A TRIP TO t'yAVEN

Ikurr,

Nehru Bal Purtakalaya

A TRIP TO HEAVEN
AND OTHER STOIZES

LEELAWATI BHAGWAT
Illustrator JATTN DAS

NATIONAL BOOK

TRUST, INDIA

He tossed and turned till midnight. watering the flowers. Shankar could not sleep. a huw white elephant was. He m e m b m d that wben he was a b y . He could not believe his eyes! Sytrdy his eyes were deceiving him! He looked again.ched for miles and were an expanse of rnulticoloured flower-beds. SubB#llly a thouat struck him. manuring the ground and trimming the busbs. his mother had often told him stories of gods who dwelt . he s t up and casually looked a out of the window. S h k a r was completely perplcxcd. Where could the elephant have come from? Besides. His cottage was in a corner of the garden from where he could always keep an eye on things. In the silvery rnoonli&t. a d S a n k r r had never scen a white elephant before. it was whiti. attendthe ing to young plants and saplings.q. One night. raking the soil.Shankar was the King's Chief Gardener. His work consisted of swe%ping fallen leaves. Then. q u M y nibblin6 frcsh green grass. lush green lawns and clumps of majestic trees. rooting out weeds. He had to work from dawn to dusk as the royal gardens str.

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he must have flown down to earth for a change. "Look how big and borutlfd the ~ e c we! I wader wbtt Liad of s him. Shankar watched the elephant. Airavata rose from the ground like a helicopter. Shankar knew it was time for him to depart. Shankar looked down cautiously. Soon he was flying high above the clouds. Shankar turned white and b a d s of sweat appeared on his Face. a beautiful elephant whose skin was as white as snow. He was so anxious to go to heaven that he did not want to risk offending the elephant. he will take me back with him and I shall see all the wonders of heaven. Just as dawn was breaking. "Tired of the d e l h i e s in heaven. they landed Aimvata's tail and l d d an. After eating the grass. The royal garden was just a speck in the distance. - . Hiding behind a tree. and ran quietly towards the elephant. Indra was their King and he rode Airavata. tiptoed out of the house so as not to wake his wife. the elephant turned towards the tender leaves of the saplings and the half-ripened fruit on the mango trees.in heaven. If 1 can hold on to his tail. "Thk must be the p d e n of heaven!" hc e x s k i d W i g k d y .& Mia eyes filkd with . Shankar did not utter a murmur of protest. Just then. "Surely this is Airavata!" Shankar exclaimed excitedly." Shankar jumped out of bed. He raised his trunk and trumpeted with satisfaction. the elephant finished his meal. He ran up and caught the elephant's tail.

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manure Indra's ga&%iei uses?" Shankar wandered around m a m ~ a t e ~ . In a f w minutes he was e back in the royal &ens. the elephant trumpeted. Shankar ran and grasped his tail. "Don't be angry. ''Where have you been all this time?" she asked angrily. of exnWl38. . ' t h e . a mdaprrrrldas~asabaeenaW." !h&ar b\lt ri&t before her aycr wane thc momow betel-nut udpr. He rushed home to his wife who had been waiting anxiously for him. "Just see what I have brought for your' And he showed her the betel-nut and gQn." replied Shankar placatingly. L a b h i was uttarly amnzsd. It was time to return to earth.As~snasni$htfell.~mwrlkwr~rtWd~ nrrt~t~adto~ours*rattompnrc" ~ ~ p r o a r L d b u t f d i t ~ d i i l o u l L t o . ~ ~ w a n e t m t i m e tbsn tho@ on arthi OBe b r r ~ t o n ~ a s l w h . s'Yw *wu mUrtkarpthb~~. tdd " F m heaven. Tb. "Whwre did you get such giant-size things?" she d m d d excitedly.ad~Bon*psItll~m Whirnitelnurtbe M e Iub wme(hinl--+ PlWllf He chose a betel-nut wBicB w s as far& as a ooconut.SLakaf wemod.

'.Poltclbc~es~the -tion. So she told it to her closest friend after making her promise not to tell it to anyone else. on pisg with Shrnkar on hi8 8aa trip tl3 Imrr. She w s a woman who liked to talk. Nevertheless." f t Her friend qwtion& her further and she had to tell her the whole story. "That's the f a g r a m o the M h e r in my house. Th. SLrbrwu~rtbbdrsfdly. The friend promised. And so it continued till soon all the women of the town knew the mmt. Her closest friend readily promised. One mmmhg. Lakshmi made her friend promise not to tell anyone else her secret. s b became even more ~tesrll~fRQdher~k.all wn gather T intheroyal& Mcvaryono~studrbedupdy stiu. When a Shnnkar made another trip t heaven and returned with an o enormous fmit which was very M i . And they wki thek hwsbomds.~didpuptitftogl?'' "I am not using any scent. 'What wmhfd s a n t you arc wing.a ha kudmd went to ha a tkwd time em One ofhcr f r h d s sljd.keep her word. but being a gossip could not keep the secret to herself. she too told the m t to her friend after e x t r d n g the same promise." reptied Lakshmi.ki." . ail oke town's men and women ftocked to Shuakar's m They i .t~bmt& hr do? So he rdwkdy + . So the whole town came to kpow SBanlclu's sratt.

