Saturday, April 18, 2009


Bhatti and Vikramadithya had reached a forest, after crossing rivulets, rivers, hills and caves. They were going on the way by enjoying with the intellectual and humor talks. While going on, their way was becoming narrow and the forest was thick. They were surprised but not stopped. Finally, they reached a big banyan tree. The way by which they reached there had ended up there. They had seen around. The banyan tree was very huge. But it was wonder! It had only two large branches. One was towards North direction and the other was towards South direction. The branches were very large such that ten people could walk on them beside one another, or three horse riders could travel on them beside one another. Bhatti and Vikramadithya had entered into that forest from West to East direction. The North and South branches were at their right and left sides. Beyond that tree, there was no way towards East. More over the forest was very thick. They had observed East direction. It seems thickness of forest in East direction was getting increase if anybody penetrates into the forest. In one word, it was almost impossible to travel through that forest in East direction.

Bhatti and Vikramadithya had seen each other’s face. They had watched all around by thinking what to do. They had observed a rock pillar laid there. There was a notice written on it.

“Once here, a saint lived in doing penance to Goddess Kalika Devi. People who travel through this way were disturbing him by their travelling and paying tributes to him. He prayed to Goddess Kalika Devi to seize the way through this forest in order to prevent the disturbance to his peaceful penance. Hence, Goddess had created two large branches towards North and South direction to this banyan tree. Almost these branches were like fly-over bridges over this forest. People can travel on these branches without disturbing the life of wild animals and saints. There are no citizens or villages in East direction except sea. In North direction, there is a city by name Alaka Puri. The king Alakesa is ruling it. In his court, two royal dancers cum prostitutes are there. They get royal treatment almost equal to the king. They sit in royal seats on either side of the king. Among them, one woman’s name is Guna Vathi. Another’s name is Dhana Vathi. They had hung bell at the entrance of their houses. Whoever wants to enjoy with their company can ring the bell and pay 1000 Honnes.

On South direction, there is a city by name Bheema Puram. In that city, the Queen Amrutha Mohini is ruling the kingdom since her husband i.e. the king died. She had built a royal palace with 10 compound walls and 10 gates. She had a beautiful daughter. The Queen Amrutha Valli had kept her daughter in that palace. The young and beautiful princess won’t speak with others. Hence, people are calling her by name Mouna Bhashini. [The meaning of this name is a girl who speaks by her silence] If anybody makes her to speak, by taking the needful risk, then she will get marry him. Otherwise, they will drive away that person, by removing his hair and insult him. Many princes, kings and others had received such insult.”

By reading such notice on the rock pillar, Bhatti and Vikramadithya wondered. They kept calm for a while. Vikramadithya said, “Bhatti! The notice on this pillar is very interesting. Let us find out these wonders. What do you say?”

Bhatti said, “Brother! If both of we go in one direction, it will be time waste to us. Hence you go on North direction i.e. to Alaka Puri verify the specialty and extraordinary issue of two prostitutes. Then you come to Bheema Puri. I will go on this Southern branch to reach Bheema Puri. I’ll wait for you after knowing the particulars of Mouna Bhashini. We can meet at Bheema Puri to design further programs.”

Vikramadithya had accepted this proposal. He started to walk on Northern branch of the Banyan tree. After taking send off Bhatti had climbed up on the Southern branch of the banyan tree and travelled to Bheema Puri.

After reaching Bheema Puri, Bhatti had accommodated at a Peda Rasi Peddamma’s [The then hotel of lodging and boarding] house. He had taken bathe and food there. He had paid more than enough to Peda Rasi Peddamma and made her happy. After having some rest, he had enquired her regarding the wonders and specialties of the city. He had enquired others in the city. He had made friendship with other princes and kings who were returning after failure in the task of Mouna Bhashini. With all their efforts, he was gathering the details of Mouna Bhashini. Almost every day, it became his duty. He didn’t reveal his identity. He was in the disguise of merchant.

On the other hand, Vikramadithya had reached the edge of Alka Puri. By approaching the city of Alaka Puri, the forest thickness was getting decrease. Gradually Vikramadithya had watched hunters and other people who came to the forest for wood. There the branch of banyan tree was ended up. Vikramadithya got down and started walking. After few minutes, he had watched that the king of Alaka Puri, Alakesa was returning city after hunting in the forest along with his fellow men.

Vikramadithya thought, “If I go to Dhana Vathi and Guna Vathi, I should not go there with this form. I should change my getup. Let me go in the disguise of old saint i.e. Yathi.”

With the assistance of Bhethala, Vikramadithya had protected his ornaments and weapons. He had taken the disguise of old aged Yathi. Now his face and body was with wrinkles. Body was swinging. Hair was white in color. It was tied up on the head. He was dressed up in reddish brown clothes. He was walking with the help of a stick. It seems that his age was about 90 years.

He had waited until the king Alakesh and his fellow men reach the palace. Then he had approached the house of Dhana Vathi.

In fact, Dhana Vathi and Guna Vathi were young, beautiful and talented. They had learnt many Sasthras i.e. subjects and arts such as music, dancing, painting, humorous skills in talking, lyrics, poetry and literature. Their talents and artistic skills were almost equal. While they were participating in royal celebrations and temple festivals their performance would be as if competeting with each other. That’s why they got royal treatment in the court of king Alakesa. But their attitudes were entirely different. Dhana Vathi was more materialistic and business mind. Guna Vathi was moral and idealistic. However, both were doing prostitution, their style of deals and mode of business was entirely different to each other. Both of they had hung a bell in front of their houses.

If any man rang the bell, such man should pay 1000 Honnes to these women to enjoy their company.

If any man rang the bell of Dhana Vathi, she would enquire about his economical conditions. She would not satisfy with the 1000 Honnes, which he paid for the visit. First time, after collecting 1000 Honnes, she entertains him by her dance, music, other talents and sex. She used to make the man to become crazy on her. She used to tell so many sweet nothing. She used to entertain him with her lovely conversation. Later she could grip all of his wealth. Then she would drive him away with her servant-maids and servants. She didn’t mind about the families of her gallants. She used to think, “While doing business such as prostituting we should not think sin and good. If I feel pity on the wives and children of gallants how to earn wealth? In fact, the gallants must have love and care on their wives and children. Man who has such care on family won’t come to me. Whoever came to me are already immoral. Then it is not immoral to seek money from them. Otherwise, how to become rich?”

In such way, she had earned limitless wealth. But people are hesitating her. Because king was treating her, people feel fear to express their hesitation towards her. But gradually the gallants who visit her house had decreased. But Guna Vathi was entirely different to Dhana Vathi. Though she was in the profession like prostitution, she used to practice the inherited morals in it. If any man rang the bell, she entertained him with her talents. She served him up to his satisfaction. She would collect 1000 Honnes from him. That’s all. She would not try to make him mad and crazy on her, to suck his money.

She used to think, “If I make him to be mad and crazy on me, his wife, children and parents will suffer. If I suck money from him, his family will be on road. I put 1000 Honnes as service charge. He paid it and came into the house. I’ll make him satisfaction with my service. That’s enough to me. Where is the limit of earning? If I gather so much money by doing sin, God is there to look after everything. He will punish me. Money is not going to save me then. God only can do protection to any living being in this world. Hence morals are important than money.”

