Santanu and Devavrata enjoyed four idyllic years, making up for the lost time. In fact, the whole country was delirious with joy. But....'Fate, all the while, was playing a waiting game. The sight of unsullied happiness is too much for her. She always manages to add the bitter drop to the cup of joy'.
It happened this way. The king followed a strange fragrance and discovered a perfect woman with a faultless form. She was not a goddess but a fisher woman. Smitten he went to the father of the girl with a proposal for marriage. Her father overjoyed agreed, but with a condition! He wanted the son born to his daughter would be made king.
The king speechless, came away with a heart full of pain and longing for the unattainable, as he could not countenance a condition which would deny Devavrata his right. Soon the son saw his father a changed person. Gone were the happy days. King lost interest in everything, even hunting! The prince tried his best, but failed to draw him out of his despondency.
(This chapter explains why my grand mother and other elders, brought up on these stories, lived in constant fear of things going wrong! In fact, it is a gut reaction, we get tense, the moment we see a happy and a care free scene in the movies. We know for sure things will go wrong! I recall we as kids, especially girls, were scolded if we laughed too loud! Sure way to invite bad luck!
(Anyway, Kings will be Kings and Fate is a SHE?)