Severed Nose

This time Vikram got very angry with him. He again came after him, caught him, put him on his shoulder and started walking. Vikram said angrily – “You deceive me, Vaitaal? I will cut your head. Why do you run all the time?”

Vaitaal first didn’t say anything, but after a while he said – “Why are you so angry?” Vikram said – “Why do you run away?” I run because of your correct answer. What was our condition? Do you remember? That you will not speak at all.” Vikram said – “But when you talk about justice, then I have to speak. You know that it is my nature.” Vaitaal said – “Then running away is my nature.” and he laughed heartily. “OK Listen now, I tell you a story just to pass time.” Vaitaal started his story and Vikram listened quietly.

Vaitaal said – “This time the story is very strange, and you have to tell me the correct judgment, otherwise your head will split and scattered away in pieces, you know that. This is my Shaap to you ” Vikram nodded silently.

Vaitaal started – “Once upon a time, there lived a rich man in Avanteepur. His name was Gunvant. He was very religious. His wife was very beautiful but was very wicked. She gave birth to a daughter who was from some other man, and that is why she was more beautiful. After some time she grew up and became like her mother. Her name was Ratnaavatee. Her father started looking a boy for her, but in the meantime, she had illegal relations with her servant. Hearing this Gunvant sacked his servant. He went away and started living at another place.

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But Ratnaavatee still continued to see him. She used to go in night and come back in night. Only her mother knew about this affair. In the meantime Gunvant had searched a good match for her and married her to him. Thus she went to live with her husband, but she could not break her relationship with her servant. She took her maid in confidence and continued to visit him in the night. The maid helped her brother also to meet Ratnaavatee.

After a while her husband came to know about this, he sacked the maid. Now it had been difficult for Ratnaavatee to meet her lover, but one night she got this chance. She went there and told him the story. He advised her that she should wait for sometime, and when the situation is better, she might come again. Her husband knew everything, so he managed to give that servant poison. He took the poison mixed with food and slept. In sleep, he died. On the same night, Ratnaavatee went to meet him.

On the way a thief saw an ornament-laden woman going in dark, so he followed her. When she had entered in the servant’s house, he watched her from hiding. Now, under whichever tree the thief was standing, a Vaitaal lived on that tree. He also saw Ratnaavatee going inside the house and fell in love with her instantly. He thought why shouldn’t he enter the servant’s body and enjoy with Ratnaavatee. So he entered the dead body of the servant.

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Ratnaavatee had come to him. She met with her lover. In excitement he bit her nose with his teeth. After biting her, Vaitaal went out of the servant’s body, but the piece of her nose still remained in his dead body’s mouth.

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Ratnaavatee cried with pain. Besides she saw her lover dead. Seeing her lover dead, Ratnaavatee got confused and ran away from there. The thief was also watching, he also got frightened. He didn’t leave Ratnaavatee, he still followed her. Ratnaavatee came back to her own house and started crying in front of her husband’s room. Her husband got up, his other family members also got up. She said that her husband had bit her nose. Ratnaavatee’s husband was giving explanations but nobody was listening to him.

The matter went to king’s soldiers. Ratnaavatee and her husband were presented in king’s court. There she blamed her husband for her bitten nose. The king got angry and ordered to hang her husband. When the thief heard this, he went to the king and told him everything and said – “If you will see the dead body’s mouth, you will find the piece of her bitten nose in his mouth.” The king sent his people there, and indeed they found the piece in his mouth. The king released Ratnaavatee’s husband, and expelled Ratnaavatee after shaving her head.

Vaitaal said – “Now you do justice, who was at fault, and who stayed on his good path?” Vikram didn’t reply. Seeing him silent, Vaitaal said to him – “OK, I tell you another story. In Indraapur named city lived a very rich religious man named Mahaadhan. He had a son whose name was Shreedhan. He was very wicked. Fed up with his wickedness, Mahaadhan had expelled him from his house so he went to Chandra Nagar.

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There lived a rich man named Hemgun whose daughter Chandramukhee was very beautiful. Hemgun was in the process of searching a good boy for her, and Shreedhan was in search of money.

One day he disguised as a poor and went to Hemgun and told that he was robbed by robbers while he was going for trading. Now he doesn’t have a single penny. The rich man pitied him and let him stay in his palace. Hemgun told everything to his wife. His wife thought why not they should marry their daughter to him. She told this to her husband, the man liked the proposal and he talked to Shreedhan.

Shreedhan got very surprised to hear this, because he came here only for some money while that man wanted to marry his daughter to him. He immediately got ready to marry her. So they were married and he started enjoying life with his wife. Hemgun had given him lots of dowry. After some time, Candramukhee asked him – “Will you not go home?” Shreedhan said – “Yes, I will go. In fact I just forgot everything in your love.”

Shreedhan started for his home. At the time of going from there, he got more wealth. He was not a good man, so as he was passing through a lonely forest, he threw Chandramukhee in a well, and went away with all the wealth. Now Shreedhan came to another kingdom. There he started gambling with that money.

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Chandramukee got stunned to see the behavior of Shreedhan. Luckily the well was dry. As she fell down her head got hurt and she became unconscious. When she gained consciousness, she started crying. A traveler was passing by, he heard a woman’s cry, but couldn’t see anybody around. Then he peeped in the well and took her out of the well.

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Chandramukhee introduced herself to him and told him that she was going with her husband that some thieved surrounded them. They took her husband away and threw her in this well. The traveler was very kind, he took her to her father’s house. She told the same story to her family also what she told to that traveler. Chandramukhee just started passing her time there, and Shreedhan was enjoying his money.

One day came when he had nothing nothing in his pocket, so he started begging. He came to Hemgun’s city. Although he did not want to go to Hemgun but still he tried to find out about him and his family. He was surprised to know that Chandramukhee was still alive. He got scared. Later he came to know that thieves took away Chandramukhee’s husband, threw her in a well and some kind traveler brought her here. He got very surprised at his wife’s behavior.

Vikram, Now you see Shreedhan’s drama. He was already poor, he entered Hemgun’s house. In spite of his bad condition, Hemgun recognized him. He was very surprised to see him. Shreedhan told him that somehow he was coming escaping from thieves after four days of crossing the forest.

Hemgun let him stay with respect for some time, and then later bade farewell. e again gave lots of money to him. This time also he behaved in the same way. This time he didn’t throw Chandramukhee in well, but he killed her and went away with all the wealth.”

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Now you tell, that in these two stories, who is more respectable? The just king of the first story or Hemgun of the second story? One did justice and the other one trusted his son-in-law every time.”

Vikram said – “These are not important in any way. In the first story, I consider the thief honest and great, because if he didn’t tell about the incident, then that innocent man would have been hanged; while in the second story, Chandramukhee is like Seetaa or Saavitree. She accepted to die by her husband but didn’t say a word against him. That is why these both are respectable.”

As the king spoke, Vaitaal laughed heartily and suddenly he disappeared from
the king’s shoulder and hung upside down from the same tree. The king
Vikramaaditya again got very angry at this. He took out his sword and caught
him before he could reach the tree. Vikram said – “You again ran away?” “No,
I didn’t. I am still walking with you.” and he again sat on his shoulder. Vikram
started his journey again.

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