Hence, the wealth of Guna Vathi was less while compare with the wealth of Dhana Vathi. But people admire Guna Vathi. Because of this psychology, Guna Vathi’s face was delightful, graceful and with glory. People praise her in open. This always made Dhana Vathi to feel jealousy towards Guna Vathi.

On this juncture, the old Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya had approached Dhana Vathi’s house. He had seen the bell at the entrance. He had ringed it aloud. It made big sound. Dhana Vathi felt surprise about it. She said, “Oh servant-maids! Since some days back, the bell at our entrance is not ringing. Nobody is coming to our house to ring it. But surprisingly it is ringing today. That’s why you go and observe who is ringing the bell. If the man had 1000 Honnes, take the payment from him and bring him here. If any saint or Yathi or beggar had rang it without knowing the importance of bell, give him rice, dal, and money as 1 or 2 Honnes as donation. If any old or blind ox had pulled the rope of bell, feed it with green grass and fodder.”

As per her order, the servant-maids came to the gate. There was the old man Yathi stand with the help of walking stick. They asked “Oh old father! Who rang this bell?”

He said, “It is me!”

They said, “Okay! Take this rice, dal and little money as Dakshina” We know that, being Yathi you won’t accept our food. That’s why we are giving raw rice and dal. Cook and eat it with satisfaction.”

The old Yathi stopped them and said, “Oh Servant-maids! I didn’t ring the bell to have rice and dal. I didn’t come to this house to get donation. I came here with the desire to enjoy with your mistress’s company. I came from far away. You go and inform your mistress.”

The servant-maids had laughed at him with mockery. With ridicule smile on their faces, they said with Dhana Vathi “Oh, mistress! We feel humor to tell you. An old monk i.e. Yathi of aged 90 years had rang the bell. When we offered rice and dal to him, he rejected it. He said that he came to enjoy your company. We never cross such abnormal incident.”

By hearing this, Dhana Vathi’s ego hurt. She rose from seat with extreme anger. She said, “What? What do you say? Is it 90 years old monk? Is it beggar? How dare he is to come here to say to enjoy my company. How dare you are to inform this to me? You should drive him away by scolding. Without doing such, you came to me. Really you have no brain”.

She had taken pestle and came out. She had pushed the Yathi with that pestle and thrown him on to road. She had closed the gate of her house with anger and gone inside. The Yathi had fallen onto the ground. He rose up and tied his white loose hair. He said, as a challenge “I will do revenge to this, along with interest.” He went on. The security guards of Dhana Vathi had watched all this and reported her.

The Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya thought, “Well! This is the character of Dhana Vathi. Let me observe the nature of Guna Vathi.” He had reached the house of Guna Vathi. He had rang the bell at the gate. Guna Vathi also ordered her servant-maids like Dhana Vathi. As per her order, the servant-maids had offered rice and dal and donations to him. But Maya Yathi said, “I don’t need rice and dal.”

They said, “What do you want?”

The old Maya Yathi said, “I came to enjoy with your mistress.”

The servant-maids had wondered at it and informed this to Guna Vathi like the servant-maids of Dhana Vathi.

By receiving the information, Guna Vathi felt very happy. She said, “Oh, Servant-maids! You are innocent. You don’t know that how lucky and fortunate is this. I think we had done penance or holy acts in our previous birth. With such faith only, we can have the company of such great saints. Otherwise, will such Yathi come to our house? Will he touch our door? Will he get pleasing on us? Will he love us? This is wonderful and peculiar. That’s why, it is not safe and good to keep him in waiting. Immediately go to him and bring him into the house.

The servant-maids had rushed to Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya and welcomed him. While they were bringing him inside, Guna Vathi had approached him with a vessel of water. She had washed his feet and sprinkled that water on her head as a symbol of her respect on him. She had taken him into bedroom and made him to sit on Hamsa Tulika Talpam i.e. bed of soft cotton and feathers of swan. She had put namaskar to him and said, “Swami! [Means God] I think I had done good devotion in my previous birth. That’s why you had come here by considering me as a great person. By the way, my penance has fruit filled. My life got success. My life goal had achieved. My task got fruitful. By the touch of your feet at my house, though it is small like a hut, became holy place. My race became fame by your arrival.”

By these words, Maya Yathi had noticed the obedience and other qualities of Guna Vathi. In fact, her house was not very small like hut. But she compared like that by her obedience. Maya Yathi satisfied. But still, he wanted to verify her nature. He pretended, as he was not able to speak due to old age cough. He continued his pretention as facing trouble to speak. Slowly he started to speak. He said “Guna Vathi! I heard your good qualities as spread over kingdom. That’s why I came from far away with a desire to see you. If you are kind to me, give medicines to my cough etc illness. Give me food, bed and other comforts. If you make me happy every day, then I’ll be with you. If you don’t like this, I’ll leave now itself.”

Guna Vathi readily and happily accepted this. She promised him to do up to his desire.

Then Maya Yathi had laughed at her aloud. He said, “Guna Vathi! Are you mad? I’m a monk having no money. That to, I’m too old. I’m not handsome. I have no strength in my old body. Only I have the desire and lust only. In fact, the burial ground is welcoming me. [That means he was that much old enough to die.] In spite of all this, you treated me well. More over you are promising me to fulfill my desire. Is it correct to promise me by believing such old man? What is the use that you can get by me? You are in the prostitute profession. Is if correct for you to behave against your profession?”

For this, Guna Vathi said, “Swami! Oh, saint! What do you say is all correct. But that’s all is the treatment of others who desire money. I have no desire on money. I feel happy with satisfaction, other human emotions and qualities. Don’t suspect me with such feelings. It is enough to me if you stay in my house. I don’t need money, gold and Honnes. If you be happy here with me, it is equal to lakhs of Honnes to me.”

But Maya Yathi didn’t give up his argument. He said, “Guna Vathi! Are you thinking that I have Animadi Sidhies or Parusu vedi etc magical powers by which wealth can be create? If you have such hopes, forget me. I have nothing such magical powers except ash. So think yourself. By entertaining me, you can’t get any benefit and wealth.”

Guna Vathi said, “Swami! By God’s kindness, I earned sufficient. With that, I can lead comfortable life until my life long. Whatever we earn, but on some day, we have to go i.e. die by leaving all of wealth and this body on this earth. We can’t carry anything from this materialistic world. We can carry only faith and sin along with us after we die. With the company of you like Yathi, if I get any knowledge, moral behavior, balance of mind and self-control over of emotions, that is enough to me. I think I might have done sins in my previous lives. Hence, I had born in this profession. Now at least, the God had given me good opportunity. That’s why only you came here by searching for me. Let me serve you up to your satisfaction. I’m not expecting any magical powers, boons or wealth from you. Let God bless me. That is enough to me.”

Maya Yathi didn’t say anything. Since that day, Guna Vathi was treating him with respect, love and affection. She was taking care of his every need. She was providing delicious food and other comforts. She had ordered her servant-maids to provide everything for him. She was entertaining him with chess etc games, songs, dances and love making. Always she was sincerely trying to make him happy. Maya Yathi had noticed everything and he admired her self-consciousness. But he was behaving, as he didn’t know anything.

On the other hand, Dhana Vathi was worried about the Yathi when the security guards reported her as the Yathi had challenged to take revenge on her. She had felt fear and thought, “I had pushed the Yathi with a pestle and locked the house. I had thrown him on to the road. I don’t know what happened to him. I don’t know where did he go and what danger he might face.”

