Bana is among the three most important prose writers in classical Sanskrit, all of whom lived in the late sixth and early seventh centuries AD. It is clear, from his writings, that his mind was amazingly modern, humane and sensitive, especially for the seventh-century India in which he lived. Bana had a healthy irreverence towards many of the established orthodoxies of his time and his strength lies in his skill as a storyteller and as a creator of characters vibrant with life and individuality. Kadambari is a lyrical prose romance that narrates the love story of Kadambari, a Gandharva princess, and Chandrapida, a prince who is eventually revealed to be the moon god. Acclaimed as a great literary work, it is replete with eloquent descriptions of palaces, forests, mountains, gardens, sunrises and sunsets and love in separation and fulfillment. Featuring an intriguing parrot-narrator, the story progresses as a delightful romantic thriller played out in the magical realms between this world and the other, in which the earthly and the divine blend in idyllic splendor.
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