2009 Comic Book of Shakuntala by Sayantan Halder
Despite his discomfort at his daughter’s growing belly -- she is a single mom, after all - Kanva blesses his sweet daughter and his grandchild to be. Time passes and no word comes from the King. Shakuntala spends many hours and many days daydreaming of her beloved and imagining their reunion…
|Shakuntala dreaming of her man, hanging out with friends in forest|
|Writing love poems on leaves, R.R. Varma|
|Shakuntala waiting & dreaming, by Raja Ravi Varma|
One day, while lost in the revelry of her love-thoughts, she fails to notice the arrival of a much revered holy man who comes from afar to stay at the ashram. The rishi, Durvasha, is famous for being a hot headed hermit. When Shakuntala fails to perform her duties as hostess and greet the man with water and food, the holy man explodes into a fury and castes a curse on her. The curse, meant to punish her for daydreaming instead of doing her duty, is pretty mean (especially coming from a Saint's lips!) :
Once the King has defeated the ‘demon armies of darkness’ the gods reward the King with a radiant chariot that flies through the air and is fitted with a celestial GPS system to find Shakuntala.
|Bharata among the lions of the forest (Raja Ravi Varma, late 19th century)|
Repaid by sacrificial gain;
With aid long mutually given,
Rule you on earth, and he in heaven.
And wisdom grow in scholars' band;
May Shiva see my faith on earth
And make me free of all rebirth.
And so it is...