The woman asked her husband who asked the man above hian a d so forth. a long chain of m n and a followed him on his journey to heaven. each one clinging desperately to the other. There. the last woman in the chain could no longer contain her curiosity. o the white elephant rose up. "Lakshmi told us that the fruit and flowers from heaven were very. "They want t know e d y how o tha fruit and i k w m in heom am. the royal gardens preeented a strange si&t. very big. During the voyage. khe h m e weFePd d l a r i f t f i q y hed wo m stirred or u@mda e e c k o d sikatly. Will you please ask your friend above you?" So her husband asked the man above him." r raplid Shnkar ar0y. T b n b up and @a@ the husband h a his wife's feet." she said to her husband." "You will sr b yourself when m rsrrek hsllva. So .were more men and women than there were trees but whib the trees swayed with the wind. The man asked his wife who asked the woman above her. Ukimately Lakshmi was asked the q & w and slu said to her hurlpand. "But shedid not specify exactly how large. But tho woman w b wms haid& Lakskmi's hrt m so impsaiert t b t rlu kept rapr*ml kr quden. a&her man that man's wife held hier hushand's feet and s on.That night.

You awst M her immdhtely how large the fruit 'and vein a.. "My friend refuses to wait. t V6Fe bd b i. whoare feet were held by her friend: who@ feet wem W $ h q husband. "Eada f d is tan e # You kJmv that tp M s u t wor tbot big. m" sria m y ." a.L a l a h i implored her husband. whose feet were held by his I f M . till the k t pemm.. came tumbling down to earth. l t darnonrtnte the exact size with his o ad. Then no one was alive to ask any ...

"What are you doing?' he demanded sharply. "You can afford to talk l i i k t . "Your wife!" screamad the King.s l a w or a h s t of burden?" The fumer *lad. A: farmer was vigorously ploughing his field but instead of a pair of oxen. when he was in disguise. I have becorw so poor that . He was interested in the welfare of all his subjects and it w a his greatest wish that all should live in peace and happiness and none should have any cause to grumble." quietly replied the farma. One day. "Haven't you any oxen? Why are you making this woman draw your plough?" "She is my wife. he had yoked a woman to the ' s plough. The K ~ ~blood boiled. So he wandered about the country incognito to learn the true condition of his people.Once there was a king who was generous and kind. he saw a strange sight. He could barely control his anger. You rich peopk with your brsm aad do not know what poverty entails. "Whot do you supparc a wife is.

" Why sbould I y~mmy?Iarnlrats I" e unyoke my sister.rru. ~ h farmer had no alternative d unyoke his wife and yoke the King to the plough. Ehc farmer found o a d ~ ~ cem. But a farmer ' must till his land to earn his living." s This w c did not a t i s f y the Khg." It was now thc farmer's turn to be a n m ." r King t h s p k e gently. H wid firmly. The farmer Iaughkd derisively. 'So NMve asked my wife to & tbe job of 'a bullock. "If you feel so sony for your so-called shter.I h d to sell my oken to make ends meet. it is most il imhudn to usre a w in this way. a t rsaYJI*BoLr&H6&~ndk Tlurru#io~tiwaNdam. The s t a d to draw thtpiotsgh &mu& the M d . "Wbo are you to order me about?" he asked &urtly. I will give you enough moneytohyab but you must immediately re the lady.~~Otrbrrvars. "I wr e wl nst tolerate thh. klwb. why don't you take her place? If you are willing to do that. Whatkver you may say.t~ . E shall mmediately release the I lady!' Thc King at once agreed. She i not oo~~~phiiiing. but he t used to manual tabour and so part of the land was .

Thry to the ~ a w t w b O O t ( # W ~ . But ~ I don't think we can clnim t$art pewla. H must k w s e u pwm.Look at the rich crop he has given us--a crop of pearls!" tbe f m ' s wift exclaimed with &light Hr huskitd was full of ramsorse." . W e ~ n h l t P ~ t o ~ i ful owmr. "Your brather has e performed nayic.

Please forgive me." The King mfwed." The King too had recognised the couple. "I made a grave mistake. They stood speechas none OW than the stranger who had ng the fanner's wife and ploughing the himself! lthe farmer stammered. Pkwe ocotpt them as the fruit of your LbaPc. "The King! I made the King toil like an ordinary ox! He will never forgive me!" Then he fell on his knees and kissed the King's feet again and again. "Your Majesty." he b e c h e d .wdemx. He smiled gave me rm my Wbjwts. please forgive me. "Your oompbte alra . d peak at tha King's mre r q d from t b t ~ e f € h 8 ~ w h k h ~ h . "These pawls in your &Id .l M l d M g their herd8 they suid . d p i s u s hTheyhnot ed. to us.

