The Story of Kalidas(The Last Words of Kalidas)
After many months of his departure from Dharanagri, Kalidas stepped on the soil of Ceylon. He was struck by the grandeur which met his eyes. It was dusk when he landed there. The sound of soft music floated through the air. A stranger in Ceylon, Kalidas started looking for shelter for the night.
At a villa, he met Kamini, a young damsel who enquired where he had come from and who he wished to see.
Kalidas told her that he had come from India to see the land of beauty and grandeur and asked whether the kind lady would give him shelter for the night.
Kalidas was invited to spend the night at the villa.
Inside, the floors were carpeted, paintings adorned the walls, silken tapestries were hung on doors and windows and there was a regal touch about everything.
Kalidas washed, dined and was led into a room to rest and sleep.
In the middle of the night, Kalidas woke up and saw light coming out the girl's room. He thought something was wrong and got up. He knocked at the door and the girl enquired, "Do you want anything?"
Kalidas asked "Why are you up at this time ? Are you all right ? Can I do anything for you?"
The girl said, "O stranger to this land, you come from India where people are honest, trustworthy and observe the dharma. You inspire confidence in me and I will tell you why I am awake at this hour."
Then Kamini said to Kalidas, "I am in love with Kumargupta, the Prince of Ceylon. He returns my love. He is a great poet and has laid a condition for our marriage. He composed half a verse and wants me to complete the rest before our marriage can be solemnised. I have spent many sleepless nights on it but it is beyond me.”
"And what are the lines the Prince wrote?" asked Kalidas.
The girl read aloud:
"Was lotus growing on a lotus seen?"
"Nay, only heard, it is never seen."
and handed the piece of paper to Kalidas.
Kalidas took his pen and wrote under it:
"How does it happen, O lovely lass.
Thy lotus face has two lotus eyes?"
and returned the paper to the girl.
Kamini read it again and again and was very delighted. She thanked Kalidas profusely and led him to his room.
When Kamini was alone in her room, she was afraid; what would happen if the secret was let out by the stranger to Kumargupta. An idea struck her. She took out her dagger and went to the room where Kalidas was sleeping soundly and plunged it in his heart.
Kalidas shrieked and groaned, "Kumargupta, Goodbye. Kalidas is unlucky; he could not see you," and then breathed his last.
When Kamini heard the name of Kalidas, she was aghast. She searched his luggage to make sure if the stranger was Kalidas. A copy of Meghdoot and a newly composed poem were found. She cursed herself for her folly and killed herself with the same dagger.
Next morning when Kumargupta came to Kamini's palace, he found both Kamini and Kalidas dead. He went to Kamini's room and read the paper. He also took the new poem composed by Kalidas.
Ceylon was plunged in grief. The body of Kalidas was cremated in a sandal-wood pyre with due rites. When flames lept high, Kumargupta said to the mourners: "My friends, we are unfortunate that Kalidas came to our country only to die. He could not meet me in his life". Then he waved the newly composed poem and continued, "This is the poem he wrote for me. If he could not meet me while alive, then I must go to meet him; saying this, he lept into the burning pyre with the poem in his hand.