Valentine’s Day is finally here and one cannot escape the mush in the air. After celebrating the days leading up to February 14, lovers are now out with full gusto to make the day special. And while wishes and gifts are exchanged. the essence of the day is love and love alone.
While all of us are trying to make our love stories the most special that there is, there are several stories in mythologies, folklore and even in literature that shed light on the power of love and its ability to challenge fate. From Radha Krishna to Helen and Paris, the love between them have withstood the test of time and even after all these years, continue to inspire.
We bring to you such instances of timeless romance.
Radha and Krishna
The love story of Radha and Krishna needs no retelling. Often considered as the epitome of romance, the story of Radha and Krisha is synonymous with sublime and timeless romance. It is believed that Radha was one of the ardent devotees of Krishna and would be mesmerised every time the latter played the flute. Although they did not get married, their enduring love continue to inspire.
Shakuntala and Dushyanta
The love story of the semi-divine origin Shakuntala and the mighty Dushyanta has been immortalised by Kalidasa in his play Abhijnanashakuntalam. According to legends, Dushyanta fell in love with Shakuntala while he was on a hunting trip and later got married to her. When it was time for the king to leave, he promised to send envoy to bring her to the castle and also gave her his ring as a fond memory. However, as fate would have it, one day, Shakuntala angered a rishi by forgetting to greet him, lost as she was in the king’s thoughts. The angry rishi then cursed her that she will be forgotten by the person she was thinking about. Later, after much pleading he conceded that the concerned person will remember her if he sees some souvenir. Things unfolded just how the rishi had cursed. Dushyanta forgot about Shakuntala and she lost her ring. The way they reunite braving such hurdles makes this a classic love story.
Savitri and Satyavan
Daughter of King Ashvapati, Savitri was asked by her father to choose a husband for herself. She, out of her volition chose Satyavan, the son of a king who had lost his eyesight and subsequently his kingdom. Even though she was told by Narada that Satyavan would live just another year, her decision to marry him remained unwavered. Later when Satyavan did pass away, she convinced Yamraja to revive him and release his captured soul.
Heer and Ranjha
One of the most popular tragic romances of Punjab, the story of Heer and Ranjha is the classic tale of love that never met. Written by Waris Shah, the tragic tale ends with the lovers dying owing to a family feud and echoes of a similar story – Romeo and Juliet. The story has been adapted into several films and plays.
Psyche and Cupid
Love stories between human beings and gods have fascinated readers for a long time, and the story between Psyche and Cupid is particularly fascinating. Daughter of a king and a queen, Psyche was known far and wide for her beauty. This, however, made Aphrodite – goddess of beauty – jealous. She sent her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with an ugly man, but as fate would have it Cupid pricks himself with his own arrows and falls in love with her. However there are several obstacles that they had to brave and impossible tasks Psyche had to perform — like going to the underworld to Pluto’s wife Prosperine and bring little bit of her beauty back in a box — till she succeeded in impressing Aphrodite. She is then made the goddess of soul and thus immortal.
Helen and Paris
One of the most famous stories in Greek mythology, Helen and Paris’s story wrecked hearts, killed people and led the Achaeans (the Greeks) wage a war against the city of Troy. Helen, wife of Menelaus,was considered to be the most beautiful woman at her time. Paris of Troy, on the other hand, was blessed by Aphrodite that he will have the most beautiful wife in the world. What followed was Paris visiting the King of Sparta, falling in love with Helen and eloping with her. This enraged and humiliated Menelaus so much that it triggered the famous Battle of Troy that ultimately destroyed Troy.