While Arjun remains in heaven, relaxing with his father Indra, news reaches the Kaurava court of Arjun's exploits. Dhrtarastra then has one of his bouts of regret while Sanjay scolds him for being so stupid. We then cut over to the rest of the Pandavas, who are still living off the dirt in the foothills of Dehra Dun. Bhima is ready to chop off some heads and he takes his frustration out on his elder brother.
The sage Brhadashva then shows up with a story of a king who actually had it worse off then even the Pandavas; he recites the story of Nala and his clever wife Damayanti.
It is interesting to think how this story would have been told in different cultures. If this had been an ancient Greek story, it would have been Indra/Zeus who was the offended one and cursed Nala, rather than a more obscure god. And if this story had been told in Medieval Europe, then the Five World Guardians would have been human noblemen, and Nala & Damayanti would have been from the middle class. These noblemen would all have wanted her to be their mistress, but she chose instead an upright townsman whom she loved instead. Then the noblemen, in their outrage at having been passed over in favor of a commoner, would have taken their revenge in a more traditional manner-- rape & pillage!