[Part 4 of the “Desi Remix” series // Remix of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt]
Savitri is so beautiful & pure, she intimidates all the men around her.
When it comes time for her to get married, no one asks for her hand, so she sets out to find her husband on her own. She goes on a pilgrimage & eventually finds Satyavan, the son of a blind king living in exile in the forest.
Although perfect in many ways, Satyavan was destined to die within a year. However, knowing this and despite many advising her against choosing Satyavan, she decides to marry him anyways.
The day Satyavan is predicted to die, Savitri accompanies him into the forest. While cutting wood, Satyavan suddenly becomes weak and falls into Savitri’s lap. Yama, the god of death, comes to take Satyavan’s soul but Savitri chases after him as he carries her husband’s soul away. When he tries to convince her to leave, instead she fires back with her wit. Yama, impressed by her speech, praises her and offers her any wish except the life of Satyavan. Thinking carefully, she first asks for her father-in-law’s sight to return, then a 100 children for her father, and finally a 100 children for her and Satyavan. Her last wish leaves Yama with a dilemma, as it would require Satyavan to be alive. However, impressed by Savitri’s dedication & determination, he changes his mind and decides to grant her any wish, including Satyavan’s life. She instantly asks for his life back & Yama blesses Savitri’s life with eternal happiness.
As with all the women of this series, Savitri is another example of beauty beyond the physical. Her words have their own strength & she proves that there is power in action. She defies all “damsel in distress” storylines of mythology & ironically turns them upside down to stand up for a man. If “herstory” exists, it’s because of women like this.