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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Four Wives

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best. HE also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He also, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out through difficult times.

The merchant’s first wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!”

Thus, he asked the 4th  wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The merchant felt very sad. He then asked 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much of all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No” replied the 3rd wife. The merchant’s heart sand and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you have always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“I am sorry, I can’t help you out this time” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out, “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition.  Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!” The merchant realized  that true love has nothing to do with the looks and beauty.

The End

The Singing Hippo

Once upon a time, a hippopotamus lived in a river next to a big and solitary tree. One day, a bird came and nested in a tree. The songs and the flight of the bird caused such envy in the hippo that he couldn’t think of anything else.

Every day he would lament the fact that he had been born a hippo. This despite the many times the bird told the hippo he was so lucky to be so big and such a good swimmer. Finally, the hippo made his mind up that he would come out of the river, climb the tree, go out to perch on a branch and start singing.

However, when he tried to climb the tree it was all too clear that the hippo didn’t have wings, or claws to climb with and neither could he hop. Realizing that he would never manage it, he angrily rammed his whole weight against the tree until it came crashing to the ground. Then, triumphantly he stepped onto the leaves of the fallen tree, and began singing.

Unfortunately, hippos can’t sing either. All that came from his mouth were horrible noises, and when the other animals heard this they all gathered round to make fun of the hippo standing on the branch of a fallen tree, trying to sing like a bird.

He was so embarrassed by this that he decided to never again regret being a hippo. He also felt bad about having knocked the tree over. He used all his strength to raise the tree back up again, replant it and look after it until it had completely recovered.

The End

Friday, 17 November 2017

Akbar Misses Birbal

One morning Akbar came to court looking very dull. “O King, you look tired with puffy eyes. What’s wrong?” asked Birbal casually.

“How dare you say that I don’t look good this morning?” yelled Akbar. “You lack basic manners and I don’t want you here anymore. Get out!”

image source: google images

There was total silence as Birbal walked out never to return. A week later, Akbar felt sad for his outburst and sent his guards to fetch Birbal. Alas, he was nowhere to be found. “How do I find Birbal?” mused Akbar. Finally he came up with a smart plan.

The next day Akbar announced. “The man who can answer this riddle will be rewarded handsomely. He must walk to the palace tomorrow morning half in shade and half under the sun.” Many tried, but could not succeed.

At last an old farmer came carrying a cot, “Your highness,” he went on. “The rope in this cot provides me half shade and the gap in between allows the sun light. So I have fulfilled your conditions.”

Akbar understood that he was sent by Birbal. “I ‘ll give you the reward. But, before that show me who gave you this idea?” he asked. The farmer took Akbar to Birbal.
Akbar embraced Birbal and took him back to the palace.

The End

Birbals Choice

One day King Akbar was feeling bored, he loved to think up riddles for his courtiers to answer. ‘The only person in my court who can answer my questions is Birbal. He’s  a clever guy and I really enjoy his wisdom,’ thought Akbar.

“Birbal, I have a riddle for you,” said Akbar.

image source: google images

“If you were given a choice between justice and a bag of gold coins, what would you choose?”

“That’s simple, your majesty. I would choose the gold coins, of course,” answered Birbal.

There was a silence in the court. The courtiers were shocked at this answer.

“He chose money over justice. Can you believe it? Birbal is greedy! “ shouted the courtiers. Even to Akbar this answer was disappointed.

“What? How could you choose the gold coins, Birbal?”

“I never expected you to be greedy like the others. I thought you would choose justice over gold,” said the king finally when he had gotten over his shock.

“Your highness,” said Birbal, smiling, “I asked you what I do not have. In your kingdom, there’s justice for everyone. So, I asked you for gold! “

Delighted with this answer, Akbar gave Birbal a bag of gold coins.

The End

Tenali Raman –The Wise Use of the Mouth

King Krishnadevaraya and the queen were very fond of flowers. So there were many varieties of colourful and beautiful flowers in the palace garden. The king and queen visited the garden every morning and evening, they instructed the gardeners to take care of the garden well.

There were many varieties of roses in the garden. The gardeners used to pluck the roses, take them to the queen every day. But, on some days they did not bring the roses. So, the queen was angry with the gardeners and enquired them the reason for not bringing the roses. But the gardeners did not have an answer.

image source:google images

The queen angrily angrily asked, “Why are you not answering? Tell me the reason. Do you pluck the roses and sell them in the market?”

