The Enchanted Mango

Part 2

(Contd.)

‘My Lord, the pot was full with water. I lifted it quickly and poured the water over the rishi’s head. And tossed the empty pot away to one side. At once several things happened. The scarlet robe lost its color and turned dark much as wet clothes do. Clinging to the rishi’s body the robe did not billow any longer nor the tassels fluttered. With the color and motion died down the unnerved bull calmed down a little. The earthen-pot crashing noisily on the ground and breaking into pieces was another distraction to the bull. In this time the rishi jumped up from his meditation quite startled by the fall of cold water on his head and body. I could quickly push him into the safety of the hut.’

Inside the hut the dazed rishi was livid with rage. His eyes were wide, boring down on me ready to reduce me to a heap of ashes. Without losing a second I prostrated at his feet. Still agitated, he ordered me to get up onto my feet and demanded to know why I did what I did.

At the end of my explanation, the rishi was thoroughly mollified and was profusely thankful. I took his leave not before he presented me as a gesture an enchanted mango that would render its partaker invincible against his enemies.

For a man of peace like me, it had little value. I have brought the mango with me to offer you, my Lord, as a present. So here it is just the way the rishi gave me.’

He pulled out the mango out of a cloth bag and set it on a plate in front of the King on the right.

The awe-struck King on the right took the mango and ran his hand over it in a reverential caress. He took a piece of cloth and carefully polished off whatever appeared to be sticking to the oozing sap.

Breaking into a smile, he said, ‘Kindly give it to him,’pointing out to the King on the left.

Whereupon Raman took it to the King on the left.

The King on the left politely refused directing Raman to the King on the right, ‘Kindly give it to him.’

‘Pardon me for the little ruse. You’re the King, my Lord,’ Raman jumped up addressing the King on the right.

There was dead-silence for a few seconds before the entire court and the King stood up and applauded Raman.

Once the applauses died down, the Chief Minister had a question: ’Raman, would you please tell us how did you identify our King.’

‘Well, at first the King on the right was happy to receive the enchanted mango. When he handled the fruit he found pieces of straw sticking to the oozing sap. And I had said the fruit was just the way it was given to me by the rishi. He guessed no rishi would be using packing straw to wrap around the fruit and the fruit was in all likelihood bought in the local market and the whole story was made up. So he asked me to offer the fruit to the King on the left.

The King on the left – it was his response that settled the matters. He had not known the fruit was an ordinary one. If he were real, he would not refuse the offer. If he were the actor King, he would consider it as his bounden duty to ensure his real King got the enchanted fruit.

So there it is. I knew the straws wouldn’t escape your keen eyes, my Lord.’

The King was impressed – he showered gifts on Raman and requested him to stay with him in his palace for a few more days before continuing his journey to Kashi.

Tenali Raman happily obliged.

End

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9 Responses to The Enchanted Mango

  1. Kannan says:

    It well worth waiting for your writing, kept me rivetted till the end. I have heard of Hinglish. Are you going to usher in Tamilish sorry Thamizhish (thinnai, nazhigai).

    Like

  2. Kaitlin says:

    EE! How wonderful! What a stylized tale, I love the clever type tales which recall the original ‘clever tales’ of that sort (That was terribly vague, but I hope you understand my meaning). This was wonderful and it had a mango in it. Yummy!

    Like

  3. Wonderful! You post such enchanting and intriguing stories! I love them! Thank you. 🙂

    Like

  4. Sharmishtha says:

    this is one of the best example of his amazing intelligence. i was quite intrigued to know how will he manage this tricky situation.

    Like

  5. Chitra says:

    Charming story ! Clever
    Thanks Raghu!

    Liked by 1 person

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