She had called on the servant-maids and said, “Oh servant-maids. You follow that old saint i.e. Yathi without his notice. You know where he go, and report it back to me.” The servant-maids had followed him. They reported her “Oh mistress! We had followed the old Yathi according to your order. He had straightly gone to the house of Guna Vathi and ring the bell. Her servant-maids had offered him rice and dal. But he refused to take. He had said as he said here, at our gate. The servant-maids had gone inside and returned to him. They had taken him inside by saying that their mistress was inviting him. We came to you to inform this.”

By hearing this Dhana Vathi said, “Oh! Enough! This Guna Vathi became like a black mole on the prostitute professionals. She might be thinking that it is enough to her to entertain a handicap or a blind or an old monk or someone waste fellow. Being prostitute, she is not sucking money from gallants. Moreover, she is protecting an old monk by giving free boarding and lodging. Because of the prostitute like her, all others like me are getting blames. I think that’s why only she is playing such strategies. Is it need of ¾ kg turmeric for her face? [That means she is not eligible to get respect] She is not eligible to sit in the royal court as in equal seat to me. Tomorrow in the kings court I’ll make her to learn right lessons.”

She was not peaceful with the grievance on Guna Vathi. She didn’t sleep throughout the night. She had thought about so many plans to trouble Guna Vathi. At last, she had finalized a plan. By that time, it was morning. She had rose from bed and completed her daily works. She got ready to go to the royal court. She was very eager to quarrel with Guna Vathi. Actually, Dhana Vathi was sucking money from gallants. To fresh up, her knowledge on literature and other Sasthras i.e. subjects and to guide her on difference issues, she was entertaining a Brahmin scholar. He was on astrologist. She had love affair with him. She was giving wealth, shelter and money to this Brahmin scholar beside her prostitution.

It was the assembly time in the court of king Alakesa. All the ministers, scholars, higher officials and people were in their relevant seats. Guna Vathi had sat in her seat. The court was silent. Dhana Vathi had seen Guna Vathi and said, “Oh Durguna Vathi! Is it reliable to sit in a seat as equal to me? If you are a right person, do you entertain an old monk by giving food, shelter and other needs? Without shy, you came to royal court to sit in a royal seat. Is it needed to sit here to you? You idiot! Get away from here. Do not be here in front of me. It is sin to see you and to talk with you.”

Guna Vathi didn’t consider her dialogues. She said, “You, woman of magics! You are speaking as if you are pure and virgin. Are you not entertaining the Brahmin scholar cum Astrologist by giving food, bed and money? How you are greater than I even in these angles also? You go away!”

When both of Guna Vathi and Dhana Vathi were quarrelling with each other, the king and his minister had stopped them. They said, “Is it correct to quarrel like this for you in the royal court?”

Dhana Vathi immediately rose up from her chair as if she was waiting for such moment and said, “Oh king! Please excuse me. As you know that, women are imbalanced whoever they are. Because I got severe anger, without knowing the surroundings and the presence of elders like you, I quarreled with this Guna Vathi. Please forgive me for my foolishness. Because I made non-sense quarrel in the royal court, here is one of lakh Honnes towards the fine.”

By saying like this, Dhana Vathi had kept one lakh of Honnes. Otherwise, she has to accept that she is not equal to me. By the way, she should not sit as equal to me, in the royal court, from tomorrow. The court had adjourned for tomorrow. All were dispersed.

Guna Vathi had reached home. She was sad. She thought, “How can I produce one lakh Honnes? From where, I can get such large amount? Though I sell my entire assets, I can’t bag one lakh Honnes. What can I do for this insult? How can I escape from it? Oh, God! What I have to do?”

Vikramadithya had observed her tense. He had sensed that she was suffering from something. He said “Oh young woman, Guna Vathi! What happened in the royal court? Did you get any bitter experience there?”

She had narrated everything. He said, “Guna Vathi! That’s why I told on the beginning day itself to think well before entertain me. I told you clearly that you couldn’t get money from me. You didn’t consider my words. Now you are facing troubles. At least now, itself you entertain rich people and extract money from them. I’ll go to my place. I can’t see your beautiful face with sad. You should not face troubles due to me. You think about your safe. I can’t say anything else. Because you are sad, I’m in need to talk like this. If I’m the obstacle to your income sources, tell me. Then I’ll leave you. But don’t be sad.”

Guna Vathi worried about this turning. She said, “Swami! I didn’t think even in dream that you can talk like this. You are not an obstacle to my income sources. To say like that, what rubbish it is? I truly believe that you are valuable to me. I feel that your words are like pestle stroke on the whit low. [That means a sorrow beside another sorrow.] I feel that it will be faith to me if I do service to you. Your company will give me spiritual thinking and maturity. At present, in any sense you are not my problem. Dhana Vathi had blamed me. She had criticized me. Moreover, she had paid one lakh Honnes as fine to the king. She had forced the king to insist me to pay fine of one lakh Honnes. Happily, the king and his fellow men had accepted this condition. Who is there to leave their profits and benefits? With pre-plan to trouble me, she had brought one lakh Honnes to the royal court. I’m sad because I don’t know how to produce one lakh Honnes. But I’m not sad because of you and I’m not feeling that you are obstacle to my income. Please believe me.”

Maya Yathi said, “Guna Vathi! Don’t worry. Now I under stood your problem. You need one lakh Honnes. Is n’t it? By tomorrow, let me find a way to save your respects. Be brave. Go and have food.”

Guna Vathi felt somewhat peaceful but she was not courageous to face next day’s event. She was with tense. Her servant-maids also felt bad. They were very sympathetic towards their mistress. Time was passing slowly. The night was moving slowly.

Maya Yathi had ordered Bhethala to bring a garland of Emeralds. Bhethala had brought it. Maya Yathi had kept it in safe, and slept.

It was morning. By that time, Guna Vathi had to go to royal court. Guna Vathi was worrying like anything. She was not able to sit at one place and to stand at one place. She was suffering from so many doubts. One time she was feeling that Maya Yathi could save her. On the next moment, she was feeling that nobody could save her.

Maya Yathi was observing everything. He said, “Oh Guna Vathi! My darling! This Emerald ornament is my entire earning until date. I saved this with high care. What is the use of this if it is not useful to you? You take this ornament and give to your king. You can defeat Dhana Vathi by this. Don’t worry now. You go without fear!”

By watching the garland of Emeralds, Guna Vathi was wonder and happy. She had taken that to the royal court and deposited to the king Alakusa. She sat in her seat with satisfaction and little pride.

The king had called on the jeweler merchants and ordered them to estimate the value of Emeralds’ garland. They had surprised at it. They said, “Rajendra! We never see such Emeralds’ garland at anywhere. We are doing business since long time. We had supplied so many valuable ornaments to so many kings like your good self. We had good experience in evaluating the gems. But we didn’t find this type of Emeralds’ ornament. Certainly this is super quality one. It is valuable. We can’t estimate its value. If we want to valuate, its cost is more than the cost of our kingdom.”

By having this, all were surprised. The king was very happy. Dhana Vathi downed her head with shy. She thought to shame Guna Vathi. But she had received the same. Her agony, anger and hatred were increased. She had determined in herself to degrade Guna Vathi by any means at any cost. After other programs, the court was adjourned for next day.

In the next day royal court, all of the people were at their seats. Dhana Vathi rose up from her seat and said “Maharaja! I’m getting respects and good treatment since long days at your court. As return gift and as a symbol of my thankfulness to you, I want to give a feast to your good self. I request you to come to lunch to my house tomorrow along with your ministers, sub-ordinates, fellow men and soldiers. Please accept my invitation.”