“No, Your Majesty. Don’t mistake us. We never think of treachery to the kingdom,” replied the gardeners.

“Then, why can’t you bring the roses here?” asked the queen again angrily.

“Oh! Queen! The roses are stolen in the garden. We are not able to find out how the roses are vanished away from the garden. Please forgive us.”

“Okay, you can go. I shall tell the king to strengthen the security,” said the queen. Then the gardeners bowed their heads and went out. The queen then went to the king to complain about the theft of roses in the garden. The king was shocked to hear about the theft. The queen also asked the king to strengthen the security in the palace garden.

The king immediately asked the minister to appoint guards’ to take care of the garden and to catch the thief.  The next day, the garden was surrounded by guards’. The guards’ were very alert and did not let anyone inside the garden other than the gardeners.

The guards’ noticed a small gap in the fence. A man’s head was peeping inside the fence through the gap, they immediately acted very fast and caught him red-handed. The held him very tight, that the man could not escape. The guards brought him out of the fence, he had roses tied to his lap. The guards presented him to the chief guard and confined him in the prison.

The chief guard immediately met the king and informed him about the theft and how he was caught red-handed. The chief also told the king that the thief had the roses tied to his lap. The chief also mentioned to the king that the thief was none other than the son of Tenali Raman. The king got really angry and asked the chief to bring Tenali Raman immediately.

As soon as Tenali Raman came to the king he said “Oh! King! The guards have imprisoned my son for theft of roses in the garden.”

Then the King said “Tenali, don’t you know that your son has been caught red-handed?”
“Oh King! My son won’t involve in such kind of theft, please enquire thoroughly to know how far it is true and then come to a decision,” said Tenali Raman.

The king ordered the guards to bring Tenali’s son there immediately. As the king ordered the guards brought him there.

Seeing him, the king asked Tenali Raman, “Is he your son?”

“Yes, your majesty,” asserted Tenali and requested him, “He won’t involve in thefts. Please believe me.”

“Tenali, though I repeatedly tell you, you don’t accept the crime. Guards, disclose the roses from his lap and show them to Tenali,” said the king.

The guards tried to take out the roses from his lap. But to their disappointement there was no rose.

“What are you doing, guards? Take out the roses,” urged the king.

But the guards were perplexed and told the king, “Three are no flowers” and added, “we caught him red-handed. But we are confused to see there are no flowers.”

“Oh King! Please believe us at least now. We do not have such a worse character,” said Tenali with contented mind.

The king thought for a while and not able to take any decision he let Tenali and his son go. They took leave of the king after thanking and greeting him.

Then the king called the guards near to him and asked, “Are you sure that he had the flowers?”

“Yes, your majesty, we are sure. We caught him red-handed and confined him in the prison,” said the guards.

The king again thought for a while and decided that Tenali might have played some tricks. The king further asked the guards, “When you brought Tenali to me, did he speak anything to his son?”

“Yes, your majesty, when he came along with us, he told something to his son.”

“What did he say to him?”

“He said that one who uses one’s mouth wise can survive. Such a dumb one like you can’t be benefitted in any way”

“Oh! Tenali has very wisely instructed his son. He too has wisely behaved.”

“We can’t understand anything, my dear king.”

“When Tenali told him on the wise use of the mouth, his son has eaten all the roses. That’s all,” said the king to the guards and he appreciated Tenali’s wisdom. The guards too came to understand the wisdom of Tenali.

The End

Tenali Raman and Thilakashta Mahisha Bandhanam

Once, a great pundit from a foreign land visited King Krishna Deva Raya’s court. He claimed that he had knowledge of all subjects and was an expert in every field. He challenged that he would argue with all of his wise ministers and defeats them. The king accepted his challenge. The pundit then proceeded to argue with the learned men of the kingdom on various subjects. The king’s ministers failed miserably.

Then, the king summoned his wisest minster, Tenali Raman. Tenali took a small bundle from his home, gave it the shape of a book and tied it up. Then, he went to the court and announced that he was ready to argue against the pundit but on the condition that the topic of their debate would be based on the great book “Thilakashta Mahisha Bandhanam”. 

