on the dusty ground all alone with her ailment. At that time Upagupta came. He sat by her side, applied sandal balm in her body, unnerved by her physical appearance and contagious ailment. It was the right time when she needed his help, compassion and kindness the most. 

Question 4 : Discuss the role played by nature in the poem. 

Answer:  Nature in  “Abhisara – The Tryst” provides a change in time as well as spiritual journey of the characters.

   At first part of the poem, when the nature is described as  “murky sky of August” and “the black night showed its teeth in a flash of lightning”, it provides a foreshadowing of the upcoming life of the dancing girl, that will bring a sudden change in her life and she will loose her fame, glory and beauty and driven away from the city.

   Here nature also shows her emotional condition as she was so proud of her beauty, wealth and youth and was described as – 

   “drunk with the wine of her youth”.

  On the other part, the nature is described as a calm and cheerful spring  filled evening when finally Upagupta comes to comfort her with his compassion and kindness.

   The blooming trees, the full moon and the koel’s call indicate the stability and calmness of Vasavadatta’s emotional condition when her mind is free from her pride of wealth and youth. 

Question 5 : Youth and beauty do not last long. Discuss with close reference of the poem.

Answer:  The poem  “Abhisara – The Tryst”  presents a remarkable example of transitory nature of youth and beauty by means of the character of Vasavadatta. 

  In her first meeting with Upagupta, Vasavadatta is presented as a beautiful court dancer of Mathura, who was loaded with shinning jewels and covered with a pale blue dress. She was intoxicated by her youth and beauty. As the poet says –

  “Vasavadatta the dancing girl, starred with jewels / 

  Clouded with a pale blue mantle, drunk with the wine of her youth.”

     But within a year, her situation is quite contrasting. The same woman Vasavadatta was lying on the dusty ground. Her beauty, on which she was proud the most, was faded away and she was all spotted with the sores of smallpox. She was driven away from the town, to avoid her from spreading the contagious disease.

  This reminds us that youth and beauty are not permanent. The pride of the dancing girl of her beauty and youth was forcefully shaken off from her when she was stricken with the epidemic, small pox.

   This contrast, shows that beauty and youth do not last long.

Question 6 : What does the following line depict about the personality of the dancing girl ?

  “Wearing a pale blue mantle, drunk with the wine of her youth”.

Answer:  This line suggests, Vasavadatta’s luxurious lifestyle and her indulgence towards worldly things.

   The phrase “wearing pale blue mantle” indicates worldly possessions, her luxurious lifestyle, where she possess expensive clothes and shinning jewellery.

     The phrase  “drunk with the wine of her beauty” is a metaphor used to depict her pride over youthful beauty and her wealth. Vasavadatta was intoxicated by her youthful beauty and charm.

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