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" he said. " T h e pearls arr t)rc fruit d your low rr4 couldaotbcapadwtef The King then pkl~ed up up a0 thc fullrsr's wiFc.because of your hard work and your constant vigilance of your erops.Hy'prcwrrt.Wiym 9 m r his wifm d d now d w the Y- . "I rbk. h t the farmer was still reluctant to &wept ths pearls.

nd~mmghto. he said to hiniself. it wit1 b . Sohn. One day Mohan decided to go on a trading mission. We must therefope go . Mohan and Sohan. T k & k ~ ~ ~ m i d . He bought a variety of valuable articles and loaded them on five hua4md bullock-carts. "I will also trade w s ih cities. was a wiseacre. very wwrivlt Wa went to !WWB d s d . He thought himself wise but in reality was a fool. He utilised every opportunity that came his way to best advantage and thus amassed a huge fortune. there lived in Varanasi two merchants.t the -s . When S&n h a r d of Motan's phuwi. "Ifwam b9 t t r v d ~ ~ ~ ~wemustgomqmmtdy. & on d r on whem wc shall have to &pa& POI f d a d shek.WtheBurdGaofathodcarts. on the other hand. Mohan was wise and shrewd. b d e a .Once upon a time.

after weigh- .separately. Lgtlw~IrCPChthCCitiCB.my men get the btst food and hospitality.TlrardwiMbe~~ybulfockswill~the flrst h h m. You must decide. "I will certainly a pfSrst." The same thought occurred to M o b but.IshPMbthehtinthemnrktt to ollcr my booQ. wddd you like to go first or follow later?" S o h w s overjoyed. He said to himself.

Molzan agreed without hesitation. So when Sohan stated his desire to l a v e first.ing the facts in his mind. Sohan left with his caravan of five h u n k euts. But he was soon roused from his reverie. T b stones had to be cleared away and t e pot-holes filled before h . TBc r d was in a bod condition with many stancs and pot-holes. he reached a different conclusion. He sans gaily and day-dreamed of the riches he would soon acquire.

b r k w y l O r c l k p ~ p ~ . fooe .aQ fixkkr. +re bok a bag tiatc. exhausted by the day% work. This was expensive. s panthQtg ancl w o h . WBtn i t orme slept. drawn by white oxen and with lialfa dozen men in it.The@ont k. and tho. gevatlteoldsrC8lwe. S o h and his men were now tired and dispirited.'' .t e carts wuki prom& The viIl%gershelped but they had h to hk paid and f& in return. You &odd thew m y rtll the mtrr. Their clothes were dripping wet. It was a big cart. f b a n W attwked and killed many of the bullocks. Just when they were arguing about returning home or continuing on their journey. Sohan saw a cart coming down the road ahead of them. "Can you Wll land through which you have just passed? IS hod and W W ~ P ? " a S c #J 6 d Lm a M tlrrr$aynrousdwith r l l ~ ~ ? " t k y w k " P. and they wore garlands of white lotuses round their ban gmetd them and asked politely. J Wkwkr md quib u-ry.

There w 1 6s gh the jungle. b o d a d fodder were disposed of. S o b n and his friends reached the #awnww they sold the few goods they had bem a* to h salvage. Thew men we wearing w t c l o t h and garlands e of lotuses but there arc no signs of rain. These men are just &wiving us for some purpose of their own. But they did not know the local prices and s&~g their miserable condition. disappointed man.So all the water. Sohan returned home a broken. "I do not b e l h them. of the nea aQ the& lives." . The road was Then Mohan left with hi@ &e to Sohan and his mmqa work. and tine wild animals & escape with n they am aeross the of thugs who urged them to &ow away all tlre f w d and watw as the land ahead was rich and porporous. an. W& anal exhausted. The sky is clear and cloudkss. But Mdtan was w L . The land ahead looks dry. We said to his men. the traders paid them pourly.

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pleasure. "Take this money -- and give me the rat." Hori took the coin and W w s b a shop. H.Qn hc m e swaats. Taking the packet of sw- and a jar o m c , kc mat to the 011tr t r skirts o the town. There at f the entrance of a begtutiful w * was a big banyan taw. Bn Hari put thejmofwetc~.and the packet of s e t on the wes ground and sat down in the shade of the tree and waited. An hour later, a gardener came out of the garden. He was tired and hungry after the day's work. Hari offwed him fhb SW&S and a @ass o water. The old man wm f so gratefd that he gavs Hari a birr of hwers in

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In a small village in South India lived a poor farmer.
He had two children, Uma, an eight-year-old girl, and Gopal, a baby boy. When his wife died, his daughter Uma took over the responsihlity of looking after her brother. A few years later the farmer also died, and the two children became orphans. Uma was very mature for her age. She knelythat she would have to be both father and mother to Gopal. She also had to make ends meet. She had to plough the field, manure and water the land, sow seeds and ultimately harvest the crop. The neighbours, who admired her courage, helped ha; and she had a good harvest and was able to support k brother and herself. r The years went by aad Gopal finished his studies. ThGn o day he said to his s w * , "You have spent the better put of your youth h h g & k c a d providing for me. By mm you should h v c bora mrnid and you Jbould hva bd a family o pout awn. PuZ LC eunirpc of a girl f
provide you w t an dequata &wry." ih

