Would Indian love poetry of the 8th century deal with different subjects than today’s poetry? We imagine such a distance in culture, but reading the poems we realize lovers were caught up in the same issues as we are today: Getting hot and bothered at the sight of your love. Getting into fights because one shouts out the wrong name in bed. Wanting to make up after a fight but being too proud to do so.

Take a sip from the Amarushataka in translation by Andrew Shelling. You can find more on his page.

We’d been drinking.
She noticed wounds on my skin
from her own
fingernails
and bolted up jealously.
Let go, she cried when I caught her skirt.
Tear-streaked face averted
lower lip quavering—
who could forget
what she said next?

Amarushataka 47

Each turned aside
on the bed
silently suffering
secretly hoping to reconcile but
afraid to lose face.
At some point their furtive eyes met—
there was a quick
unintentional laugh and the
quarrel broke
in one wild embrace.

Amarushataka 21