SHAKUNTALA DUSHYANTA: Shakuntala grew up in the hermitage of Kanva maharishi. While Kanva and the other elders of the hermitage are away on a pilgrimage, Dushyanta, the king of Hastinapura comes hunting in the forest and chances upon the hermitage. He is captivated by the beauty of Shakuntala, courts her in royal style, and marries her. He then has to leave to take care of affairs in the capital. She is given a ring by the king, to be presented to him when she appears in his court. She can then claim her place as queen.
The sage Durvasa visits the hermitage and Shakuntala, who is lost in her fantasies disregards Durvasa’s presence. Durvasa curses her that Dushyanta would forget Shakuntala. Durvasa is implored and he whittles down the curse. Durvasa says Dushyanta would regain his memory of Shakuntala if he were to see the signet ring presented to her. Unfortunately, Shakuntala loses the ring when she is bathing in a pond.
Shakuntala, visits Dushyanta who is unable to remember Shakuntala. The signet ring is swallowed by a fish and the fish is later caught. The fisherman was shocked to see the signet ring of the king and it is returned to the king. As soon as Dushyanta sees the signet ring, his memory of Shakuntala returns.
This is a print by the Ravi Udaya FAL Press derived from a painting by Raja Ravi Varma which depicts the reunion of Shakuntala and Dushyanta. The old lovers embrace and Dushyanta is seen holding the signet ring in this hand.