"Gleaming saffron pistils
are golden sceptres of love.
The wanton bees on trumpet flowers
are arrows in love's quiver."
The sakhi continues with her description of Krsna's dance. An involved simile
creates a symphony of color. The red of the flame of the forest is replaced by
the saffron flower pistils and the yellow trumpet flowers. The Hindi translation
is not only faithful, it is explanatory. It paraphrases both the saffron pistils
and the golden sceptre of love and refers to the colors kesan (saffron-orange)
and sona (golden).
In the painting Radha and the sakhi sit on a slope, with flowering creepers
falling upon them. The flowering creepers are also like the arrows of love.
However, the phrase madana mahipati is portrayed by depicting not only Kama, but
also Rati, complete with an umbrella (chatra), mentioned in the Hindi text. The
pair is hidden in the trees, almost as if to suggest that in fact it is the
pistils of the saffron which are the arrows of love. The blue of Madana and the
gold of Rati are contrasted. The allusion to the trumpet-like flowers (patali)
and the wanton bees are recreated through the group of plants closest to Radha
and the sakhi. Krsna is seen in two groups. In the first, he embraces one gopi.
In the second, He points to Kama and Rati above, and embraces one sakhi and
fondles the face of another. The first is visualisation of the description of
the particular verse, the second is the refrain.
It is important to note that the artist takes great pains in conveying
pictorially each single verbal image. The details of costumes, coiffures,
figurative drawing are important, but the key motivation of the composition lies
in the artist's aspiration to make the painting as perfect as the verse. To
achieve this end, he takes the verse phrase by phrase, sometimes word by word,
and weaves his picture. Where the verse runs on with a continuous simile or
metaphor he doesn't divide the painting into multiple spatial areas. Where more
than one or two ideas are used, he employs trees or lines as dividers. He is
also faithful to the color scheme described in the poem.