The love story that gave birth to a nation
The classic tale of Shakuntala and Dushyanta has enthralled Indians for millennia. The subject of the great Sanskrit play by Kalidasa and influencer of a thousand love stories in films, television shows and novels, this almost-tragedy captures the unusual pairing of a rustic sage’s daughter and the arrogant young king who falls passionately in love with her–only to forget her once he returns to his kingdom. Or has he truly forgotten? As much a drama with a twist in its tale as a romance of manners, the great love story of Shakuntala and Dushyanta remains an enduring love story as well as a fascinating portrait of a long-lost age. Now retold in Ashok’s inimitable epic style, this short novella also forms a part of the larger epic Mahabharata Series. Read it here as a classic love story.