Saturday, April 18, 2009



Once there was, a city called Kunthala Nagaram. King Gopala Varma was ruling it. Golaharudu was his Minister. There was a village, nearby Kunthala Nagaram, named as Mathangi puram.

In that village, there was a thief by name Karthi Keya. He had four sons. He put their names as Full thief, Three quarter thief, Half thief and Quarter thief respectively.

One day, early in the morning he called his fourth son, quarter thief and said, “Look my son! I want to know your capacity in doing theft. Show your robbered wealth to me before sunset of this day.”

Quarter thief had taken leave from his father Karthikeya and reached Kunthala Nagaram. He approached a barbershop. By that time, the barber was shaving a customer. Quarter thief asked him “I want to have a shave. How much that you charge for that service.” The barber replied “Anna! [That means six paisa]. Quarter thief said, “I have in urgency. If you shave me immediately, I will pay you Pavala [i.e. 25 paisa]”. The barber requested his customer to whom he done half shave to wait for few minutes as “This man is paying me 25 paisa to immediate shave, please wait for few minutes. I do shave to this man and then I’ll complete yours.” The customer agreed.

The barber had done nice shave to Quarter thief. Quarter thief asked, “Do you have change for rupee?” the barber said “No sir”. Then Quarter thief said “Well! Come with me to market road. I’ll get change to give you Pavala.”

When the barber got ready to go with him, the customer who was waiting with half shave stopped him as “Hai! Barber! You made me to wait. And now you are leaving me with half shave. Complete my shave and go.”

The barber worried. Quarter thief said, “Why are you worrying? Send somebody with me to collect money.” By watching the barber’s son who was playing in front of the saloon, he continued, “Is he your son? Send this boy with me. I’ll keep money in his dress and send.”

The barber agreed. He asked his son to go along with Quarter thief to bring money. Quarter thief straightly went to a posh cloth shop. By watching his appearance the shop keeper thought that he might be a rich customer and received him with great respect. He asked the cloth shopkeeper to show costly saris: by keeping the barber’s son in his lap. The cloth businessman had shown costly silk saris. Quarter thief selected around 30 saris of each costly 2000 to 3000 varahas. In those days, that much money means it is huge amount. He said with the shopkeeper, “Our family women are in choultry room. You know about the women nature in case of sari selections. I take these saris to show them to select. I will return the remaining saris and I pay for the selected saris. You send somebody with me.”

Because that time was very rush time, so the businessman was in trouble to send the sales man with him. Then Quarter thief said “Okay! Keep my son here. I’ll come back within half an hour.” The shopkeeper accepted his deal.

Quarter thief took the packet of costly saris and left the shop. By another way, he reached his house and shown, the thiefted things to his father Karthikeya. He felt happy.

In the Kunthala Nagaram, the barber waited for his son and the cloth shop owner waited for his customer. After an hour, the shopkeeper asked the barber’s son “Where is your father.” The innocent boy said, “He is in the barber saloon.” The cloth businessman worried and asked his fallow men to tie the boy’s hands and legs with rope. The poor boy frightened and started to cry with loud voice. Mean time, the worried barber came to the market road in search of his son. When he watched his son in cloth shop, he shouted “Hai! Why you are beating my son?” The shop man said “Oh! You are the co-fellow of the thief. Did you plan, one of you to theft the costly saris by keeping a boy here as security mortgage, and then the other person will come to take out the boy? I won’t leave you both. Pay my bill and go. Otherwise I’ll beat you.”

Such that the quarrel started and the barber and cloth businessman were beating each other and shouting at each other. People gathered there to watch, intimation gone to king’s soldiers. They took both the men, along with the boy to the king’s court.

After enquiring in detail, the king, and the minister could understand the cheat and theft. The king said “Both of you got cheated. Without enquiring whether your customer is the father of this boy or not, you had given costly saris to the thief. It is your mistake. Go and do your business with care.”

Both the barber and cloth businessman left the court. The king ordered “At day time, in busy market road, a thief succeeded to cheat people and to theft the things. It is ashamed of Kothwal of the city. [Kothwal means police commissioner of city] Within 24 hours, Mr. Kothwal, you have to find out the thief. The thief should be in prison.”