~ u i r s s a l o t o f ~ r d I k * r r a r . ~ ~ I

But Uma did not worry. One day, one of the young village men, who had always loved Uma, called on Gopal. As was c~stOrnary,he &ed Gopql for his siaer's kand in marriage. He said that he was not interested in a dowry valued Uma for her unselfbhncss sad undaunted courage. So the weddin8 date was fixed and soon afterwc.ftEs U r n was mprrird. M o r e b a v h for Ber new home she srid to Go@, "Soon you will get married too. You must contiwe our custom of performing Lakdnti Puja on the first Friday of Shravana. You must promise that you will make your wife keep up this tradition." Without hesitation G o p l promised to honour this small request of his sister. Years passed. Gopal worked hard and his fields yielded abundant harvest. He married Kamala, the pretty, spoilt daughter of a wealthy farmer. A few weeks !ater was the holy month of Shravana. The whole village began making preparations to celebrate Lakshmi Puja, particularly those homes where there were newly married women. For on this occasion, women are specially invited to participate and the place of honour is given to married daughters and sisters who are considered very esteemed and respected guests. It is believed that if the girl Messes the house., then it will have happiness and prosperity but her curse can bring doom. Gopal rernembsred his promise and tokl his wife about it. Kamala agreed to celebrate Lakshnsi Puja lavishly. But on one condition. "You must not Invite your sister," Kamala implored. "She is poor and will arrive in rags with her brood of children all looking scruffy. She will shame us, and my family will

Kamala's pretty face turned pak.and tirey evere offered #&I m and coconuts. At the height of the festivities Uma appeared. rose-water was sprinkled ih a b o &m. Kamala.~OFJpiecs avopietyof&l med w t g r & of ilowers. Uma came up and hugged Kamala. she said to Kamala. She was going around the room giving prasad to the guests. I am no g & I do not b v k to wail for an invitation to come m. helping herself to the prasad. mere is my brather? It gives me great happiness that he m t broke his promise to me. I know you must have been e very busy and forgot to invite me. . Then. There was a big silver bowl which Kamala was carrying containing the prasad. It doesn't matter. "You are looking very pretty.

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ears. stepped out and h sister-in-Jew.#aUasrlivJina to her husband. A servant h-box and opened the door of the in a bright golden Banarasi sari. Aud 136 not go emptyTake her some sweets and coconuts. U ~ l n @e was t ' s ~ t a ma with the lit& they had. she is yeur elder sister. How g m & d U a affectionately m a d rmpdwMy saasd uidc to b Bkf eater. et ~ i . Manl~as were chanted. hymm sung. ~ . Uma weIcomed her brother zilkctionately and promised to attend the function. Guests began to troop in.his family. &pal w n t ductcd her to a comfortable cushioned seat and K a m h . After all. The big day dawned. "Go to Una's house and in . Suddenly there was a dsome carriage drove up to the talking and stared." So Gopd went to Uma's house and extended a perwnal invitation. and the fragrance o flowers f the house.

He beckoned to Karnala and whispend. Turnhg to Go@ she asked for mother cushioned seat.smiled gently." Go@ h @ t t aruioudy. ~ s t o o d k P s ~ U m a aad fmned ber gently. Gopd rushed up wt a c u & d &a&. "Uma must be feding Bat. T e U r n took 08 ber omlgglka one afb&r hn . Uma took off ih her gdd-embroidarad shawl a d put it on the chair am! to her. "Go and a fan." KaEnalaranadbrou&ofm.

You offered it to my fine clothes and gold ornaments. she picked up the s W t OW by o m and put Y O O them on each picot of jtwcllcry." There was pin-drop silence in the room.and put them on the chair. Then Uma rebuked them gently. Your house will always prosper s will abound in it. "Uma dear. This sumptuous feast was not lrtid for my ben&t. Then the guests began to whisper among themselves and throw glances at Gopal and Kwala. When she had taken off all her jmvellery. "I am giving the sweets to the real guests to whom they have bttn offered. "What are you doing?" Uma milad. Go@ asked agitatedly. I am content with some prasad on a banana leaf. do you lind your jewellery too heavy?' Urna did not reply. Gopal asked her. All these years it was all that was offered to me and my children. ''Affection and love do not change with wealth. I can bless you equally whether I in fine silks. P e q k stared in a m m mmt. They both wished that the earth would open and swallow them up." .

No m d The King wcs very up a d d m t k b garden udappiy. They returned from far away with c&on wool of the h e s t quality.'' she gnmMad. . I h w just I a brillkt idw.tempered. said. If you m d n t find me an o' . Her beautiful." ~~~ ~~~. H w m h $w depths ofdqwur." The King smt' his servants to distant had$. IWfdsiCIEand dig. I d t h i o k I c a n f b d a b a d ~ e ~ t o ~ o u r ~ Queen. fao& was I can never sleep. Them c his Prime M W agpr& hias a i d bowing mpmtfully. "Your Majtsky. But Midcshi was not "This b t bid. Th%n t f i g ' s Chid Tdlor usmi the finest.silk @ and sewed a mItfix'the Qwm.

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. So day after day. Tha Mid tkrt at lops^ Iamtthisr~~Eng b i m hPd beaa p sohPd f o m . That night the Queen had _a long and peaceful deep. the most beautiful buds w m c o and ~ m the Q m ' s bed. The King was very pleased and rewarded his Prime Minister for his bright idea. as the sun was setting. as the . and the Queen's sun maids spread them thickly on the royal bed.Qwzen will &e e g . n's face l & its o she slaiEt again.

The King ran up and enquired anxiously whacwas wrong. You neglected your duty. My b k is black and Mue with bruises." ." "Is that so? I am glad you have o d up. I did not sEaep a mid Mimkshi scoding. wink lmt ~ght. There was something hard in my bed. "Who made my bed last night?" asked Minakshi angrily. The maids looked at one another and then one timidly replied. The maids stood there trembling with fear. Your Majesty. "We all did.

