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Shakuntala, Miranda and Kapalkundala

Maharshi Kanva found a baby girl surrounded by some Shakunta birds. Apsara Manoka and Maharshi Vishwamitra were the parents of the baby girl. Manoka left the baby girl in the forest after her birth. Maharshi Kanva took the baby girl in his ashrama and brought her up. Shakuntala never saw any male without Maharshi, ashrama balakas and some other rishis. One day Dushyanta came to the forest in purpose of hunting and Shakuntala saw her first male of life, fell in love with him.

The story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala appears in the Mahabharata and Kalidasa’s play. The play of Kalidasa ‘Abhijnanashakuntalam’ is a treasure of Sanskrit literature.

Miranda was the only woman character in the play ‘The Tempest’ written by Shakespeare. When the play opened Miranda was almost fifteen and for the previous twelve years, she had lived on the island and was familiar only to Prospero and Caliban. Prospero was her father and the rightful duke of Milan. Caliban was not honoured with a human shape. Prospero called him ‘thou tortoise’. Trinculo stumbling upon him described him thus, “A strange fish….legged like a man! and his fins like arms!” He “smells like a fish.”

Miranda was unaware of the evils of the world as she was banished in the island with her father at the age of three years. She was a pure child of Nature like Wordsworth’s Lucy. She was very soft and kind hearted.The suffering of the ship wrecked party melted her heart. When Fardinand came to her island and saw her, they fell in love with each other.

Kapalkundala is the great creation of Bankimchandra in Bengali literature. Kapalkundala was brought up by the Kapalik from her very childhood. When she saw Nabakumar, she was only sixteen years old. Kapalkundala treated Nabakumar with sympathy and saved his life from Kapalik taking her own life risks.The heart of Kapalkundala was full of sympathy and kindness. Nabakumar fell in love with Kapalkundala but Kapalkundala was not able to love Nabakumar. Kapalkundala was unaware of the evils of world like Shakuntala and Miranda.

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Shakuntala was able to love Dushyanta, Miranda was able to love Fardinand but Kapalkundala was not able to love Nabakumar. The name of Kapalkundala was changed to Mrinmoyee but she was not able to forget her wild life with Kapalik. Every night she went out from home to collect the medicinal plants for her sister-in-law, Shyamasundori. She gave all her expensive ornaments to the beggar and the beggar ran away. Kapalkundala thought ‘why did the beggar run away?’ She gave her husband to her satin Padmabati so easily. She had no attachment with Nabakumar. Kapalkundala was exceptional from Shakuntala and Miranda at this point.

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Editorial Team of LaughaLaughi