By this time, in Mathangi Puram, Karthikeya called his third son: Half thief and said, “Your younger brother had shown his capacity of doing theft. I’m happy. You go to same Kunthala Nagaram, by this night itself. Before sunrise, you have to show your talent to me. Make me happy by doing so.”

Half thief took leave from his father and reached Kunthala Nagaram. He enquired people by pretending that he was a tourist to that city. People told him “In our city, today a thief had cheated a business man and theft costly saris. Our king was very angry about it. He ordered the Kothwal to arrest the thief within 24 hours. The Kothwal was already on duty.”

Then he enquired about background and what about of the Kothwal. He was told, “The Kothwal has a daughter. In the younger age i.e. at the age of six years, he performed his daughter’s marriage. But the bride groom had left the house and gone somewhere. Now his daughter is at the age of 16 years. Since 10 years, he is searching for his son-in-law, but he could not find him. This is most unhappy thing to him”.

Half thief thought about a plan. He dressed himself in rich appearance. He purchased new and costly clothes for the Kothwal, his wife and his daughter. He brought sweets, fruits, flowers and other gifts and reached the house of Kothwal. By that time, the Kothwal was ready to take his dinner. When he observed the Half thief’s arrival, the Half thief put Namaskar to his feet and said “Father-in-law, how are you?” the kothwal was shocked. His wife rushed to there. He put another namaskar to her feet and said “Mother-in-law. How are you?” Both of the shocked and could not recall the memory of their son-in-law. They thought, “It was 10 years back. At that time, our son-in-law was a boy. We can’t recognize him after grown up. If we say anything wrong, he may leave our house again.”

By thinking like this, the Kothwal and his wife received him with great respect, served him a delicious dinner. The Kothwal wife made up their daughter with gold ornaments. When the Kothwal was getting ready to go out, the Half thief asked, “Father-in-law, why are you getting to go out at this late hour?” The Kothwal said “My dear boy! Today there happened a theft in the city. The king ordered me to capture him. That’s why I’m making move.”

The Half thief said “Well uncle. I want to come with you. Let me see the city.”

The Kothwal agreed for it. It was full moon day. Both the Kothwal and Half thief took rounds in the city and reached a junction, which was near to the Kothwal’s house. There was a rock with holes. It was used to keep the hands and legs of a thief when he was caught at nighttime, before presenting him in court. There was a locking system in that rock which was called as Gudi Banda that means rock prison.

When they reached there, Half thief pretended innocence and asked “Uncle! What is this?” The Kothwal said, “It is Gudi Banda. We use it to arrest thief by keeping his legs and hands in these holes and we can lock it.”

Half thief said “Uncle! It is strange. Let me see how it works. I’ll keep my hands and legs in this, and you look it.”

Kothwal felt embracing. He said “My boy! You are my son-in-law. I feel bad to do so. Do one thing. I keep myself in the holes of this Gudi Banda. You observe how it works. But take care. Don’t lock it. I have no keys with me. The keys are at home. We need the keys in the morning only. That’s why I kept them in house as precautionary of losing.”

Then he put his hands and legs in the holes. Half thief pretended as observing its working and locked the Kothwal in the Gudi Banda. He said “Alas! Uncle! Sorry! I done mistake. It was locked.”

Kothwal worried. He said, “Go home and bring the key immediately. If thief comes by this time, we may loss an opportunity to catch him.”

Half thief said okay to Kothwal and ran to his house. He said to Kothwal’s wife “Aunty! Uncle had information that the thief was planning to come to robbery in our house. That’s why he asked me to tell this information to you and bring all the wealth including money and gold to him to keep it in secured place.”

Kothwal wife confused by this, she shouted at her husband “Hai! Shall I give him?” He thought about the key, and then in reply he shouted, “Send immediately.” She thought about wealth, she packed all the valuables including money, gold and other things and gave it to Half thief.

With that packet, Half thief went to Kothwal and said, “Are you capable to catch holding me?” Kothwal shocked by it.