The Queen remained unappeased. In his aqm. "I won? stay a moment longer in this place.and qu* h a d The King was furious. "I will go to my brother lnmediately. She kept crying bitterly." she said. He also discharged the Chief Gardener. the Prime Minister and the courtiers tried to change the Queen's mind. H bland the maids for not e selecting the buds carefully. he & d a d 1 of them. They all tried hard to persuade F"' ." The King.

But she refused to listen to any of them. e. He asked the ship's crew to be very careful and promised them bags of go@ if they carried Minakshi safely to her destination.her to stay. . The King had a luxurious ship built specially forthe Queen and gave her a dozen servants from the palace to cater to her needs. and the voyage was long and dangerous. The voyage began well. But the very next day. She bqpn to smik once more. So the King had to make arrangements for her departure. the sea turned rou* In a few moments the ship bqjm to sink. Minakshi's brother who was the King of a distant land lived far away across the sea. Everybody jumped into the s a Minakshi was saved by a miracle. A geMe sea-brecm sootbed the Queen's anger and raised her spirits.

4 . An s+grsm&b&. But she did . Mrstlf town& it. M i tOld &tan of her misfortww.She clung desperately to a plank and was carried by t b waves for many hours. Eventually she was 'tosggd on to t & of a stramp cauatty. She wfes cmpWIy e . she old man and his wife lived h a .

Ske was b Irridunr. But she did or complain. She spent the money on feeding and clothing the old couple and herself. . She slept on a &raw mat which on the f8oor. She could only afford to eat the simplest food and wear the coarsest clothes." but she had no Blternative.i.l . She obtained work a$ the efaan and started working with the other labourers.not tell them that she was a q u a . She food aad * . "Ysu wn rtny with w u k @a8 yrrra m p m m like you.*w. Like everyone else she got her daily wages.

I found it difficult to sleep even on the softest bed. T k rryry korwn that he dmadcd but was accustomed to rss awry Irrwrri. The King w s overjoyed at t sews and hstesred to his wife's side. W Z you in this wadition." The Queen smiled and replied. Now I know the hard life most people jive." Minakshi's b r o t h immediately sent his brother-in-law a message to infosm him that Minakshi was safe. My husband spared no effort to make me comfortable and happy. Fate has forced me to live like them. You mwt J her hva y to be red& to this sfate. Everyone had thought Miaduhi LJboabdnunymsrp.l hod compktdy vmishod. I have prospered. "You ~ c e m bc to d. your brother hw So bscn ablc to find a bed soft enough to pkage you? Whcre .He f o m d awl h u w M i d & . a b @s and delicacies that forth a smile from Minakshi. "I have not suffered. but nothing pleased me. Tears of joy flowed their cheeks. I no longer complain that I haven't a bed which is soft enough. shi looked more beautiful than e m before. Look at your wote-owt do* and lo& how thin you have becoac. I have worked hard and slept soundly on a straw mat.T h Than tbo K k g turned anxiously towords "Gnet misfortune must have befallen you. She smiled aBkn and thcn was pace and contentment on htr face. When I was a queen I lived a life of luxury but I was never contented.

t 3 R I ~ Min. "I haw been laid on tbc d m .did he'find this miraculous bed? W h t is it made of?" the King asked.k&i repticd. " ~ t .

Hari. as ~ ." So he went and picked up b e dead rat. "m y6u ikd 8 &d did a?"'u k d W&h hc . I am sure that a w s man could put it to proper use and become wealthy. "But even a dead rat could be a source of pleasure. "What an unpleasant sight!" he muttered. There must be great wisdom in what he said. Hari was w091dwhqj what he &uld do with the mt w h ~a itlea ib&damow hb mind.TlcIgtLkurr. He thought. he w s walking along lost in meditation. ~ d b a r s r l tirrrjkbsamhd.Many. there lived in the city of Vammi a l e a d pm&t named C B ~ One day. many yean a p ." bib rearrod k "My 's cat Blll tam bb e r r v c ~ n a o n t r h t k e h o ~ . "Thk man is a great philosopher." ~ m a t ~ O o L i r ~ ~ b o u r d ~ o u t t L thidr&t. he saw a rat lying a across a street. was passing by and chanced to overhear these words." ie A poor young man.~dsEi~. ''Them ic nothin8 that a cat loves more than f a t i n g on s rat.

ad eaoua. Soon his caravan entcred the sandy desert.h h e to a m the market rates. But they had ampk food and water and so could %nit& their journey in codixt.So Moban paid no heed to the thugs. . they h. On repching the town. Mohan sold his goods at considcrtlb1e profit and returned home a happy and contented man.

