Old School Love Stories

Old School Love StoriesFebruary is the month of love and romance, and with that in mind Partridge Singapore wants to share some classic love stories. Love is one of the most fundamental parts of the human experience. Love can be a source of great love and great tragedy. Love has inspired acts of heroism, sacrifice, sorrow. Tied to the spectrum of human experiences, love is vital to the human identity. Below are two stories that illustrate love’s highs and lows.

 

Anarkali and Salim

One of the most famous love stories to come out of India is that of Anarkali and Salim, a story of love divided by class, great battles, and tragic sacrifices. This story was written by Abdul Halim Sharar and is set during the Mughal Period. Our two central characters are Anarkali, a legendary slave girl and dancer, and Prince Salim, son of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

In his youth Prince Salim was a spoiled and rotten boy, but after 14 years of war, he returned to his kingdom a brave and disciplined man. Upon his return Salim was treated to a great dance, the Mujra, from the most beautiful woman in his father’s harem, named Nadeera but honoured by Emperor Akbar with the soubriquet Anarkali.

After just one dance Prince Salim fell in love with Anarkali and she with him. Unfortunately, as Salim was a prince and Anarkali was not of noble lineage, Akbar forbade the relationship, to the point of placing Anarkali in the dungeons. At this Salim raised an army against his father, but bravery and valour fail to win against the might of his father’s larger army. Rather than allow Salim to be executed, Anarkali renounces her love for the prince and submits herself to punishment, entombed alive in a wall while Salim can only watch.

 

Orpheus and Eurydice

Old School Love Stories
Orpheus tries to lead Eurydice out of the Underworld.

Here is the ancient tale of a man’s journey to the Underworld itself for the woman he loves. A mortal son of the Greek Sun God Apollo, Orpheus was born with an unearthly and hypnotic talent for music. So beautiful and moving was his music, that enemies, beasts, and even rocks and trees could do nothing but be swayed by Orpheus’ music. Eurydice was a nymph, born of the gods and of unearthly beauty. While they were wed they were happy. But that happiness ended when a poisonous snake bit Eurydice, killing her.

In his grief Orpheus played a song so sorrowful it moved all that lived, including the gods. Apollo told his son there existed a way for Eurydice to live again, but Orpheus would have to descend into the Underworld. So Orpheus entered the realm of the dead, he played his music to charm Cerberus, the three-headed guard-dog of the Underworld. Orpheus journeyed until he found himself before thrones of Hades and Persephone, the gods and rulers of the Underworld. Again Orpheus played his music, and in doing melted the hard hearts of Hades and Persephone. They would allow Orpheus to lead Eurydice out of the Underworld, but only if Orpheus never looked behind him.

But when Orpheus journeyed back to the lands of the living, he grew anxious about Eurydice behind him, worried she wasn’t truly there. When he neared exit of the Underworld, Orpheus succumbed to temptation. He saw Eurydice’s ghostly self behind him before her soul was quickly dragged back into the Underworld. He had failed. Out of despair, Orpheus played one last sorrowful song, guiding beasts to tear him apart.

 

 

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By Ian Smith



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