“Sometimes you want to say, “I love you, but…”
Yet the ‘but’ takes away the ‘I love you’. In love there are no ‘buts’ or ‘if’s’ or ‘when’. It’s just there, and always. No beginning, no end…………………..”
Love is the only element of feeling that is able to stick the whole world together. There have been endless discussions on this little four letter word since the beginning of times. We grow up listening to epic love stories and fantasizing about our soul mate. We have been tempted by the legends. Every human being who has a heart (metaphorically) has a love story attached to him or her, of which some could become immortal. Some were wonderful creations of the mind and some became a part of real history.
We have come up with the 10 best epic love stories history has ever witnessed. Feel the love.
1) Romeo & Juliet
Love stories are incomplete with the name of Romeo & Juliet. These love souls are actually the creation of the great writer, William Shakespeare. In one line, it is the story of two die-hard lovers who could not become one due to their family feuds and had to meet an unfortunate end. The story is scripted in Verona, a city in Italy. Romeo & Juliet belonged to two families who were sworn enemies. But as they were already destined to meet, they met in a ball organized by Juliet’s family to instigate Juliet’s consent for her marriage with Count Paris. Romeo on the other hand goes to the party in disguise only to meet his earlier infatuation, Roseline. But could not help falling in love with Juliet at the first sight. Juliet to falls helplessly in love and both gets married the next day. When, their families come to know of the wedding, they banish Romeo from the city. Juliet heartbroken takes a drug which gets her into coma for few hours. Misinterpreting her as dead, her family buries her in crypt. When Romeo comes to know about this, he could not help himself from drinking the poison he brought along with him. When Juliet wakes up and learns the truth, she stabs herself with a dagger. Both the families when got the numbing news, melts up and agrees to end their feuds. The ill-fated deaths of two lovers brought the hard core enemies together. Shakespeare wraps the epic with the heartbreaking words: “For never was a story of more woe, than this of Romeo and Juliet”
2) Laila & Majnun
Laila & Majnun is one of the most famous love stories in history which had to meet a sad fate too. Both the characters were brought to life in the classic Arabic Literature by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi. There are many interpretations of this story. Some say it was based on the real story of Thabit ibn Qays, a first generation Muslim known as Sahaba. Some believe it to be fictitious. However, the story revolved round a small tribe in Saudi Arabia. Majnun fell in love with Layla right frm childhood. But, was forbidden any kind of contact with Layla by his father. Majnun was obsessed with Layla. Hence Majnun became a synonym for possessed in the later days. Majnun used to recite love poems for his love for Layla. This made him a madman in front of his tribe. Therefore, Layla was married off to another man by her father as he feared his reputation if both of them got married. When Majnun came to know about the marriage, he could not stand it and wandered the desert chanting our Laila’s name. Laila died due to heartbreak and Majnun was also found dead in the wilderness near a woman’s grave. His poetry today has become part of literature from many decades and leaves any listener it a state of shock.
3) Shahjahan & Mumtaz
Shahjahan was a Mughal Emperor of South Asia who was in fact lucky to spend enough time with the love of his life Mumtaz Mahal. The story revolves around the Great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (Prince Khurram) in 1607 AD and Mumtaz Mahal ofAgra urf Arjumand Banu Begum. Both the Persian nobilities were honorably married off with a hitch. At that period of time, every emperor was known to have a harem of beauties for his pleasure. Of all Banu Begum was his most beloved wife and were together for long 19 years. It was her daintiness & her personality that made Shah Jahan acknowledge her with the name Mumtaz Mahal meaning Jewel of the Palace. Mumtaz accompanied Shah Jahan on his ever endeavor and campaign despite of her 13 successful deliveries. She always stood by his side irrespective of the situation he was in, thus making Mumtaz the perfect wife. But, as fate would have it, she died delivering her last fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was petrified on her death. He was inconsolable. He decided to craft a proper mausoleum for his dead wife which is today cited as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, “the Taj Mahal”. It took him almost 22 years. He die died at the age of 74 due to extreme illness.
