Of happiness and good taste…

Read the previous part here…

What will not man for a woman do, when heads are shaved, at odd times too? What will not man for a woman say, when those who are not horses, neigh?

KarālaMukha said “How did that happen?”

RaktaMukha replied…


The story of Nanda and VaraRuchi

Once, not very long ago, lived an illustrious king named Nanda (The one who is happy). He ruled the earth and was renowned for his courage and bravery. His foot-stool shone with the jewels of the countless kings who he subordinated, and his fame spread far and wide, like the light from the full moon.

He had a minister named VaraRuchi (the one who has good taste). VaraRuchi was adept in the administrative sciences, and was a highly learned and capable minister.

One day, VaraRuchi’s wife got angry with him – they had a lovers quarrel. He tried his best to win her over, but she didn’t relent.

VaraRuchi finally gave up and said “My dear, tell me what would make you happy. I will do whatever you say.”

His wife pretended to not be interested, but after a lot of coaxing and pleading, she replied “If you shave your head and fall at my feet, I may think of relenting.”

And so VaraRuchi shaved his head, and fell at her feet. She relented.

In the palace, illustrious king Nanda, lord of the world, and beacon of the brave, faced a similar predicament. His wife got angry with him for no apparent reason, and she refused to calm down.

Nanda said “My dear, I cannot live without you, not for a second, My kingdom, my power, means nothing to me. Rulers from all over the world come and fall at my feet, but I am willing to fall at yours, if that helps you smile again.”

She replied “If you hold a bit in your mouth and let me climb on your back and drive you, and if, when driven, you neigh like a horse, then I will relent.”

Nanda did the needful. And she relented.

The next morning, as King Nanda walked into his court, he noticed VaraRuchi sitting there, his head shaved. Nanda walked up to him and said “VaraRuchi! What made you shave your head? It is winter, and we usually shave our heads in summer!”

VaraRuchi replied…

What will not man for a woman do, when heads are shaved, at odd times too? What will not man for a woman say, when those who are not horses, neigh?

“You too are hen-pecked, like Nanda and VaraRuchi”, said RaktaMukha. You were even ready to kill a good friend like me, just because she told you to. But unfortunately for you, and fortunately for me, you were foolish enough to blurt out the truth. It is well said…”

आत्मनो मुख-दोषेण बध्यन्ते शुक-सारिकाः ।
बकास् तत्र न बध्यन्ते मौनं सर्वार्थ-साधनम् ॥ ४६ ॥

ātmano mukha-doṣeṇa badhyante śuka-sārikāḥ |
bakās tatra na badhyante maunaṃ sarvārtha-sādhanam || 46 ||

Parrots and other birds that talk are caught and caged because of their speech. Cranes never get caught because they go about their tasks in silence. It is true that silence helps fulfill all purposes.

And also…

सुगुप्तं रक्ष्यमाणो ऽपि दर्शयन् दारुणं वपुः ।
व्याघ्र-चर्म-प्रतिच्छन्नो वाक्-कृते रासभो हतः ॥ ४७ ॥

suguptaṃ rakṣyamāṇo ‘pi darśayan dāruṇaṃ vapuḥ |
vyāghra-carma-praticchanno vāk-kṛte rāsabho hataḥ || 47 ||

Though well-disguised, seemingly frightful and clad in tiger-skin, the donkey got killed because of his voice.

KarālaMukha said “How did that happen?”

RaktaMukha replied…

to be continued…