u.s.tra-dhuumaka (was: Skt vocabulary for: Hail)

Ruth Laila Schmidt r.l.schmidt at EAST.UIO.NO
Thu Jan 20 16:54:09 UTC 2000

Kindly compare go-dhuuli, the dust stirred up by the cattle when they
return from grazing at night. I have ridden camels in the desert on a
number of occasions, and never found them surrounded by noxious insects (I
don't know if they would attract them in moister climates, but camels tend
to be used in arid areas). However a string of camels in a caravan does
stir up drifting dust or sand. The question arises whether dust (dhuuli)
and smoke (dhuumaka) could be equated.

With best wishes,

Ruth Schmidt

G. v. Simson wrote:

>I remember horse-flies and clegs very well - but they are not active at
>night and their bite would hardly provoke cold sweat (if I interpreted
>Vagbhata's verse correctly). I agree that the word "camel smoke" suggests
>your interpretation, but then Vagbhata cannot be right identifying them
>with "raatricaaraa ca raatrika.h". See also Turner CDIAL s.v. rAtrika,
>where some modern derivation meaning "mosquito" is mentioned (I do not have
>the book at hand right now). Mosquitoes are active at night indeed. How
>trustworthy is Vagbhata in these matters, Dominik?

>Stephen Hodge wrote:
>>To me, the word image "camel smoke" suggests clouds of noxious insects
>>billowing around animals like camels.   Could some kind of biting fly
>>be intended -- in my younger days I was bitten many times by
>>horse-flies and clegs and these are extremely painful and usually
>>result in a badly infected wound.

Ruth Laila Schmidt
Dept of East European and Oriental Studies
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1030 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway
Phone: (47) 22 85 55 86
Fax: (47) 22 85 41 40
Email: r.l.schmidt at east.uio.no

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