4) Heer & Ranjha
Waris Shah gave the story of Heer- Ranjha the voice it deserved and settled in our hearts forever. The story is for the land of Punjab in India where the two lovers lived. Their story has every element of laughter and sadness. Heer was the daughter of a wealthy Jat of Sayyal clan from the Jhang district in Punjab. Ranjha also a Jat from the Ranjha clan lived in Takht Hazara, a village in Punjab near river Chenab. Ranjha was the youngest in his family and hence was given a comfortable life. While his brothers worked hard in fields to earn the bread, he engrossed his time playing flute. This attitude made his brother turn hostile against him and led to a heated argument. He left the house and wandered to a nearby village. As planned by fate, he met Heer in the village. The exquisite beauty of Heer made him fall in love at the very first sight. Heer offered him a job as cow herder for her father’s cattle. Ranjha used to play his flute in his free time and Heer involuntarily fell for him too. Their loved was short lived when Heer’s uncle came to know about their love affair. Her parents were against it and decided to marry of Heer to someone else. Ranjha could not bear this and left. On his way back home he met a jogi who inspired him to leave the materialistic world and join him. He wandered further and as fate had already planned, he landed on the same village where Heer now lived. After much convincing, Heer managed to marry Ranjha. Her uncle couldn’t bear this as he thought it brought disgrace to his family name. Blinded with anger, he poisoned the sweets which Heer was supposed to eat. Unfortunately, Heer consumed it and died. Heartbroken Ranjha too ate it and died besides her. Their names will be linked to each other till the end of eternity.
5) Salim & Anarkali:
Salim and Anarkali forms a part of Mughal history with their epic unfulfilled love story. Saleem, who became Emperor Jahangir, was the son of the Great Mughal emperor Akbar and his wife, Mariam-uz-Zamani. He was born in Lahore, Punjab. Because of his undisciplined behavior during his childhood, he was sent him away for fourteen years. A great Mujra was organized on his comeback. The Mujra was headed by a beautiful dancer named Nadeera. Akbar had named her Anarkali after the blossoming flower pomegranate for her exceptional exquisiteness. Saleem fell for Anarkali on the first sight and so did Anarkali. They had a secret affair for many days when Salim finally confronted his father with his feeling and desire. This was unacceptable to the Emperor and forbidden him to see her. Anarkali was sent to the dungeons in Lahore. Saleem however managed to liberate and hid her with the help of his friends. Blinded by love, he announced a war against his father who defeated his small army soon enough. Saleem chose death penalty over surrendering Anarkali over to Akbar. Hearing this, Anarkali came out of her hiding and surrendered her own life in place of Prince Saleem. Her last wish was to be able to spend a pleasant night with Saleem. At the end of the night, she drugged Saleem and put him to sleep. She was taken to a place, now called Anarkali bazaar and was buried in a brick wall alive.
6) Sohni & Mahiwal
Sohni & Mahiwal is an epic story of two lovers who could not be one. Sohni was a Kumhar’s daughter Gujrat and Mahiwal, a wealthy trader from Bukhara (Uzbekisthan). Sohni was a beautiful damsel who used to decorate her father’s pot and put them out on sale. As fate would have it, Mahiwal (Shahzada Izzat Baig) happened to visit the town and met Sohni while buying pots. He could help falling in love with her. He used to make small visit to the shop every day only to spend a little time with her. As time passed, Soni too fell for him. To be with her for a bit too long, he took a job as a servant to take care of their buffalos. The reason as to why called Mahiwal, the buffalo herder. As time passed by, our curious society started digging into the matter which was not acceptable to her father and the relatives. On one unfortunate day, Soni was married off without her consent and was sent to her new home. A shattered Mahiwal became a hermit and wandered over to Sohni’s new home. He found himself a on the other side of the river near her house and settled there. It was only her presence across the river that made his day. Sohni, however could found out a way to meet him and hence the two lovers were at bliss. At midnight, she used to cross the river on hard baked inverted pitcher just to spend some valuable time with her lost love. Legends say that he used to treat her by catching the fish and when he was unable to do so he would cut the flesh of his thigh and unaware of this, when she ate it, she enquired about the oddity of it. When she found out, she could only cry at the love and craziness of his mad lover. Her season of love ended when her sister-in-law found out about their tryst and replaced the pitcher with an unbaked one. When Sohni entered the river it dissolved in water and she was drowned. Hearing her cries, Mahiwal too jumped in water to save her but was drowned too. Thus, bring an end to their tragic love story.
