Read the previous part here…
The order was fulfilled. The king’s men took the blind man to the banks of the river, and married him off to the princess. They then gave him a big bag of the promised reward, and instructed a boatman who was waiting on the shore, to take the newly-wed couple far away from the kingdom, and only then release them. The couple sat in the boat, and set out on their new journey together…
The dwarf joined them a bit upstream. They sailed to a city far away, bought a house with the reward money and lived happily…
For a while.
Time passed soon. Chitrāksh, satisfied that he did not need to work, spent his days and nights sleeping blissfully. Mantharaka did all the household work, and took care of the three of them. In the course of time, the princess fell in love with the dwarf, and they started to have an affair.
One day, the princess told Mantharaka ” My love. How many days can we spend this way? Let us get rid of Chitrāksh. We can then live happily, without feeling guilty of being in an affair. Bring me some poison, my love. I will kill him and set us free…”
Mantharaka agreed and went in search of some poison. He found a dead black snake on a deserted road a little far away from the house. He picked it up, put it in his bag, and returned to the princess.
“Look at what I found!”, he said, taking out the snake from his bag. “Cut this into small pieces and cook it well. Add a lot of spice and ginger. Also, tell Chitrāksh that you are cooking fish – that is his favorite. I am sure that he will fall dead as soon as he finishes his ‘last meal’ today”, he said laughing.
The princess cut the snake into small pieces, put them inside a vessel with water, spices and ginger, and placed it on the fire. She soon realized that she had some housework to finish, and so called out to her blind husband. “My love! Come here please! I got fish for you today, since you always ask me to cook it. I have kept it on the fire, but I have to go out to fetch some lentils. Can you please keep stirring the broth, so that it doesn’t burn? I will be back soon!”
“A meal of fish?” thought Chitrāksh to himself, “is reason enough to get up from this bed.”
And so he grabbed a spoon, found his way to the kitchen, and started to stir the broth.
As he went about mashing the snake meat while stirring the pot, some blue smoke from the poison in the meat rose up and started to burn his eyes. They started to water, but soon felt soothing, and so he continued to let the smoke into his eyes.
And suddenly, he was able to see! He peered into the pot, and saw the pieces of the black snake. “The poison from the snake must have cured my blindness”, he thought.” But my wife told me that she was cooking fish..but this is snake! I have to find out who was behind this plot to kill me…was it the dwarf, my wife, or someone else?”
As he was lost in thought, his wife returned. Hearing her enter, and eager to get to the bottom of this, Chitrāksh continued to pretend to be blind, stumbling on his way back to his bed.
In a while, Mantharaka returned. He embraced the princess, and soon they were on the bed, tearing off each other’s clothes, with Chitrāksh dumbfounded in shock. His shock gave way to rage, and he stood up, looking for something to hit them with. As he couldn’t find anything else, he held the feet of the dwarf, lifted him high, and started to whirl him around like a club, hitting the princess on her chest again and again.
And that was the end of it…her third breast disappeared, and the dwarf, whose body had been crooked for many many years, became straight again. However, it was not known what happened to the three of them, since they have not been seen ever since…
“That is why I say”, concluded VairāgyaKumar…अन्धकः कुब्जकश् चैव त्रिस्तनी राज-कन्यका ।त्रयो ऽप्य् अन्यायतः सिद्धाः संमुखे कर्मणि स्थिते ॥ – The blind man, the dwarf and the princess with three breasts, all did wrong things, Yet they all got their wishes fulfilled, just due to fate.
to be continued…