Paintings/Realistic · The story of Shiv Parvathi

Austerities – Autumn and Winter

Austerities - Autumn and Winter


Arches HP 300gsm half sheet, Schminke Artists watercolors.


The following lines are written by Kalidasa and translated by Arthur W Ryder:


Scorched by the fury of the noon-tide rays,
And fires that round her burned with ceaseless blaze,
Summer passed o’er her : rains of Autumn came
And throughly drenched the lady’s tender frame.



There as she lay upon her rocky bed,
No sumptuous roof above her gentle head,
Dark Night, her only witness, turned her eyes,
lied lightnings flashing from the angry skies,
And gazed upon her voluntary pain,
In wind, in sleet, in thunder, and in rain.
Still lay the maiden on the cold damp ground,
Though blasts of winter hurled their snows around.
Still pitying in her heart the mournful fate
Of those poor birds, so fond, so desolate,
Doomed, hapless pair, to list each other’s moan
Through the long hours of night, sad and alone.

Chilled by the rain, the tender lotus sank :
She filled its place upon the streamlet’s bank.
Sweet was her breath as when that lovely flower
Sheds its best perfume in still evening’s hour.
Red as its leaves her lips of coral hue :
Red as those quivering leaves they quivered too.

Of all stern penance it is called the chief
To nourish life upon the fallen leaf.
But even this the ascetic maiden spurned,
And for all time a glorious title earned.
Aparna Lady of the unbroken fast
Have sages called her, saints who knew the past.
Fair as the lotus fibres, soft as they,
In these stern vows she passed her night and day.
No mighty anchoret had e’er essayed
The ceaseless penance of this gentle maid.

There came a hermit : reverend was he
As Brahmanhood’s embodied sanctity.
With coat of skin, with staff and matted hair,
His face was radiant, and he spake her fair.
Up rose the maid the holy man to greet,
And humbly bowed before the hermit’s feet.
Though meditation fill the pious breast,
It finds a welcome for a glorious guest :


10 thoughts on “Austerities – Autumn and Winter

  1. Your watercolors are stunning. I stumbled upon your other blog about how to paint watercolors (very clear and helpful), then moved onto your artwork and recipes. I am grateful to you for sharing your art and knowledge. ‘Austerities – Autumn and Winter’ from your ‘Shiv Parvathi’ series has been imprinted in my memory. Thank you, Neelima.

  2. Beautiful and inspiring art work. Love the poetry too. I would also like to thank you for explaining the colour wheel, I still don,t quite get it but I have saved your site to my favourite,s and keep it as a referance. Thank you Neelima 🙂

  3. its an beautiful painting… i love the way u think.. i m also a painter not as good as u bt always trying to put my original thoughts in my painting an love them much…

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