Just like a flash of light, Half thief vanished from there. He reached Mathanga puram and explained everything to his father Karthikeya. He felt happy.

In the morning, all the public, soldiers surprised at Kothwal in Gudi Banda. The soldiers released him from it. They went to the king. After enquiring all, the king was very angry. The Minister said “Cool Maharaja! This night, I’ll try to capture the thief.” The king accepted it.

Mean time Karthikeya called on his second son, Three quarter thief and said, “Your younger brothers had gone to Kunthala Nagaram and did robbery there. I’m happy about their talent. Now I order you to go to same city and show your art of theft.”

Three quarter thief said, “Okay father.” He reached the city and stayed at a choultry. He enquired in the city among mob. Public had gathered in groups and were discussing about the thieves and Kothwal. When he enquired, somebody told about the incident of Kothwal, and the following Minister’s commitment to capture the thief. In conversation, skill fully he enquired about the personal details of the Minister. He was informed that, “The Minister had an extra marital affair with a prostitute named Meenamba. She is living in the house number 2 in up street. The Minister comes to her house every night.” He observed the appearance, behavior and voice of Minister by visiting the court of king like a citizen.

He collected the needful things and up to night, he waited in his room. Then he dressed himself looks like Minister and reached Meenamba’s house. That woman felt surprise and said “Every night, you used to come by late. Today you come early!” He said by imitating Minister’s voice “Meenanba! I pledged to capture the thief today. But I had received an information that the thief is about to come to our house in my get up. That’s why I came early to warn you. Bring a stick and rope to beat and tie up the thief. Pack all your gold ornaments, money and other valuables and keep them under our bed. Send out all the servants. They may corrupted by the thief and they may help him. Hurry up. “Meenamba, immediately had done as he said. In the mean time, he emptied the water in all pots and tubs, which were filled with water to bath.

Within short time, the Minister entered into the house. Immediately, with the help of Meenamba, Three quarter thief had beaten the Minister with stick until he lost consciousness. He had tied his hands and legs with rope. He kept a towel in his mouth to prevent him to shout. He asked Meenamba to prepare for his bath. When she watched in the bathroom, all the pots and tubs were empty. He said, “I am very tired by fighting with the bloody thief. I must have bath.” Meenamba said, “Let us draw water from the well.”

It was an old well. To draw water from it, there was a system of big and long bamboo known as Yatham. At one end of it, there was a big pot. At another end, a man should climb. By walking in opposite direction, water can be drawn from the well. Since all the servants were sent out, Meenamba climbed upon the bamboo stick. While holding the water pot, Three quarters thief had pulled off the sari of Meenamba. She was half-nude on the Yatham. Three quarters thief left her there and went into the house. He had collected the wealth packet under the cot and gone home. He explained everything to his father. Karthikeya felt very happy by noticing the talent of his son.

At the Meenamba’s house, she kept calm, didn’t shout for help because she felt ashamed being half nude. In the morning, when soldiers were searching for the Minister, they found him at Meenamba’s house, in unconsciousness. They gave him medical treatment and all of they had gone to king’s court. After knowing all the issue, the king felt very angry and said, “You are all useless fellows. Today night, I will go to capture the thief.”

Mean time, Karthikeya called on his first son, Full thief and said “My dear son. Your three brothers had exhibited their art of theft. I’m very glad about it. Today, you go to the Kunthala Nagaram, where your brothers had shown their talents. You robber there and show it to me.”

Full thief said “Well father. I do my level best.”

He reached Kunthala Nagaram and wandered on the roads to enquire into the matter of city news. He came to notice about the king’s effort to capture the thief on that night. He purchased some mats, a lantern i.e. lamp, betel nuts and pan leaves etc. materials which were required to make pans. He waited until night.

After became dark, Full thief approached the entrance to the city. At certain distance to entrance gate of the city, he spread his mats kept some big bags in folders, kept betel nuts, pan leaves etc. in plates and sat there as if a businessman of pans.