lrwr fall by the hundred. He sold the flowers and bought a la&. Remember it ie the King's inrpsotioa thy. steck o sweets w i h he SOUaot only to the g m h e r s f hc to all t h who viri!ta8 the -me r business a d Hari o o q W a money. they would all be dismissed on the spot. o They nJasd around making little heapr d lawe. h k e with krud arcking sounds.as they came out and received many. *hat fun it was! In hatf an Bour they b d . T m swayed and ~~ . Hari wra very popular with children. many bunches of flowers in exchange. braken branches and bruised flower petals.Thunder rumbled a ning flashad OCIZ)I t h sky. It must be o cokaph4y neat an8 tidy. "I wmt you t sweep this garden in half an b u r . The am gardeners were in despair." The gardeners agreed without a mamat's hesitation. "What can we do?' they asked one another in despair. "I will undertake to dear the if you pay me well. Tbe next morning the Iawns were littered with fallen l a . He gathered a l a m mum& of boys and girls towher rtnd said. n Hari came forward." hmmhtdy a hundred buys and girts set t work. and Boners were bruised and fxaamd. Om aiQM there w s a vide& m. swept d l the litter and were about to make a large heap . How could they possibly clear it all b e f m the King arrived to inspect the garden? But if he saw the gatden in its ptesent wndition. twigs and f b w m .

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" The I t 1 paid twim over a d for sixteenth he bought sweats and distributed them among h children who had helped h i . He filled the jars with icecold water and put up a board wt the ih WQrdS: DiRINliEMO WATER. They were jubilant and went away darning and skipping with joy. "We might as well ad al this M a little f&w away." l A stone's throw from the w s te m ' s a & WI1Smattla rhea and pibd it a*a d said. "I hew bCltugbtuwprSt & b kat YOU a IeastamRth. Then H&+ s i . Then he built a shed by the roadside. carrying bundles of on &sir along the road. I I . en. HaPi then went and bought more than two dozen earthen jars.outside the garelen. They w m wry tireti.

B d b .horse-trader is to visit our city soon.rrkd. Whvn the lnmfdmst pbowdtofiwlthta wsandytobryplltk tb trm#biB af * Heriotigqt&s. he heard that a man was coming across the river with a flotilla of boats loaded with merchandise. He will buy all your grass. The which he hod travelled wrrs dry . He got money or goods in exoh. d ~ a u t h o * n nT. If you promise to hdp me obtah dl the mmchadw in the bortq I shall pay you still more. y p d J rb . TJMaptah .gd bema.nge and steadily accumulated more and more wealth. He hurriedly collected all the money he had accumulated and bought a chariot.1MW~r ~ o a t b Q a . "This is more valuable than six months' wages." arrived with iivs bun8rsd h o w . Hari continued giving water to the thirsty peoph who passed by.'' Hrui. TBy*reaupstwhtbyf~tb. ead hr been w l to obtain aay bt diatdy bought the five hudmd sheaves fmm Hari f 5OQ a silver coins. You must only promise not to d your sheaves l until I hove soM I~~RI. Hari went up to the captain and gave him a gold ring. One day. As soon as the first boat landed. He decorated it with flowers and rode to the harbour singing gaily.

be placed a bag full of goki coins at his feet.their resources and paid Hari double the amount t pu~hase o aH the goods for themselves. "What is this?" demanded Chullaka. who bad made thb bargein pea&&. K n d h g down. And Hari stikl m & a wry handsome profit from a h 6 deolingc. From this amount Wari paid tb merchant hPlf a d sotUsd his d m . i Then Hari went to Chullaka the phhmpbr. We alsb pid My p14 wiw to the aptfin. .

"The remark I made was heard by everyf an the street. Your mo-r 1s the fruit of your own intelligence. Chullaka was very pleased but refused to w t tho p o goM."This is payment for the advice you rendered four months ago." replied Hari and related the whole story." . Yet you alone used it profitably. You deserve wary penny you have accumulated.

Sudctenly he tripped 4fell. a d historic city o Uhin h f dotted with hil4ocks.C the outskirts of the old. Witnesses were &led to givs evidence. You may come with your comphints and I will judge your. . He adled his friends and showed them the stone seat he had dikvwtd. they enacted the court scene. 'H rsvtst how divine 'e C .cmes. a boy ran up a h a w . & i l h mjoyd this game veq much. You are my mudsis. They w e up one by one and. were M. when a re playing. One day. Then tW make-beklrwre King weighed the M a laid before him and p a d jwdpent. he said. sitting e the stone dab. "I'm tht King. m Swim w d spread d town of the just sfBd discem& judgment of thc boy.stated their imaginary complain&. Then sitting oq the stone. Every day. It became a favourire.in the fields.& n h brought forward." The other boys liked the &a. He looked around a& found that his foot had hit a smooth slab of stone. the o a d i d l y weigh4 ead then the smm boy. pctoesa judpmnt.

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I never expacted such discernment fms mimum a0 young. Soon this story reached the King's ears. the= w ~ as serious dispute between two farmers over the wnmhip of a piece of land. 'I do not believe these tales." So saying. The King watched the children's garmte'for some time and even he was impressed and astonished. "Who is this urchin who presumes to judge cases better than I?" he demanded. the King set off for the hillock with his guards and courtiers." he said turning to his ministers. I&& of ~*~ From that day &c people o the town c m c to the boyf judp with their di~pwtes consulted him rather than the & King. I will go and see for myself. "that &Y wi9dom. "I must admit. ihqr departed p 1 a d a d satidfed with his verdict. H wsuld put many lmmd and a .Thc next day. And every time. He was amazed but also very angry.