The king had accepted her invitation. Next day Dhana Vathi house was decorated to receive the guests. She had ordered her servants to prepare rich lunch. The king and other guests came. She had served delicious lunch to them. She made them happy with her lunch, service and entertainment such them as music and dance programs. All the guests had praised her. Along with the king, Guna Vathi also had attended the feast, at Dhana Vathi’ house. She had watched Dhana Vathi’s exhibition of richness.

She thought, “It won’t be beneficial unless I also provide feast to the king and his fellow men. I should get their appreciation. Otherwise my position will get degrade in the royal court. To trouble me like this, Dhana Vathi had created a competitive situation. I should not be back. What can I do? If I ask my loving Yathi, he may tell an appropriate plan. In the beginning he told that he had nothing money. But he had given Emeralds’ ornament. It was very valuable. In the same manner, definitely he may help me. Really, there is something special in him. Otherwise has it is possible for him to give me such valuable ornaments. Let me know it.”

By thinking like this, she approached home. This time she didn’t reveal anything to Maya Yathi. She tried to behave normal. But her absent-mindness was on her face. Maya Yathi also didn’t enquire her, because she didn’t reveal. He had called on Bhethala and known what happened. Maya Yathi had ordered Bhethala to arrange a grand feast with all special features up to the level of king and his fellow men.

Maya Yathi had driven Guna Vathi to leave her worry and to be happy. She had gone to have bathe and fresh up. With in that short period Bhethala had completed his work. Guna Vathi’s house was painted with attractive colors. Doors and windows were decorated with new designed curtains. Doors were decorated with garlands of gems. There were pandyals before her house. The pandyals were decorated with green leaves, pearls and gems. The entire house was emitting bright lights and sweet perfumes. A beautiful and small pond was provided before the portico of her house. The beautiful water birds like swans were swimming slowly in the pond. The beautiful water lilies and lotus flowers were smiling in the pond. It seems that the house of Guna Vathi was like the Devendra’s house in AmaraVathi.

When Guna Vathi came out from bathe room, she wondered at the appearance of her house. She had approached Maya Yathi and said, “Swami! How do you know the desires which are in my mind? The house decoration is suitable to my wish and desire. How is it possible? How do you know my need and wish? Though you know it, how it is possible to decorate the house with in short period?”

The Maya Yathi said, “Oh dear Guna Vathi! If we are with morals and truth, God will give all we need. I can’t do much than this. That’s why I told you that it is no use with me to you. Time is not exceeded. If you want to avoid me and to find some other rich men, you can do whatever you want. If you ask me to go, I’ll leave you and go away.”

Guna Vathi worried and said, “Swami! Don’t say such bitter words. I think you are considering me with other prostituting woman. With your experience, you can notice that I’m not such kind. My colleague Dhana Vathi is always affording to shame and degrade me. That’s why I had to give trouble to you. I have to defend myself. In fact, she had started this competitive strategy. Except depending myself, how can I avoid it? That’s why I pray you to do not think otherwise.”

Maya Yathi said, “Well, Guna Vathi! I know your nature. Just for fun, I said such. Don’t worry. Let us have dinner and go to sleep.”

Guna Vathi was very happy. She had sang and danced to make Maya Yathi happy. That night, her performance was marvelous. Maya Yathi was pleased with her service. He had made her extreme happy with his talent in love making according to Vasthyayana’s Kama Sastra. [In ancient Sanskrit literature, the saint Vasthyayana’s Kama Sastra was famous] Guna Vathi wondered about him. After tiresome, they had slept. Before it was morning, Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya had given assignment to arrange for grand feast to Bhethala. Bhethala had done everything.

By that time, the sun rose at East. Guna Vathi’s house was decorated like anything. There were Pandyals with pillars of gems. The pandyals were covered with white colored silk clothes. They were decorated with flowers, leaves, gems in beautiful designs. There were such pandyals from the king’s palace up to Guna Vathi’s house. Everywhere there were perfumes of flowers and scented oils. The flour was wet and painted with Rangolies. In Guna Vathi’s house, there built a temporary and big kitchen. In more than huge quantities, so many delicious dishes with 6 tastes and 9 fruits and other sweets. The snacks were very attractive in such a way no body can avoid mouth watering by watching and smelling them. The king and his fellow men were surprised by noticing that grand arrangements. They didn’t guess the reason for it. The entire streets were filled with people and their eager. The public were attracted towards Guna Vathi’s house to watch the arrangements.

By watching all of this, Guna Vathi felt very happy. She thought, “I don’t know who this old Yathi is. He might be king of saints or king of deities. Last night he was very active in bed. No young men even can be like that. It is enough to suspect him as not olden monk. Certainly he should be some great man who is in such disguise.”

By thinking like that, she stood like a painting on the wall. Maya Yathi had observed her wonder. She was just like a statue without speaking. He said, “Oh beauty! Guna Vathi. Come here. Why are you looking like that with surprise? As I told you, God is there to help us. Because of God’s kindness only, we got all of this. Now itself you go to the king’s palace and invite him for the feast.”

Guna Vathi happily went to the king. She said, “Oh king! You please do come to my hut along with your family, friends, servants, ministers and fellow men to have lunch at my home. I wish to make you happy with my hospitality. I had prepared a delicious lunch for you.”

With a sweet smile and soft words, she had invited the king and his fellow men. The king and his ministers felt wonder towards her appearance, words and invitation. The king Alakesa said, “Guna Vathi! As all of we know that you won’t earn money in much quantity. How can you provide rich lunch to me along with my fellow men?”

Guna Vathi put namaskar to him and said, “Yes Maharaja! I’m not rich like Dhana Vathi. Because she is rich enough, she had given good lunch to you. When compare with it, in my house, the lunch will be like Kanji [The juice of rice]. Elders used to say that if we give Kanji even, to the guest, but with love and affection, it will be equal to extreme valuable. In such a way, I’m inviting you with regards and affection. I request you to visit my hut i.e. house with affection. And I request you to accept my hospitality though it is not rich. Though it is not rich, but it is with respects in you and with affections on you. Please do come now itself.”

The king, ministers and others had appreciated her way of invitation. They were pleased with her sweet words. The King said, “Well Guna Vathi. We will come to your home.” She had thanked him and left to her house.

The king and his fellow men had started to her house. The way from palace to her house was completely covered with Pandyals. Under that cool shade, there were so many entertainments. Some of artistes were singing songs. Some were dancing. Some were performing wonderful feats. Some servants were spraying perfumes on guests. Some were welcoming them with praising. Everywhere it is colorful and cheerful. The king and his fellow men wondered at all. They had reached Guna Vathi’s house. They thought, “It is not possible to us to construct this type of pandyals. Being king also, it is not possible to us to arrange like this. This house is delightful like the house of Devendra. Really, this is wonderful. It might be possible by the old Yathi who was lover to Guna Vathi. Certainly, he is not an ordinary man. He may be saint of deities. Otherwise nobody can arrange like this.”

