During the 12 year exile, Yudhishthir once said to a hermit, "Have you seen a wife like Draupadi? There can be no parallel to her. For her husband she is spending her days in the woods. She is the ultimate Sati." The hermit told him the life story of Seeta, Savitri and Damayanti. A league of pious wives in which Draupadi was not the only contender.
Savitri was a princess, so beautiful, so intelligent, and so radiant that she found no suitors! Her father, though a king, was worried. How was he to find a match for his daughter? Cause it was a father's dharma to marry off his daughter. He asked her to find her own husband. Savitri accompanied by a minister set out to find a husband. After a tiring search she found Satyavan. An exiled prince, who lived in the forest with his blind parents. He was so frail, that people said, he wouldnt live for more than a year.
Still she chose him. Why? Was it necessary to be "married" rather than "happliy married"? Was it to take off the burden of her marriage from her father's shoulders? Neither did her father stop her. Was he was not sorry to see her marrying a pauper? Was he not sorry to see her husband-to-be was soon to die? Or was he happy to see that at last she was getting married? And has this situation changed in these thousands of years?
Anyways, soon the wedding took place. The dutiful Savitri started attending her husband. For a year she looked after his health. Day by day, her nursing , her patience, her faith, and her confidence brought back life into Satyavan. Savitri had brought back her husband from the dead! Within a year he had regained health and strength. Soon he was able to reclaim his kingdom.
One would expect the society to glorify Savitri for her confidence, her fearlessness, her ability to convert a possibility into fact, her capacity to love, her foresight and her endurance. One would expect the people to pray for a daughter like Savitri!
The truth: Savitri's only quality that is glorified is serving her husband! No father wants a daughter like Savitri. But they all want their wives to be like Savitri, to serve them.