Sunday, October 22, 2006

vikram and baital: at first sight

Suddenly the eyes of the Raja's son and the [maiden] met. She started back with a little scream. He was fascinated by her beauty, and began to say to himself, " O thou vile Karma,[51] why worriest thou me?"

Hearing this, the maiden smiled encouragement, but the poor youth, between palpitation of the heart and hesitation about what to say, was so confused that his tongue crave to his teeth.

- from the beginning of Baital's first story, as translated by Richard Burton in Vikram and the Vampire

Whether a first century hindi tale of the fantastic, or a twenty-first century hollywood chick-flick, the first sight of the beauty invariably confounds the tongue of a good man.