An excerpt from Kalidasa’s Vikramorvasheeyam: The performance begins with the portrayal of Urvashi and her friend’s merry-making and dancing. The demon Keshi abducts Urvashi and her friend, Chitralekha, while the other damsels cry out for help. King Pururavas, travelling by chariot, hears their plea and rescues Urvashi and her friend from the demon. Once Urvashi regains her senses, she asks her friend, ‘Tell me, who rescued us? Was it Indra?’ Her friend replies, ‘No, it was not Indra, but a human king equally powerful as him.
‘The moment Urvashi sets her eyes on King Pururavas, she falls in love with his majestic form, and the king himself is captivated by the maiden Urvashi. Pururavas is deeply impressed by Urvashi’s beauty and wonders about the creator of such a maiden. He dismisses Lord Brahma as the creator since Brahma lacks the emotional depth required to fashion such beauty. He contemplates whether it was the Moon, the lord of love (Madana), or the season of Spring who brought forth this enchanting maiden.
As they continue their journey by chariot, their love for each other grows. However, Urvashi is reminded of her celestial duties, including performing in Indra’s court, by her friend Chitralekha. Consequently, Urvashi and her friends depart for Heaven. During a performance in Heaven, Urvashi accidentally pronounces ‘Pururavas’ instead of ‘Purushottama,’ enraging Bharata, who curses her to lead a mortal life on Earth with Pururavas.
The performance then depicts Urvashi’s arrival on Earth, having lost her status as a celestial damsel. Years pass happily between Urvashi and Pururavas. However, one day, while sporting together on the Gandhamadana mountain, King Pururavas becomes captivated by another damsel’s beauty, which deeply angers Urvashi. Refusing to listen to any explanations, she walks away into the forbidden Kumaravana, a place off-limits for women, where she transforms into a creeper.