The king Gopala Varma, along with his soldiers was wandering on the roads of the city in search of thief. They went around the city and came to the entrance gate. At far they observed light of a little lamp. They approached there. They saw a pan merchant i.e. Full thief. With authoritative voice, the king said “Hai! Man. Who are you? What are you doing here by these late hours?”

Full thief said with trembled voice “Maha Raja! I am a small pan business man, doing my business here.” The king suspected him and said, “Tell me the truth. Otherwise, I will punish you. At this late night, who will come to you to purchase your pans?”

Full thief pretended as crying out with fear and said “Maharaja! Excuse me! Since three days, a thief is coming by this time in this way along with his group. He is purchasing my pans, taking rest on these mats for some time, and giving me good amount of money. That’s why I’m waiting here by this late hour.”

The king said, “Do you know that, to help a thief, itself is a crime? I’ll punish you.”

Full thief fell on the feet of king and said “Maharaja! Leave me. I never do this again. Please leave me. I have wife and children, for their sake excuse me.”

The king said “Okay. If you help me to capture the thief, I’ll leave you. More over I reward you.”

Full thief said “Sure Maharaja! I’ll help you to capture the thief and his group. Time is approaching. He may come by this time. Ask you soldiers to go far and hide somewhere. If the thief watches others here, he may not come here. You hide here in this bag. When the thief come here, when he take rest, by appropriate time I will make whistle. Immediately you can come out the bag and you can catch hold of the thief.”

The king accepted the plan. He ordered all his soldiers to go far and hide.”

When the king got ready to enter in to the bag, Full thief said “Maha Raj! You remove your gold ornaments, and silk dress. Otherwise, they may emit light through the holes of this jute bag. The thief may suspect it.”

The king was in anxiety to capture the thief. He obeyed Full thief’s suggestion. He removed all his valuables and entered in to the bag. Immediately Full thief had bound the mouth of the jute bag with a strong thread, and beaten the king. He had blown off the lamp, and left that place, to his house.

Full thief approached his father Karthikeya and explained everything & shown the ornaments and costly dress of the king. Karthikeya felt happy and satisfaction about the talents of his sons.

In the morning, soldiers had searched for the king and pan merchant. They found the big jute bag there. They thought that the thief was caught and kept in it. When they opened it, they found king in it. The king felt ashamed and returned to his palace.

Mouna Bhashini’s Payyeda had completed the story and said, “Rajendra! Now tell me. In this story, whose capacity is great!”

Vikramadithya said, “The capacity of the king, minister, Kotwal, and clothe merchant is great.”

Mouna Bhashini got irritation by that answer. She said, “Oh king! Are you sleeping? Didn’t you listen the story? The capacity of the thieves is great. Among the four thieves, the elder son of Karthikeya i.e. full thief’s capacity is more great. In spite of typical conditions, when the king and others were alert he had cheated the king and theft his ornaments and other valuables. Really his capacity is great.”

Vikramadithya laughed cheerfully and said, “Yes beauty. I told one thing instead of another with anxiety. In fact, anxiety is not good to anybody. Okay, leave it off! At least now, will you talk to me?”

Mouna Bhashini said nothing. Her Payyeda said, “Oh king! Why do you request Mouna Bhashini to talk? As per her mother’s promise and as per her determination, you had made her to speak thrice. Now she was defeated. You got victory over them. There is no doubt in this. Though you know the right answers to the question based stories, you had given wrong answer to provoke her to speak. Mouna Bahshini didn’t identify this. With eager, anxiety and irritation, she had given reply and talked with you thrice. Now you are eligible to marry her. You be happy with her. You had fulfilled all of their terms and conditions. Now they have to perform your marriage with Mouna Bhashini.”

Mouna Bhashini kept silence as acceptance of her defeat. Vikramadithya said, “Oh Mouna Bhashini! The young beauty! As per your determination, I had crossed all of your gates and I reached your palace. I had overcome all of your tricks and made the curtain, your blouse and your payyeda to tell stories. I had given wrong answers to the story based questions purposefully. You had given reply. Like that, you had spoken thrice in this night. Now, do you have any other objection to become my wife?”