7) Abelard & Heloise
Peter Abelard was one of the greatest philosopher, theologian and logician history has ever witnessed. Heloise on the other hand was a protege of a canon. She had an extraordinary talent of reading and writing classical letters in 3 different languages, Latin, Greek & Hebrew. She was known for her this exceptional flair but was modest enough never to compare herself with Abelard. They met when Abelard was on a journey and knocked her door to seek for shelter. As fate would have it, they fell in love at first sight. When Heloise’s uncle came to know about it, he separated the love souls but they still keep on meeting secretly. Heloise was impregnated. She went to a far off place and gave birth to their son. Abelard decided to marry her on her return to calm down her uncle. She refused and when the truth came to light, she denied everything and left. Another misunderstanding in a love story ended it all. Her uncle thought that Abelard had abandoned her because of which she was heartbroken and left. He got him castrated. He became a monk and she a nun and their love story made way into the history. They lived their lives exchanging love letters. Some of these are still found in a 15th-century manuscript.
8) Sassui & Punnuh
Sassui & Punnuh wrote their love story in Sindh, Pakistan. Mir Punnhun Khan was the son of Mir Jamal Khan, the ruler of Baluchistan. Sassui was daughter of King of Bhambhore. When Sassui was born an astrologer predicted that she would bring disgrace to the royal name. The king could not take this and ordered to lock her in wooden box and be thrown in river. She was saved by a childless washer man and grew up to be a beautiful lady. The story of Sassui’s beauty reached Punnhun. One fine day he approached the washer man with dirty clothes only to catch a glimpse of Sassui. Love struck at first sight, Punnhun proposed t marry her. However, the washerman did not agree to this as he wanted to marry her from someone of his own society. After much pleading, he agreed to give Punnhun a chance. He was asked to prove himself a good washerman. The prince helplessly tried by none could stand the royal treatment. However, he took a different way. He secretly hid one gold coin in every single piece of cloth that helped him gain testimony from all the villagers that the clothes belonged to them. The washermen was impressed and they happily got married. But the happiness was short lived. On the wedding night, Punnhun’s brothers made him consume sedated wines and took him away with him. When Sassui came to know of this treachery she immediately started for Punnhun’s kingdom. She set out for the journey all alone. The beautiful poor soul was tried to take advantage by many n her way. Her feet got blistered and slowly during her journey she lost her sanity. She could bear no longer and prayed to her Gods to engulf her inside the earth. Back at his home, when Punnhun got back his senses he started running back to Sassui. When he got t know about her fate he too prayed to God and was engulfed by earth. Both their graves can be found at the exact location, till date.
9) Thisbe & Pyramus
Thisbe & Pyramus are the characters from the well-known poem Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid. Both were neighbors but due to family feud weren’t allowed to meet. They had a connecting wall from where they used to whisper their love and feelings for each other. One fine day, they decided to meet near a mulberry tree in the forest and set out excitingly to meet the love of their lives, completely unaware of what was lying in front of them. Thisbe arrived at the spot early and saw a lioness with blood in her mouth passing by. A panicking ran to hide but in hurry dropped her veil. The lioness smelled it and picked it up in her jaws. Pyramus arrived the very moment and misinterpreted the whole situation. He could not believe his eyes and killed himself with his sword. When Thisbe came looking for Pyramus to narrate what happened, she was taken aback by the lying dead body of her love and end herself with his sword too. Legends say that when Pyramus fell over his sword, his blood sprayed over the nearby mulberry fruits and were stained with his blood which is why mulberry fruits are red.
10) Penelope & Odysseus
Penelope & Odysseus, the greatest Greek love story ever written is the creation of the epic poet, Homer. The hook is about a faithful wife who proves her love till last breath. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, an island in Greece married Penelope and had to go for Trojan War due to his responsibility of his subjects. Way back home, Penelope with her only son waited for her husband refusing all the 108 suitors who were lined up to marry her. Sadly, Odysseus never seemed to return. Since, loves knows no logic she waited for long 20 years. Legends say that e used to shy away her suitors by saying that she is weaving a shroud for her husband’s father and once it is completed, she would get married to one of them. Every 3 years she would undo a part of the shroud and restart. Athena, the Goddess of inspiration, courage and wisdom was touched by Penelope’s plight and wanted her to go on with her life and tried to set her up with the suitors. When Odysseus finally returned, he came back in disguise only to test the fidelity of his wife. Penelope was unaware of this and kept a in front of the suitors that whoever would string Odysseus’s bow and shoot an arrow through 12 axle shafts she would lawfully get married. Odysseus was the only person who could win the task. When he revealed his true self, Penelope could not believe him, so wanted to test his originality. She ordered one of the servants to move the bed to another room. Odysseus protested saying that he crafted the bed himself and the leg was made out of a live olive tree and hence will be impossible to move it. This removed all doubts off Penelope’s mind. Her long awaited love story finally could reach a happy ending.
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