[INDOLOGY] gajagāminī and other elephant similes in early kāvya

Jim Mallinson jim at khecari.com
Wed Aug 14 12:21:41 UTC 2013

Dear All,

A colleague not on the list has asked me to post the following:

The comparison of a woman's walk to that of an elephant was celebrated in MF Husain's film 'Gajagamini'.  The expression is usually thought to come from Kalidasa but I've not found it in a cursory search of his work.  The earliest occurrences seem to be in the Mahabharata.  Any confirmation of texts using gajagamini and details of elephant similes in kavya would be welcome e.g.  women's thighs like elephant trunks, breasts like elephants' bosses.

Yours, with best wishes,

Jim Mallinson

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