She felt wonder about his strategy to make her to speak. She thought, “Though I read so many Sasthras, I learnt much, and I have capacity, but being woman or being in balanced, I failed to keep my determination. I myself had lost my bet. I had spoken thrice. I was defeated. But it is really happy to be defeat by this wise and capable king.”

She had put Namaskar to his feet to express her acceptance to marry him. He had hugged her and kissed her.

She said, “Oh! King! Why do you take advantage? You defeated me. I won’t run away from you. The water in the well won’t flow out from the well. Like that, I won’t leave you. I belong to you. But please wait until you marry me in the presence of elders and people. I feel happy and respects by that.”

Vikramadithya admired her commitment towards morals. Mouna Bhashini had informed all of this to her mother Amrutha Mohini. She also felt happy. She had called on Purohits and fixed the marriage date. On one auspicious day their marriage was performed. Everybody in that Bheema Puri felt happy as his or her princess got married. People wondered about the couple as they were made for each other.

Newly weds wife and husband spend there for one week. Then they had taken send off from Amrutha Mohini and started to travel from Bheema Puri. On the way, in the forest, Vikramadithya had left Bhatti and Mouna Bhashini and told them to wait. He had gone to some distance and called on Bhethala. He had turned again as Maya Yathi. Then he had returned to the choultry at Bheema Puri edges. He had met the soldiers who he made them to wait there for him. He had taken the soldiers and Palanquin along with him and approached Bhatti and Mouna Bhashini at forest.

He had asked Mouna Bhashini to sit in the palanquin. Bhatti was riding on a horse. Mouna Bhashini thought that this Maya Yathi might be the purohit of the king i.e. her husband. Because it was the tradition to welcome the bride in such a way by the purohits, she kept calm. She had thought that the king had gone in prior and sent his purohit to bring her. They had reached the edges of Alaka Puri. Maya Yathi had gathered some wood twigs and sticks and bundled with rope. He had kept the bundle on his head and walking. Mouna Bhashini was good in heart. She was not able to watch his industry.

She said, “Oh father! Oh, Brahmin! What is this injustice? Here, there are so many servants and soldiers. Instead of order them to carry this bundle of wood, why are you carrying it?”

Maya Yathi said, “Oh child! These are not wood sticks. These are holy twigs. When you enter into the city, there should be a Homam [i.e. holy fire] Then these holy twigs are required to make fire. Because these are holy, I’m carrying this bundle. Except Brahmin and Kshathriya, others should not touch these holy twigs.”

Mouna Bhashini then stepped down the palanquin and said, “Oh elder father! If it is such case, let me carry this bundle. Please give it to me.”
Maya Yathi pretended refuse. She had repeatedly requested him. Then he had given the bundle to her. She kept it on her head and walking behind Maya Yathi. They were passing by the royal court. The king Alakesa, his ministers, Dhana Vathi, Guna Vathi and others had sat in the court. By watching this scene, everybody in the royal court was shocked. Dhana Vathi collapsed like anything. The courtiers had praised the old monk i.e. Maya Yathi’s capability. They had praised Guna Vathi’s good luck. They said, “Oh Guna Vathi! Your lover i.e. Maya Yathi had defeated Mouna Bhashini. He was brining her by keeping a wooden bundle on her head. You look on to the way.”

Guna Vathi had seen Dhana Vathi with pride. She said, “Oh Dhana Vathi! Because you are rich, you troubled me like anything. You scolded me and tried to insult me. Being such bad in nature, how you sit in this royal court without shy? You, shameless woman! Get away from here. Still, why are you sitting in the seat, like respectable person?”

Dhana Vathi bowed her head with defeat and shy. Guna Vathi expressed patience to her and seeked the permission of king to go home.

Guna Vathi had gone to welcome Maya Yathi, Mouna Bhashini and others. She had taken off the wood bundle from Mouna Bhashini’s head and given it to a servant. She had taken all of them into house. She had arranged all facilities to them. They ate and slept.

On next day morning, Guna Vathi had gone to the royal court as usual time. But DhanaVathi didn’t come. The king had summoned Dhana Vathi to attend the court. She came there with shy and cry.