The great pundit was stumped when he heard this because he had never heard of any such book. The next day, at the appointed time Tenali Raman appeared in court for the debate. But he was informed that the pundit had already gone away.

The King was also very keen to read the great book that Tenali Raman had mentioned, so he asked about the book to Tenali. Tenali laughed and replied that there was no such book called ‘Tilakashta Mahisa Bandhanam’. Inside the bundle, there was til which is called as ‘Thila’ in Sanskrit and some sheep dung which in Sanskrit is known as Kashta. These contents were tied by a rope made of buffalo’s hide which is called Mahisha.
Bandhanam refers to ‘tying’ in Sanskrit. This is how Tenali Raman tricked the pundit into believing that there was great book that the pundit was completely unaware of. The king appreciated Tenali’s intelligence and rewarded him.

The End

Tenali Raman in the Delhi Durbar

At the time when Krishnadevaraya ruled over Vijayanagar, king Barbar ruled over Delihi. Tenali Raman was a famous jester in King Krishnadevaraya’s royal court. When King Barbar heard Tenali’s tales of wit and intelligence, he wished to meet him. So he sent a messenger to Vijayanagar to request Tenali  Raman to visit Delhi.

image source: google images
With King Krishnadevaraya’s permission Tenali Raman went to Delhi with the messenger. In Delhi, Tenali Raman was welcomed and accomadated in a royal guest house. An appointment was fixed for Tenali Raman to meet the King Barbar.

Meanwhile King Barabr told his courtiers, Tenali Raman, the great witty jester from Vijayanagar has come to Delhi. Tomorrow in the royal court none of us must smile or laugh at his jokes. I want to test him as to how he will make us laugh and win a reward. The courtiers also agreed to King Birbal.

At the given time Tenali Raman arrived in the Delhi Durbar. He told many witty tales and jokes to courtiers and King Brbar, but all of them remained silent. No one even smiled at the jokes. This went on everyday for 15 days. From the 16 th day Tenali Raman stopped going to Delhi Durbar. He disguised himself and followed the king Barbar everywhere to note his daily routine. Barbar used to go for stroll by the river Yamuna with his Prime Minsiter every morning.

On the way they would give gold coins to the poor and the needy beggars. After seeing this, Tenali Raman made a plan. Next morning, Tenali dressed up as an old man. He took a spade and a mango sapling and sttod by the river Yamuna waiting for the King Barbar’s arrival. Seeing the king at a distance Tenali Raman started planting the sapling. King Barbar came to him and said, “Old man, you are very old, you won’t live long enough to enjoy the fruits of the tree you are planting. Why are you taking so much trouble?”

Tenali Raman replied, “Your Majesty, I enjoyed the fruits from the trees planted by my ancestors. This tree’s fruits will be enjoyed by the others. I find joy in giving to others. I am not planning this to myself.” The king was impressed by the reply and gave a bag full of gold coins. The old man thanked him and said, “Your Majesty you are indeed a great and kind king. People get the fruits when the tree has grown but you have given me the fruit of my labors even before I had planted the sapling.

The thought of helping others has really benefited me. “I like this thought of yours. You can now take this second bag of gold coins as a reward”, said King Barbar. “Oh, your Majesty, This tree will bear fruits once in a year only but before it has been planted you have filled my arms with fruits of joys twice said the old man.” King Barbar  said, I like your thoughts and I am impressed by them,” he also gave the third bag too to the old man.

Now the prime minister got worried and said to the king, your majesty let’s leave now, this man is too intelligent. His witty remarks will claim all the royal wealth from you. King Barbar laughed and got ready to walk away. At this time the old man said, your Majesty, can you give me just a look? When Barabar tuned to look, he saw Tenali holding a false beard in his hands. King Barbar burst out in laughing on seeing what Tenali had been up to.

The king said, “I am pleased Tenali. You have truly proved that you are witty and a great jester. King BArabr called Tenali to the court and gave him many more royal rewards. When Tenali returned to Vijayanagar, King Krishnadevaraya was proud to see how Tenali had saved grace. Tenali smiled and said, so your Majesty Iam fit for a reward from you too. King Krishnadeva Raya agreed with a smile and gave Tenali Raman 10,000 gold coins.

The End.