The king had relaxed in a rich seat. There use suitable chairs for each and every invitee. Everybody had lain in their seats with relax. Surprise! Everybody got alert with sudden excitement. To their surprise there came a doll i.e. robot. It was waiving hand fan to them. Another robot had given water to them. Some dolls and some servant-maids had served delicious dishes to the hosts. Guna Vathi had taken care of every guest. All had eaten up to their hunger satisfaction and desire fulfill. A doll like divine dancer had served betel leaves and fruits to them. Some other dolls had danced to entertain them. Everybody had enjoyed a lot. Guna Vathi had given one lakh of Honnes to the king as a return gift in the pan. The feast was finished. The king and his fellow men had returned to their houses.

Dhana Vathi also participated in the feast given by Guna Vathi. She had seen all the richness of grand feast and received all the information about it. She thought, “How this Guna Vathi had got this much large amount of money to spend like this? The old monk might be some saint or deity who has magical powers. I should not leave this! I should make Guna Vathi to feel shame and degrade.”

With this intuition, Dhana Vathi was waiting with impatience. On the next day, when the king, his ministers and his fellow men were assembled in the court, everybody was discussing about the yesterday’s feast given by Guna Vathi. All were praising Guna Vathi. She was receiving them with a pleasant smile on her lips, obedience in her body language and glittering happiness in her eyes. Dhana Vathi was burning by watching all this with jealousy.

Suddenly she had risen up from her seat and said “Oh king! There is a city at South to us. It is Bheema Puri. The king Pancha Nadha had ruled that kingdom with morals. He was the best in the devotees. He had a queen Amrutha Mohini. They had no children for long time. They had devoted to God for the boon of children. After long time, they had a female child. They had brought up the child with care, love and affection by name Amrutha Bhashini. Due to fate, the king Pancha Nadha died when his daughter Amrutha Bhashini was too young. Since then the Queen Amrutha Mohini was ruling the kingdom. She had constructed a palace with 7-stairs and 10 compound walls. She had kept her daughter, Amrutha Bhashini in that palace. The princess Amrutha Bhashini won’t come out. So that nobody had seen her. She won’t speak with others. Hence, people are calling her as Mouna Bhashini instead of Amrutha Bhashini. In her palace, there are 10 gates to the 10 compound walls. In those 10 gates, there are some wonders. In those compound wall gates, some are not get even the sun light or moon light. Amrutha Mohini had kept her daughter Mouna Bhashini; by keeping 1000 servant-maids to serve her. Mouna Bhashini is living in that palace like Asuryampasya. [That means a woman who does not get the focus of sun or moon light on her body]

If any princes or other men want to marry Mouna Bhashini, have to pay 10,000 Honnes at the first gate. They have to reach her palace by overcoming the wonders in the gates. More over they have to make Mouna Bhashini to speak thrice. Then she will marry the person who done all. Like this, they had declared to the public by a Tom-Tom and ejected a rock pillar with such notice. Nobody had crossed the 2nd gate. Whoever afforded to marry Mouna Bhashini had paid 10,000 Honnes at first gate, ate their offered food, and got head shaved at the 2nd gate and returned with shy. Till date, there are no body that had seen her and make her to speak. With this strategy, the Queen Amrutha Mohini and the princess Mouna Bhashini had earned nearly 60 crores of Honnes. Now I’m challenging that my lover, the Brahmin scholar cum astrologist can defeat Mouna Bhashini and bring her here by keeping a bundle of wood on her head. If he does such, this Guna Vathi should shave her hair and she has to become slave to me. If not, she can effort to send her lover, the old monk to defeat Mouna Bhashini. If her lover, the old monk defeat Mouna Bhashini and bring her here by keeping the bundle of wood on her head, I will shave my hair and I’ll become as her slave. This is my challenge.”

The king said, “Guna Vathi! Will you accept this challenge?” Guna Vathi had no alternative except accepting the challenge. All of the courtiers had stamped the challenge. The king had finalized the terms and conditions of the challenge. The king, his fellow men and courtiers were enjoying these events with suspense of future. The court was adjourned for next day.

Dhana Vathi had reached home and informed everything about the challenge to her lover, the Brahmin scholar cum Astrologist. She said, “Oh my loving scholar! I know your ability. With that dare only, I had challenged Guna Vathi like that. That’s why you go to Bheema Puri and defeat Mouna Bhashini. You bring her here by keeping a bundle of wood on her head.”

The Brahmin scholar was shocked by hearing this. He had thought, “This is too much. Is it possible to me to do? Every day we are hearing that many princes’ had failed to defeat Mouna Bhashini and return with shame and desperation. When the princes’ are securing failure, then, being Brahmin is it possible to me to defeat her? It is utterly, my bad luck and misfortune. Because of my mis-fate only, this woman Dhana Vathi got this idea. My relation with this woman may be at the end. Otherwise why this Dhana Vathi had made such challenge? If I say no, here itself, she won’t leave me out alive because she had given food, bed, money and all my needs till now. She has reputation at the king’s court. She is able to do anything. Because of her reputation, whatever she does, she can get king’s acceptance. Why should I welcome all such troubles?”

By thinking like this, he said, “My darling Dhana Vathi! Don’t fear! There is no need to you to take back step. I’ll do according to your desire. You see my strength. But you go to the king and ask him for the time 3 weeks to achieve Mouna Bhashini.”

Dhana Vathi felt happy. She became proud as if she got the instant victory. She praised her lover i.e. Brahmin scholar. She had gone to the king and said, “Oh Maharaja! My lover is going to Bheema Puri to achieve Mouna Bhashini. You please send some horses and soldiers along with him. He will achieve Mouna Bhashini and bring her here within 3 weeks.”

The king had accepted her request and sent the horses and soldiers.

Dhana Vathi had returned home. She had given the needful dresses and ornaments to the Brahmin scholar. She had given 50,000 Honnes to him to pay 10,000 Honnes at first gate of Mouna Bhashini and for the daily expenditure. She had praised his capability with an intuition to motivate him. She had given send-off to him like this. The Brahmin scholar had gone to Bheema Puri along with soldiers and horses like a rich procession. He had hired a guesthouse there and stayed at it along with his servants and soldiers. Next day, he had taken 10,000 Honnes and gone to the palace of Mouna Bhashini. He had ring the bell at first gate. The clerks of Amrutha Mohini came to him and collected 10,000 Honnes from him. They had served lunch to him. He had ate it and gone to the 2nd gate. There came 3 dolls i.e. robots. One had brought a chair for him. The second robot had pushed him to sit in the chair and held him in such a way he could not move. It had caught up his hands and legs. The 3rd doll had shaved his hair on head completely. The Brahmin scholar had returned with shy. He had reached Alaka Puri and informed everything to Dhana Vathi with a fear that what she could say.

But Dhana Vathi said, “If it is not possible to you, being scholar and capable, at any cost the old monk i.e. the lover of Guna Vathi never achieve the task.”

With this dare, she had approached the king and said, “Oh king! My lover, the Brahmin scholar had returned from Bheema Puri with empty hands. He could not defeat Mouna Bhashini. As per my challenge, now the lover of Guna Vathi i.e. the old monk has to go to Bheema Puri to achieve Mouna Bhashini. You please arrange for that. I accept my defeat. Hence I request your good self to order Guna Vathi to send her lover to Bheema Puri.”

Then the king Alakesa had called on Guna Vathi and said, “Guna Vathi! The lover of Dhana Vathi had gone to Bheema Puri. He was not able to defeat Mouna Bhashini. He returned with complete shaved head. Can your lover, the old monk defeat Mouna Bhashini and bring her here?”

Guna Vathi said, “Oh! King! He can do that without any doubt. He is such capable. Certainly he can achieve her.”