The king Alakesa said, “Dhana Vathi! As per your challenge, your lover the Brahmin scholar was defeated. But Guna Vathi’s lover, the old monk had defeated Mouna Bhashini and brought her here. Hence, as per your bet, all of your wealth and assets belong to Guna Vathi. More over you became slave to her.”

By hearing this, Guna Vathi said, “Oh king! Though Dhana Vathi became slave to me and her assets belong to me, but I’m giving them to her only. I don’t need her money and wealth. She troubled me and she harassed me to insult me. However finally, she got insulted. Elders used to say if we try to harm others, there happens harm to us. Dhana Vathi had forgotten all morals due to her ego and richness. From today onwards, this event would be a warning to her.”

The king and other had praised Guna Vathi for her good nature. After the court adjourned, Guna Vathi had gone to home. She had explained all to Maya Yathi. Everybody felt happy.

Then Maya Yathi called on Bhatti and said, “Brother Bhatti! Did our turn in forest i.e. other than Ujjain over?” Bhatti said, “Vikramadithya Maharaja! By this day it is over.”

With gentle smile Vikramadithya, turn into his original getup by leaving the disguise of Maya Yathi i.e. old monk. Everybody in the house felt surprise. Guna Vathi was thrilled by watching his handsome appearance. She said, “Swami! You didn’t show this form since you came to my house. Really you are great.” She had praised him in many ways.

By watching all of this, Mouna Bhashini felt happy, thrill and little bit pride, as she married not an ordinary king but Vikramadithya Maharaja.

The news was spread in the city. The king and the people came to know that the old monk who lived in Guna Vathi’s house for few months was not an old man. But he was Vikramadithya Maharaja.

People gathered at Guna Vathi’s house as if it was a pilgrim place. They were waiting for the appearance of Bhatti and Vikramadithya. Dhana Vathi also came there. She had begged Vikramadithya to excuse her. The king Alakesa came there along with his ministers. As a symbol of respects he brought gold pot with full of holy water and ornaments etc Vikramadithya had received him and rewarded all of them. People were praising Guna Vathi. It seems that the entire city was at Guna Vathi’s house. It is difficult to describe the thrill and cheerfulness of people.

On the next day, Bhatti and Vikramadithya had taken send off from Alakesa and left to Ujjain along with Guna Vathi and Mouna Bhashini. They had gone to Ujjain Maham Kali temple and paid tributes there. When they were entering into city, there came two Brahmin scholars. They had blessed Vikramadithya and said, “Oh king of kings. You will get every day wealth, prosperous and good fortune. We want these women. Please donate them to us.”

Without sensing doubt or back step, Vikramadithya had donated Guna Vathi and Mouna Bhashini to them. But the women had refused to leave Vikramadithya and they were sad. Then Vikramadithya had convinced the Brahmin scholars to give them back by taking one village and 10,000 Honnes for each. The Brahmin went happily with money.

Bhatti, Vikramadithya, Guna Vathi and Mouna Bhashini had entered into palace. The other Queens had welcomed them. All were happily spent some time.

Next day, in the royal court Vikramadithya sat on the throne. Bhatti and Vikramadithya had exchanged their experiences with ministers. All were happy. Vikramadithya had satisfied everyone with valuable gifts. People were happy in his ruling.

Oh Bhoja Raja! If you have at least some of the qualities and behavior of Vikramaidthya in you, you do climb up the throne. Otherwise go home.”

Bhoja Raja stopped there. By that time, it was sunset. He thought to think next day. The court was adjourned. Everybody had gone home with excitement to tell these stories to others.

OUT COMING SKILLS: by reading these stories, children can learn how to respect others with respective their good qualities irrespective their position such as richness, profession and designation in society. By watching the deal of Vikramadithya to Guna Vathi, children can learn this. By watching the deal of Vikramadithya to Mouna Bhashini, children can absorb how to mesmerize the others to forget their concentration and how to drive the others in our desired paths. More over children can learn by these stories how to approach the goal in step by step, in such a systematic and scientific way.