nc day. "Then you are unworthy." repIied the angel. Qe next day. learned d h t it was hundreds o years okl and wrps f muus t b i w of King Vikramaditya who h+d h e n rtnownd for the wiselorn and impartiality of his jYdplwnt." he admitted. On its four l e g were carved four a n & %A. A n certain tht you h8w mwr lid?" o & The King hasit. He could see no one.h&ubbWls~t to sit down. I will sit on it anei p s ajudpmt. "Are you really worthy to o m p y this throne? Are you sure you have never stolen anything?' T l ~ d King hung his head in shame. He went straight towards the stone throne. He looked again carefully. Ha cmY r e d l when he had l i d his way out of a sticky Siturrtion. 0.ted. The angel spoke." So say& the spread its wir)gs and flew away. So t k .npl @a. H wm just e about to sit down when a loud voice commaded. "Sop. "You must do penanee for three days.tb fourth The King fasted ." the King decided. "S. The voice came from the carved angel on one of the throne's legs. "Whenever I have to &tk a dispute. E d r n d out to be a p t beautifully carved stone throne. T e King o r d d that it should be carried to the h and installed in the? court. the second stollc-.So the stone slab was dug u . ''Recently I appropriated some land which belonged to one of my courtiers who fell out of favour. the King arrived when the court was f1H.top!" The King halted and looked around.

T e K n a p i n prayed and fasted for three days. so can I. "If a child can sit on that throne. I wl dkfinitely sit on this throne. If you are canvinced that you are the most worthy judge in the land. you may now occupy this throne. the King weat to his wuri again. "The boys who sat and played on this throne were innocent and untouched by evil." il So saying tbe King mdutaly stepped forward to occupy tbtJmas. This h ig time hc appoclcBed the tbrone bitsrntly.BUSj3Uttltmtb6fowthan@spreadit wings an$fi. Afeer fasting and praying for another thrw days.wann*ywiththrthtaru.King had again to step back andthe second stone-angel spread its wings and ilew away. . The K i quietly sfiepped back and the third stoncsn@l spread k wine and 8ew away. Then the fourth aad laat angel spoke. His steps faltered as he appmwbed tke t h a w . greater or more impanirl thPn I. Just as he was about to sit on it. wiser. the third angel asked him whtthar he was sure that he had never hurt or injured anyone. I am a king and no one can claim to be richer. But then he thought to himself." The King hesitated for a long time.

N. Nondini.Many years ago. Chhotulal. in the ancient city of Delhi. ClrhoN. there l i d a young doctor.ndini ill-tempered and dbcontsatrd and kept lug& him.Chhotulal. Chhotulal was notoriously absent-mindad and however hard he tried. and his beautiful wifc. a young farmer who was suffering from a mild sun-stroke arrived to consult him at the same time as an old woman w o e arm had been crushed by a f d i i hs m.lretuned homt without a sin& . This went on for many years with Chhotulal giving the man with snakebite a cough syrup or the woman with a sprained ankle the mre for a headache. Soon people stopped coming to consult Chh0N. amputated the farmer's a m and gave thc old woman a couple o r f taMets that he had specially prepared as a cure for sunstroke. the poor man always prescribed the mong remedy or mixed up his patients' medicines.l orbuyhismad1~iace. in his usual absent-minded way. Then one day. Onc evening.IId~poorernadpoorerand could no l o n p d o r d to give Naadini gold nwkhca and beautiful saris.

t h r b and on eifher side were his mm&m and .pdbeg~. Just tell me whure to g . " smile.& . On arrivakhw boldly marched past the fiercslooking guards with their gleaming swords and gold-embroidered d o r m s standing eucalyptus tree.. You can ask him for anything and if he. He had left home early and waited all day. I will go and beg if it pleases you. lookingat the floor. Chhotdd hung his head in shame. said diffidently. him. But in vain. He and. is in a good mood.''WkbrvaIdoMcb Jcram#& "A ~rul aN nstamorsdtoeatinb wehw basamdrerdtobQlpry. No one had entered his clinic. The King was seiatcd on his . Q "Go to the King."ThQn*brvat~ tam and slPmaned the door. he may grant your request!' So Chhotulal set off for the palace.paisa. o" Nan& dried her tears and gave a glimmer of a .

Turning to her husband. ft was a @st overgrown with weeds and bushes with cnsmmus stows mattered around. make it fit to plough and then sow seeds? But Nandini was never at a loss for long. she told him unquestioninglyto imitate her actions. " h y f h g . "Sa4 bow kmd the rwpeet. H b s given me Ehe e N d i n i twe hcr hair i do? A h her t e m p hpd they set off together to see the land.%ur-Majesty." b he aid. "Give this mcm Ehe iitr plot of laad that nobody elw was&.So he repeated. eyes glued to the ground. and asked Nan@ ''What are you I& anything?" Ihrslortlw&@iadbIrl *lrPrdnltoklO@ quJollirb andatlutNmuhitodrBirrillmdnLLlrrJ. Chhotulal followed suit. Then bending down. They both walked slowly." The King turned to his m n s e . How would they ever dear tlre land. she peered carefully at the land and began to examine it. Nmdini's heart sank. A gang of thieves oklrme and his wife's i n t a t search."Iw@l . up and down the land. backs bent.