She had returned home and explained everything i.e. what happened at royal court to Maya Yathi.

The Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya who was in such disguise said, “Oh mad woman, Guna Vathi! Do you think that Mouna Bhashini is an ordinary girl? It is heard that whoever gone there to achieve her had returned with shame. How can I achieve such woman? I am old enough. In fact, at this old age I should spend life with the chanting of Gods’ name as ‘Krishna and Rama’. Instead of that, shall I go to achieve such princess? That Dhana Vathi is wasting her time with the pride of money. She is behaving with ego. Will you do like her? I think you got bore with me. That’s why only you are affording to send me there. You are not considering my old age. I think you are implementing like this to drive me away from here. I won’t be deceive with your sweet words. Get lost!”

He had pretended anger on her. Guna Vathi said, “Swami! Oh my master! You are mistaking me. I’m not planning to drive you away. Though you are old enough, but I know your capacity. With my experience, I know that you are capable to impress even young woman. If you do this, you can achieve everlasting fame; and a beautiful young princess i.e. Mouna Bhashini. I can achieve success in the challenge. I know your power of penance. That’s why I’m requesting you to do so. In fact, Dhana Vathi is not valuable than a betel nut. But she is challenging me i.e. your servant. It is not right for your good self. That’s why I explained everything to you. If you achieve this task, it will be grand success to me and great shy to Dhana Vathi. It will be beneficial to both of us. Please think off.”

The Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya had thought for some time and said, “Oh my young woman! Guna Vathi! I have no craze on Mouna Bhashini. I have to go there because of your pressure. I’m not interested on fame or kingdom or young princess. I’m old enough. Why should I take all such difficult steps? But I can’t throw away your request. Because you are praying me like this, I’ll try at my level best. But I need something. You go and ask your king to send one palanquin, some soldiers. I’ll bring her within 45 days. Convey this to the king.”

Guna Vathi had informed this to the king. He had sent palanquin and soldiers. Guna Vathi returned home and said, “My dear master! As you said, you have to come back with Mouna Bhashini within 45 days. If you won’t come within time, on the 46th day I’ll die by entering into fire. This is true. I determine as your feet are within to this.”

The Maya Yathi said, “Don’t worry. I’ll come within time.” He had taken send off from her and gone to Bheema Puri by palanquin and with soldiers. Bhethala was with him in invisible form.

The Maya Yathi had reached Bheema Puri. There were 100 streets in each direction. In the middle of the city, there was the 7-staired palace of Mouna Bhashini with 10 compound walls. There was a bell hanging in front of first gate. The Maya Yathi was watching all these and moving across market streets. In one shop, the Maya Yathi i.e. Vikramadithya had seen Bhatti. Both of them i.e. Maya Yathi and Bhatti in the disguise of merchant had recognized each other. Bhatti had signaled him to do not stop there. Hence, the Maya Yathi didn’t stop his palanquin there. He had reached a choultry at the edge of the city. He had hired rooms in the choultry and accommodated the soldiers and palanquin carriers there. He had given more than enough money to them and said, “Oh soldiers! You be here till I come back. Don’t come to search for me. Here is money, which is required to you to stay here. You can stay even up to one month with this money. But I return as early as possible. I’m going to do some work. You be here with leisure.”

He came out from choultry and moved certain distance. He had tuned into his real appearance from the disguise of Maya Yathi. He came to the market street. Bhatti had met him at a secret place by avoiding the customers in the shop. They had enquired each other’s safety and other particulars. Both of they had reached the house of Peda Rasi Peddamma. Bhatti had given money to her and said, “Oh Peda Rasi Peddamma! This is my brother. He came to see me. You prepare food to him also.”

She had agreed and cooking food for them. Bhatti and Vikramadithya were counting 10,000 Honnes and keeping them as heaps. While preparing food, Peda Rasi Peddamma had came into room on some work. She didn’t see that much of large amount till then. She said, “My sons! What is the business you are going to do with this Honnes?”

Then Bhatti said, “Mother! My brother didn’t bring this money to do business. He wants to defeat Mouna Bhashini by this night. That’s why he came here with this money.”

Peda Rasi Peddamma said, “My dear young men! Till date, that Mouna Bhashini and her mother had deceived so many princes and rich men. Nobody had seen her face. Everybody returned with shaved hair and shy. It seems that your misfortune is welcoming you to that situation. Why should you take troubles? With this money, you do some business and live happily.”

They said, “Mother! How this Mouna Bhashini had defeated many princes and rich men? How they made shame by head shave? You please tell us about her particulars from beginning till end in detail.”

Then the Peda Rasi Peddamma said, “My sons! You listen. There are 10 gates, 10 compound walls to the 7-staired palace of Mouna Bhashini. At the first gate, there hanging a bell. There are some clerks. If you ring the bell, the clerks will receive you and take 10,000 Honnes from you. Then they will serve meals to you. In that feast, there will be boiled rice and un-boiled rice, a row fruits and ripe fruits, peeled roots and unpeeled roots, cooked curries and un-cooked curries. You have to eat these meals. Then you can go to the 2nd gate. There will be 3 dolls. One will bring a chair. The other doll will keep you in the chair in tight, as you cannot move. The 3rd doll will shave the head. Till date, nobody had crossed the 2nd gate and reach the 3rd gate. If you reach the 3rd gate, there will be two wrestlers. You have to defeat them. Then only you can reach the 4th gate. There will be a huge monkey. If you defeat it, you can reach 5th gate. There will be a tiger. There will be an elephant at the 6th gate. At the 7th gate, there will deep and wide well. If you cross it, there will be muddy canal at the 8th gate. You have to walk across it. After reaching the other bank of the canal, there will be bit of palm tree leaf and a snails’ shell. In that shell, there will be water. You have to wash your feet until the entire mud remove from your feet with half of that water. You have to leave remaining half of water in the shell. Then only you can reach the 9th gate. There will be a way made with smooth crystals. You have to walk on it to reach 10th gate. If you slip down, there will be danger to break your skull in to multiple pieces. If you cross this successfully then you can reach the 10th gate. There will be construction with 1000 pillars. It will be with deep darkness. You have to find the way to cross it. Otherwise, you will be loss way in between the pillars and you will die in the darkness. It is very tough to escape from this dark 1000 pillar construction. If you cross it successfully then you can reach the 7-staired palace of Mouna Bhashini. There will be a beautiful cot and bed. But we cannot identify which side of the bed is head side and which is foot side. You have to sit on the bed by knowing the head side. It you sit in wrong way i.e. at foot side, there will come some dolls from that cot. One doll will pour hot water on you. Another will divide and cut your hair on head into 5 parts. Another doll will laugh and insult you. Another will keep black and red dots on your face. With all these terrible experience, who ever rings the bell and pays 10,000 Honnes had to run away from there by tracing the way by which they gone there. If you sit on the bed in right manner i.e. at head side, a doll will show you the bust size mirror. Another will spray sweet perfumes on you. Another will serve you the tasty and rich pan. Some dolls will wave hand fans to you. Some dolls will sing and some dolls will dance. In between all these wonders, without undergoing deceive of dolls, you have to make Mouna Bhashini to speak thrice within night i.e. before getting morning. Then only you can get marry her. Otherwise you have to return with shame.”

By hearing all of this with concentration, Vikramadithya said, “Mother! You had explained the trials to achieve Mouna Bhashini till now. But you didn’t tell about her. Is she beauty or not? What are her personal particulars? You please tell us clearly if you know it.”

