Once upon a time, in a city called Hindustan, there lived a merchant who sold perfumes, and he had a daughter named Dorani whom he dearly loved. Dorani had a friend who was a fairy, and both Dorani and her fairy friend were able to sing more sweetly and dance more gracefully than anyone else in the kingdom. For this reason they were held in high favor by the king of fairyland, and the king's name was Indra.
Dorani had the most lovely hair in the world, for it was like spun gold, and the smell of it was like the smell of fresh roses. But her hair was so long and thick that the weight of it was often unbearable. One day she cut off a shining tress, and wrapping it in a large leaf, threw it in the river which ran just below her window. Now it so happened that the king's son was out hunting, and had gone down to the river to drink, when there floated towards him a folded leaf, from which came a perfume of roses. He opened it, and within he found a lock of hair like spun gold, and from which came a faint, exquisite fragrance.
When the prince reached home that day he looked so sad and was so quiet that his father wondered if any ill had befallen him, and asked what was the matter. Then the youth took from his breast the tress of hair which he had found in the river, and holding it up to the light, replied, "See, my father, was there ever hair like this? Unless I may win and marry the maiden that owns that lock I must die!"
So the king immediately sent heralds throughout all his dominions to search for the damsel with hair like spun gold. At last he learned that she was the daughter of the perfume merchant. Rumor spreads quickly, and soon Dorani heard of it also. She said to her father, "If the hair is mine, and the king requires me to marry his son, then I must do so. But please ask the king to allow this: that after the wedding, though I will stay all day at the palace, I wish every night to return to my old home."
Her father listened to her with amazement, but answered nothing, as he knew she was wiser than he.