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Valentine's Day

Celebrate love with your Valentine this year with the immortal love stories from Indian mythology, history, literature and our wonderful instrument the Indian Cinema (Bollywood, Tollywood, Sherwood ha ha ha) and rekindle and relive your own unknown stories.

Shakuntala and Dushyant: Dushyant was a great king in Indian mythology. Shakuntala was the daughter of Rishi Vishwamitra (author of Ramayana) and Menaka (the most beautiful of the four nymphs in the court of Indra the king of demi gods). They fall in love in Rishi Kanva's ashram. Later due to the curse of Rishi Durvasa, Dushyant forgets Shakuntala but in the end are united. Their son Bharat is the said to be the first king to unite India. Hence, India is known as Bharat.

Subhadra and Arjuna: Subhadra was Krishna and Balarama's sister. Due to certain events, Arjuna had to leave his brothers and Draupadi and spend some time with his cousin Krishna. Subhadra falls in love with Arjuna. Krishna was all for the match but Balarama, the oldest of the siblings, did not favor this match with the much married Arjuna who had four wives by then. Krishna advised the pair the elope but asked Subhadra to drive the chariot. Not wishing to fight his favorite cousin Arjuna, Krishna was able to convince Balarama that Subhadra had kidnapped Arjuna and hence it was unwise to pursue the eloped pair. Their son Abhimanyu is a valiant hero who is killed in the battle of Mahabharat. Abhimanyu's son Parikshit is the lone survivor of the war and ascends the throne after Pandavas.

Samyukta and Prithviraj Chauhan: Samyukta was the daughter of King Raichand of Kannauj. She fell in love with Prithviraj Chauhan and declared her love to him. King Raichand did not approve of the match. He arranged for the swayamvar and invited all the kings but Prithviraj. He made a statue of Prithviraj and placed it as a doorman. Samyukta placed her garland on the statue. Prithviraj was hiding behind the statue and kidnapped Samyukta. This caused a great rift between the kingdom of Kannauj and Prithviraj. When Mohammud Ghauri invaded Prithviraj's kingdom, King Raichand of Kannauj refused to come to his aid.

Meghdoot (cloud messenger):This is a short poem of 111 stanza and is the most famous work of Kalidasa who is Shakespeare of Sanskrit literature. A Yaksha, subject of King Kuber, is sentenced to spend time on earth in central India. He convinces a passing cloud to take a message to his wife in the city of Alakapuri. He describes the sights the cloud will see on it way to Alaka. Meghdoot was the inspiration for Gustav Holst's “Cloud Messenger Op 20”.

Sohini and Mahiwal: These two tragic love stories are the most popular love stories of Punjabi literature in India and Pakistan. Sohini was the daughter of a potter and Mahiwal was a rich trader named Izzat Baig from Bukhara, modern day Uzbekistan. Izzat Baig falls in love with Sohni and takes the job of Mahiwal (buffalo herder) with Sohni's father. Check out the Bollywood movie starring Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon.

Heer and Ranjha: Heer is the beautiful Jatt and Dheedo Ranjha is the youngest of four brothers who takes the job of herding cattle with Heer's father. Heer Ranjha originally had a happy ending and symbolized man's quest for God. There are many Indian as well as Pakistani movies made on Heer Ranjha.

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