Peda Rasi Peddamma said, “My children! Mouna Bhashini was born by God’s boon. After her father’s expire, her mother Amrutha Mohini had made her to learn all education and arts. When she grown to teen age, Amrutha Mohini had constructed this wonderful palace and put these conditions to challenge princes and rich men. Like this, they had earned 60 crores of Honnes by now. If I have to say about her beauty, it will be a tough task to describe her beauty even for Adi Seshu. [In Indian Mythology, Adi Sushu is a great snake God. He does service to God Vishnu as God Vishnu’s bed. Adi Seshu has 1000 hoofs and 1000 tongues. In the above comparison, Peda Rasi Peddamma said that a person who has 1000 tongues also could not describe Mouna Bhashini’s beauty. That means she was that much beauty. This is exclamatory comparison.] If we watch her, we will continue to watch her without self-conscious. Hence, she became fame all around. It is famous that no other woman is comparable with her among 14 worlds. Any way I advise you to leave her issue by today. It will be safe to you.”

Vikramadithya said, “Mother! Because, we don’t know all these, I desired on her. Now I knew all. Then why should I go for her. Now I won’t see even her palace.”

Peda Rasi Peddamma said, “Very good sons. Come to have food.” She had served them affectionately. They had taken food and had pan i.e. betel leaves and nuts. They had relaxed for few minutes. They said, “Mother! We will go on a round in city.”

They had gone to the palace of Mouna Bhashini. They reached the bell at the 1st gate. Vikramadithya had ringed the bell. There came the clerks. He had paid 10,000 Honnes to them. They had invited him for feast. He had sat to take meals. The clerks had served the dishes to the king Vikramadithya.

Bhatti said, “Brother! You eat boiled rice, cooked curries, ripe fruits, and peeled roots. Keep the un-boiled rice, un-cooked vegetables, raw fruits and unpeeled roots on this kerchief and give me.” Vikramadithya had done so. Mean time when Vikramadithya was taking food, Bhatti had made friendship with one of the clerks by giving him gifts. That clerk and Bhatti were walking to the 2nd gate. There was a gatekeeper at the gate. Bhatti asked to clerk to send the gatekeeper out. While asking like that Bhatti had pushed the clerk to the 2nd gate. That’s enough! There came the three dolls. One had put a chair, the second had captured the clerk and the 3rd had shaved his head. The clerk was shouting aloud.

Bhatti and Vikramadithya had reached the 3rd gate. The 3 dolls at the 2nd gate had released the clerk after head shave. The clerk got angry with Bhatti and running towards him to take revenge. Bhatti had irritated him. The clerk rushed to Bhatti. At the moment, Bhatti had turned aside. The clerk had fallen on the arena at the 3rd gate. That’s enough! There came two wrestlers. They were beating the clerk.

Mean time Bhatti and Vikramadithya had reached the 4th gate. There was a black and huge monkey. They had kept un-boiled rice and unpeeled roots in front of it. It didn’t eat them. Just it was touching and mixing the rice and roots. They had keenly observed the monkey. It was a machine. Vikramadithya had destroyed it.

They had passed through the 4th gate like that and reached the 5th gate. There was a tiger. They had offered uncooked curries to it. Just like monkey, the tiger also not eating the curries, it was just touching the curries. Bhatti and Vikramadithya had noticed that the tiger also just machine. Vikramadithya had destroyed it.

At the 6th gate, there was a huge elephant. They had offered raw fruits to it. Because this was also a machine, it didn’t eat. Then Vikramadithya had destroyed it.

By the way, they had reached the 7th gate. There was a deep and wide well. Nobody could jump over it. Because Vikramadithya was affording to defeat Mouna Bhashini, he didn’t like to jump the well by sitting on the shoulders of Bhethala. They had observed the well. There was a stone beside the well. They had dropped that stone in the well. Hai! There came two metal sheets to cover the well. Bhatti and Vikramadithya had crossed the well by walking on the metal sheets.

They had reached the 8th gate. There was a muddy canal. Bhatti had crossed the canal on the shoulders of Bhethala. Vikramadithya had crossed the muddy canal by walk. He had reached the other bank. Then Bhatti had scratched the mud at the feet of Vikramadithya by using Palm leaf. Then Bhatti had made his kerchief wet by using half of water in snail’s shell and cleaned the feet of Vikramadithya until all the mud removed.

They had reached the 9th gate. There was a smooth crystal floured building. Bhatti said, “Maha raja! You have the desire to marry Mouna Bhashini. Hence, you have to cross this crystal flour. It is moral. I’ll cross it over Bhathala’s shoulders.” Vikramadithya had ordered Bhethala to bring wax. The king, Vikramadithya had burnt wax and spread the liquid wax on the crystal floor. It became rough, when the wax got solidified. Then Vikramadithya had crossed it.

They had approached the 10th gate. There was a 1000 pillared construction. It was very dark. Bhatti said, “Rajendra! This construction is very dark. The pillars are in disorder. It is very tough to penetrate between these pillars and to reach other end. That’s why I tell you an idea. I will take the honeybee form with Kama Rupa Vidya. [In Ancient India, it was believed that saints and some great people know the education by virtue of which they could change their body shape into other living beings. It was known as Kama Rupa Vidya.] I’ll trace the way. By following my ‘bhum-bhum’ sound, you reach the other end of this building.” Vikramadithya had done so.

They had reached the 7-staired palace of Mouna Bhashini. The visitor’s hall was delighted with bright lights and chandeliers. There was a beautiful cot and bed. It was covered with silk bed sheets and pillows. Bhatti had given a lemon to Vikramadithya and said, “Raja! Keep this lemon in the middle of bed.” Vikramadithya had done so. The lemon had fallen to one side of the bed and stopped there. Bhatti said, “Oh Maharaja! Where the lemon fruit had stopped, it is the feet side.”

Then Vikramadithya sat on the head side of the bed. There came to dolls from the cot. They were entertaining him with their services, music and dance as told by Peda Rasi Peddamma.

With those sounds, the servant-maids in the palace had woken up. But before they woke up, Bhatti had divided the hair of each servant-maid into two parts and tied one’s hair to another’s hair with the help of Bhethala. Moreover, he had blown off all the lights in that room and made it dark. He had scratched one servant-maid on her back. She shouted aloud and tried to get up. Because her hair was tied with other two servant-maids’ hair on either side of her, they also shouted aloud with pain. They had realized that their hair was tied up with others; they removed the ties and ran to Amrutha Mohini and Mouna Bhashini. The servant-maids were frightened. In fact, they were habituated to do not receive any prince or rich man up to palace after crossing 10 gates. That’s why, they were crying and fearing for this sudden change.

They said, “Mother! Oh, Queen! This night some men had reached our palace, by crossing our 10 gates with magical and mechanical hurdles. We don’t know what happened to our lives.”

Amrutha Mohini and Mouna Bhashini were shocked with this sudden information. They were paralyzed with fear for some time. Later they realized the facts. Amrutha Mohini thought, “Is it harm to us? Is it danger to us? Certainly not. If this man is capable, let him marry my daughter. If not, no problem. He will return with empty hands like others in previous. But I should not allow him to defeat my daughter.”

She said, “Oh my dear daughter. You are my golden hill. You are my pack of boons. This man may be capable, to reach up to our palace. Until date, nobody had achieved up to this even. But we should not allow him to achieve easy victory on us. Hence, let us play appropriate plan to defeat him.”

