Thursday, April 9, 2015

H for Heartbreak

Heartbreak...Anyone who has been in love has most probably gone through a heartbreak. It is never easy to get over the love of your life, isn't it

Here's another tale, that took place a little time before the Mahabharata, a story of love, and heartbreak. 


Shakuntala was heartbroken.  How could Dushyant not recognize her? Had he forgotten all the vows that he had made unto her? Had he forgotten how he had met her? Had he no memory of the love that they had shared…of the words he had spoken…of the promises he had made…?

She remembered meeting him by her hermit during one of his hunting trips. Who could have thought that the king of the Puru dynasty would lose his heart to a hermit-girl? So smitten was he, that he insisted that they marry. Mother Nature would be their witness, he had said. And thus in the presence of the majestic Sun, the blue skies, the calm waters of the Malini river, the trees dotting the Shivalik hills, the abundance of blooming, fragrant flowers, the chirping birds, and animals, Shankuntala married Dushyant in a Gandharva marriage, with Mother Nature herself blessing their union.

She remembered his touch…it had been so magical and gentle. She had melted into his arms as he caressed and kissed her. He had sung her poems of love and whispered sweet nothings into her ears. Why then would he choose to forget her? Did he not tell her how much she meant to him? Did he not promise to send for her and marry her in the presence of his entire kingdom? Why hadn’t he come back?

She remembered waiting for him to come back. He had dragged her into an emotional whirlpool, lavishing attention on her briefly and then retreating into his shell. Was he the same Dushyant who had spoken so intimately to her at one time and now had lapsed into a silence?

Maybe it was not his fault after all. Wasn’t she the one who had angered Guru Durvasa and had been cursed? But she had been so lost in the thoughts of her beloved that she had failed to hear the sage call out to her and he had cursed her, “He, in whose thoughts, you have been so engrossed that you have failed to heed my call, will forget you forever”. And she was now paying for that curse.

She remembered the blank look on Dushyant’s face as she pleaded with him to accept her. She must have looked like a fool trying to remind him of their time together while he looked at her like he was seeing her for the very first time.

No, it couldn’t be Dushyant’s fault. Hadn’t he given her the signet ring as a token of their marriage? She was the one who lost it. When she had pleaded with the Guru, Sage Durvasa had taken mercy on her and told her that Dushyant would remember her on seeing the souvenir he had had given her. But she had lost that as she bathed in the river that morning.

Heartbroken and feeling helpless, tears streamed down Shakuntala’s face as reality dawned on her. Dushyant was perhaps lost to her forever. “Vanquish me from the face of the earth, Lord, for what use is a life sans my beloved,” she prayed. And then, caressing her belly, she wept aloud, "Oh, my sweet child, you will never know your father. Forgive me, my little one." 

A  few years passed before the Gods finally heard her.

“Is this the ring with the royal insignia you were talking about, Devi?” It was a fisherman with his prized catch.  From the belly of his fish, he had recovered her valuable ring.

She looked at the fisherman, then at the ring and then at her son. A prayer of thanksgiving escaped her lips. She would be reunited with the love of life, after all!


All's well that end well, Huh

Trivia: The son of Shakuntala and Dushyant is King Bharata, after whom our country has been named. 

This day....last year....H for Happiness
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