Indian Cinema has been known among the masses for portraying obsessed lovers; the classic example being Prince Salim in Mughal -e-Azam. Some of them even possess an extraordinary verbal communication style (K-K-K-K-Kiran). Others possess supposedly cool hairstyles. And some have a story where they leave the world for somebody and then that ‘somebody’ leaves them. When you go back in time, you see the same happening in Mahabharata too and the victims of such tragedies are mostly the kings. Anyways would you be really that interested if it were to happen to a commoner anyway?!
Pururava was a young and handsome king. When I say young and handsome, it means that practicing warrior-skills, hunting and partying were his major hobbies. Administration of kingdom and welfare of the people for such kings was usually the second priority. There are very few kings who were young and handsome and capable at the same time. Unfortunately, Pururava was not. And before he could make his transition from young and handsome to capable, something happened!
Once when he was out hunting in a forest, he came across the Apsara (river-nymph) Urvashi. The sight of the scantily dressed apsara, who was a favorite even among the Devas, was definitely the most enthralling sight of Pururava’s youth.
With the confidence and attitude that is characteristic of self-proclaimed handsome men, Pururava went to Urvashi and asked her out.
Pururava: The Almighty must have exhausted all his creativity in carving a beauty like you. What should I do to make you mine? I want you to marry me and be my queen.
Urvashi: No ordinary man can ask me out in this fashion. Your confidence and your flashy attire indicate that you are from a royal lineage. But are you worthy enough for the beautiful creation of the Almighty like you just said?
Pururava: There is no feat in this world impossible for me to perform as long as I possess my bow and arrows. You should never distrust my capabilities.
Urvashi: I would rather marry a lover than a warrior. I don’t seek the power of your weapons, I only seek the power of your words. You will have to promise me that you will take care of my pet goats. They are very dear to me. Also, promise me that except for me you will never appear naked in front of anybody. If you are willing to make these two promises, I will marry you.
Pururava: I am a Kshatriya, to protect the helpless is my Dharma. Will I not protect your goats? I promise I will. And I will protect your second promise too. My Kshatriya instincts are not limited to people alone!
These promises were perhaps Urvashi’s ways of ensuring that her husband remains loyal to her concerns and never brings in a second wife that decreases her importance. Pururava didn’t think much before making the promises either. The Kshatriya factor often deluded the decision making powers of the kings. Anyway, they both got married and lived happily for some time, increasing the prospective candidates for the royal inheritance and inspiring stories that would be carved out later in Indian temples meant for selective visitors.
Indra, the original ‘beneficiary’ of apsaras, could not bear this unusually long separation from the apple of his eyes, Urvashi. He wanted her back at any cost, so he ordered the Gandharvas to bring Urvashi back. The Gandharvas stole the pet goats of Urvashi one day when Pururava was busy making love to her. Urvashi, on realizing that her goats had been stolen, requested Pururava to rescue them. He hurried out without bothering to cover himself keen to keep the first promise he made to his wife while forgetting the second one! At that moment, Indra launched a thunder in the sky causing a public display of the king’s private properties.
In spite of his best efforts, Pururava could not keep both his promises. Urvashi decided to leave Pururava the way he was, not continuing her stay with King since the promises that were the basis of their marriage were broken.
The separation left Pururava devastated and he lost all sense. He isolated himself from his kingdom and became mad, not being able to rule the kingdom anymore. Had India had access to Italian Marble in those days, a Taj Mahal would have come into existence much before in Indian History than when it actually did!
Thus, another lover had to face the cliché consequence of falling in love as depicted in Bollywood Movies – DEPRESSION DUE TO SEPARATION!
Image Source – wikipedia.org