They had called one of servant-maids, Deepale Nagi. [Deepala means lamps. Nagi means name of girl on behalf of snake Goddess] They had made up her with costly silk sari and ornaments. They had decorated her as if he was the princess Mouna Bhashini and sent her to the hall where Vikramadithya was waiting. She was carrying lamps. In fact, this Deepala Nagi was the in-charge of lights in palace. Her duty was to look after the lamps and lights to burn to give light in the palace. Mean time, Bhatti left the hall and waiting in the side room.

While Deepala Nagi was coming into the hall, with such richness and grand appearance, Vikramadithya asked Bhethala as “Is this woman Mouna Bhashini?”

Bhethala said, “We can’t say by watching like this. Now I’ll make the lamps to dim. She will push up the cotton thread [wick] in the oil lamp to burn brightly. After that, if she wipe her oily fingers to another cloth piece, she will be Mouna Bhashini. If she wipes her oily fingers to her hair, then she will be the servant-maid Deepala Nagi.”

Mean while she had approached him and kept the lamps on a lamp stand. Bhethala in invisible form had made the lamps to dim. Immediately this woman had pushed up the cotton thread to enable to lamp to burn bright. Then she had wiped her fingers to her hair.

Vikramadithya had considered this and said, “Oh! Deepala Nagi! If your mistress comes here, will her beauty and delicacy get reduce? It is shame! I came here for Mouna Bhashini but not for you. Immediately you go from here and send Mouna Bhashini.”

Deepala Nagi had frightened like anything. With shy and fear she ran away from there. She had rushed to Amrutha Mohini and Mouna Bhashini and reported everything. They thought, “Oh God! This is really wonder. This man is not on ordinary man. Even though, let us take another effort.”

This time they had decorated their servant-maid i.e. chef in their kitchen by name Vantala Rangi as if she was the princess. [Vantala means cooking. Rangi means name of girl on behalf of God Ranga]. They had decorated her with rich dress, ornaments, flowers and perfumes. She came there with delicious dishes. While she was coming with grand appearance, Vikramadithya said, “Bhethala! Is this woman, Mouna Bhashini?”

Bhethala said, “Let us wait and see.” While she was serving food to Vikramadithya, Bhethala in invisible form had thrown away the Ghee vessel. The ghee had spread on the floor. The servant-maid Vantala Rangi didn’t go for another ghee vessel. She was trying to lift the ghee dropped on floor back into the vessel.

Vikramadithya had considered her as chef in the Kitchen. He said, “Oh! Vantala Rangi! Who had invited you to come here by giving betel leaves i.e. pan? If your mistress comes here, are her legs getting pain? You go and send her. I came here to marry her but not you. You go and select some other. Go away from here.”

Vantala Rangi felt shy and fear. She had lowered her head and left there. She had rushed to the Queen Amrutha Mohini and Princess Mouna Bhashini. She had informed everything to them.

Amrutha Mohini said, “Oh my dear daughter! Until date, we had earned so much money by defeating so many princes and kings. Nobody had crossed even our 2nd gate. Nobody had achieved us. Now, we don’t know what this magic is. This man had crossed our 10 gates and reached our palace. Moreover, he is scolding us, as he likes. It seems that this man won’t get influence by our tricks. Now, we have no alternative to defeat him. You don’t talk him thrice. This is the only way to get victory on him.”

Mouna Bhashini had agreed to this. Amrutha Mohini had approached Vikramadithya and said, “Oh king! I’m happy, because you have behaved as per our terms and conditions. Now you have to make my daughter Mouna Bhashini to speak with you thrice. Then only you can marry her. Otherwise, you have to trace your own way by which you came here. There will be a curtain in between you. Oh, king! Please remember. You have to make her to speak thrice. Do you agree to this?”

Vikramadithya said, “I agree. It is not good for anybody to over look the terms and conditions.”

Then the servant-maids had arranged another cot and bed just at some distance to his cot. They had hung a curtain in between the cots. Amrutha Mohini had told everything to Mouna Bhashini and sent her.

Mouna Bhashini had came to that room and sat on the other cot behind the
screen i.e. curtain. She was silent.

Vikramadithya said, “Oh beauty! I came to your palace since long time. Now only you came. I am your guest. Being host, you made me to wait. Now I want to hear your sweet voice. Hence, at least, now itself you say some sweet words.” He had tried to make her to speak with his sweet conversation. But Mouna Bhashini didn’t respond. She thought, “No doubt. This man came to deceive me and to defeat me. I should not influence by his sweet words.” She had continued her silence.

Vikramadithya had observed all this and thought, “To break this young beauty’s silence and stories are the best way.” He silently ordered Bhethala to insert in the curtain. It was swinging with the wind.

Vikramadithya said, “Oh curtain! You are in between Mouna Bhashini and me. She is not speaking single word. The sleep is not approaching me. This night is very long. The lights are burning bright. You are swinging slight. I’m feeling bore. To spend time cheerfully, tell me a story.”

Then the curtain had swing this side and that side with ‘Pata-Pata’ sound. It said, “Oh king of kings! Please consider my request. You asked me to tell a story by treating me as a great one. Hence, I should not be here without telling the story. Now, what type of story you like to hear, tell me. Shall I tell the story of my difficulties which I had faced? Or shall I tell the story of my misfate? Or shall I tell a new story which I heard? Or shall I tell an old story which you already heard? Whatever you want, I tell you.”

Vikramadithya said, “Oh curtain. You are wise. Why should you tell an old story? I don’t like to hear an old story, which I already heard. Hence, the first 3 stories you tell me one by one. We will hear.”

Then the curtain said, “Oh my master! Listen. I tell the story of my difficulties. In the beginning, I was a seed. A farmer had planted me in the field. When it was rained, I rose as a plant. I had two leaves. Then four leaves. Days were passing. I got more and more leaves. People called me as cotton plant. Then I got flowers, raw fruits which broken with cotton. The farmer had plucked me and sold to some women. They had kept me on the spinning wheel and made me as fine thread. This is the story of my difficulties.

Now I’m telling you the story of my mis-fate. The women had sold me to the weaver. He had stretched me, wet me by dipping in the Kangi, colored me and kept me on the loom. He had made me as cloth and sold to a merchant. This Queen’s servants had brought me and given to the tailor. He had cut me into pieces and added the pieces in a design with needle and string. The servant-maids had pierced holes in me and kept iron rings. They had hung me like this. They had tied me in tight. I’m not able to breathe. I’m feeling painful to stand like this. This is the story of my mis-fate. With these difficulties, how can I tell you story and how can you hear it.”

By saying like this, Bhethala in the curtain kept silence. Mouna Bhashini had observed all this and heard every word. She had though, “What a wonder is this? Until date, we know this curtain has no voice. Today it is able to speak. How it is possible? Which story it will tell? Let me hear!”

Mouna Bhashini had silently called her servant-maids and ordered them to remove the curtain. The servant-maids had released the curtain from ties and dropped it in the floor. Vikramadithya had seen Mouna Bhashini and felt wonder about her beauty. Mouna Bhashini had seen Vikramadithya and admired his handsome appearance. She had bowed her head with shy and respects.

Vikramadithya said, “Oh curtain! It seems that this princess is very wise and kind. She had released you from your difficulties. Now tell me a good story to lead time with pleasure.”

The curtain was telling the story.


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