The Panchatantra – Story 48

LOVE’S NECESSITIES

Nanda was a mighty monarch who ruled from sea to sea. His golden footstool reflected the concentrated magnificence of the costly crowns of countless kings who used to prostrate before him in humble submission. His fame was as spotless as the rays of the moon in autumn. He had a celebrated minister called Vararuchi who was well versed in all the Sastras’ and was famous for the brilliance of his intellect. 

One evening, there was a love quarrel between Vararuchi and his wife. She was very dear to Vararuchi who consequently wanted to make up the quarrel as soon as possible. He tried to pacify and please her in several ways but all in vain. Finally, he said, ‘Darling, tell me what I should do in order to make you at once pleased with me, and I shall certainly do so.’ After a great deal of persuasion she said, if you shave your head completely and fall at my feet I shall become as pleased with you as ever.’ Vararuchi did as she wanted, and she became as pleased with him as ever. 

That very evening, Nanda’s wife had a love quarrel with her husband. Thought the king tried to please her in several ways, she would not be pleased but continued to be angry. Ther King said to her, ‘Darling, I cannot live without you even for an hour. I shall fall at your feet and please you.’ She said, if you put the bit in your mouth, take me on your back and allow me to race you like a horse and also neigh like a horse when I am driving, I shall be as pleased with you as ever’. He did so. 

The next morning Vararuchi attended the King’s Council. Seeing him, the King, who had heard through his spies the reason for his shaven head, asked him with a view to hold him up to ridicule ‘Oh, Vararuchi, why have you shaved yourself so ridiculously and on an inauspicious day too ?’ Vararuchi, who in his turn had learnt about the King’s racing through his spies, replied, ‘Sire, you know that even we sometimes cannot get our things done without doing some things ourselves. Nothing given, nothing got done. Is it not so ?’ Nanda kept ominously silent.

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