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But the . "My story of three chests f of gold must have foolmi those a men.C~ Id~surpPioedtosoeha~y~~ha~. Just before his death he told me that he had buried. NancW clapped her hands with glee. the swore not to tell anyone hbtwhl a d hk wife NPa&iniamik$~anlBrrncadall~wryW. Thqr were now wealthy with plenty to eat. But please. Trying to find the gold. We am trying to %d chests. manured and watmed the land and a few months later reaped a plentiful harvest. My grandfather died yesterday. ChhoWW and Nadini r@u& to thck plot. The W d had been ceded out and thc s t o m d ~ . three chests full of gold coins in this fieM. they have done all our hard work for us. a large comIwtaMR house to live in md enough gold nccldaces and bcDutiful to k &&ni m a h y s smiling. o l d away. Now all we have to do is buy wheat and maize seeds and plant them.tell you a secret but you must promise not to repeat it. platpc. She and Chhotuld planted them. The next b y ." So Nadini went to the baniya and borrowed money to buy weds. The nimble.

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" Nandini replied. Our savings are quite safe.'' Then Nandini blew out the oil lamp and went to sleep. . Then convinced that they were both asleep.nds cdoua qrr rr broken piars of glass which # that piercad their fingers. The robber-chief smiled to himself from behind the curtain. Then she instructed her husband in a whisper to call her in five minutes and ask in a loud voice where she had put all their savings.broken glass and rusty nails and on top put a layer of bury?. the robbers vgwed rcveys once agpin. seeing the pot of burf. cut their hands a d n y o the bur$ which they f Hands bleeding and wen had flung on the ground and dia was now muddy and umdibk. They threw toget$ttbemonyd at the bottom. picked it up quickly and silently left the h o w . But all that their b. "YOU know I am clever and prudent. A few minutes later. C 1 came to the bedroom and asked loudly. he crept into the dinning-room and. nd holding out the pot told them it coataine la1 and Nandini's savings under the layer of bwj& The thieves immediately pounced rll the brvfi in their impatience on thc pot. At last he wwld get his own back on Nandini! He waited twenty minutes till Chhotulal was snoring soundly and Nandini breathing evenly and deeply. I hove hidden them4n a pot and covered them with a layer of burifi. No one will ever tind my secret hiding-place. " h r Wee u put all our savings? I hope you have kept thein away safely?" "You don't have to worry.

Sgvialw. Two nights later. To prove his point.ad-Wkam. as dusk was falling. Nandini heard a of the robberchief noise outside.Tkcd.aavcr. The robberchief insisted that he must have bumped into a sharp stone in the dark. N d i n i dreamt that she was riding ." I r i t S u &msaotPcar#usma iru~tothekftehmanelpidrsdupasharp . ths*. vowed t h t b woutd BO4 a t another morsaltillbeh8d~hirmvsrrp. Swift as a striking snake.arliai to s b p in tbt g d c n unda tbt li&t of tbe raooa with t8e twialrbng stars w aanptnions.cool braare. Chbotuhl and N. Thkn the i robber hek&g hit b w i * now m d jusipiru up and d m pain. Ne soma hPd his face a@ ia the open widow than Nandiai struck anol cut off h nose.yrwtrs hot and dry but in thc eva&a thwe ww a t b l ~ . ptantodbbiaollabyas her bafroo~~ window . A face peered in through the window. She $ha aPlarbhud their ss4 tipto* w. Nandini cut off the protruding nose. %on she heard a rustling among the h v e s of the ivy pdaot that grew on the walls of the cottage.A week later. The head w s immediately withdrawn.lurWclkrisbouG chb&&ddLr. the robberchief decided to h b tlmqgh the window himself. a The robber jumped down and showed his bleeding nose to the chief. kshe went a d s h d b&nd the window.

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ShecowndIrrfbrwicah. Then Nandini.a camel. "This time I a reslly m caught. Chhotulel was on a m e t ahead of her and there ridkg a amel st all. stealthily got off her bed and climbed up the b a a y ~ ~ tw. Let us take a short rest and sleep a little and then we can continue on our way. Tkns&rtuWfhpphgher arms. they all dozed off. Nandini sot corn oa a branch urd down at the r e k b m . orlren w m march& "Oh heavw!" thought Nandini. her b d was fow t h h e s and tln." Just then one of the thieves said. Leaning against the large tree-trunk. sluialri~ oad strange soha. mw & . Fortunately the b n y m ba& hPs hrge Isrw and its bronche5 g v w to fonn a !&&I. Soon a bdbnt wcly to esap struck btr. I cannot expect much mercy from them. I wonder where they are planning to take me and what they will do to me. bundling up her bedsheet to look like a sleepim person. brwLi(eai#lrr." Everyone agreed and coming across a banyan tree. they put the bed dawn. "This woman is very heavy and my shoulders are aching. h fact.rW8bwldhihnrhndr urCII.

SBt picked ad. Printed at Tarang Printers. set Off f r Beu home. they ran es fast as their f k t w a Nandiai could barely control her liwghtcr. T1p(a re* swage Msck-fecad mons&ir w E wkib ih " This is 5umb the Meof that i anlry baorw we haw &st And scrambling up.The robbers awoke and looked around in tenor. Delhi-110092 . din&! hp&. o knowing that she had seen the last of the thieves. A &obtly s r a rent the silent n cem air.