Varmaalaa

As Vikramaaditya walked away from the tree, Vaitaal was silent for some distance, but then he again started speaking – “Listen now, To listen to your justice I tell you a story. It is just to pass time, listen to it and do justice.” Vaitaal started his story and Vikram started listening quietly.

Vaitaal said – “There lived a princess in Avantee Desh. Her name was Shashi. She was very beautiful. As she grew up, many proposals came for her, but the king of Avantee was unable to decide to whom to marry his daughter. After a while the princes themselves started coming to the king and ask his daughter’s hand.

One day it so happened that the king was sitting in his court, that his gatekeeper informed him that the prince of Chol Desh wanted to see him. The king called him with respect and asked the reason of his coming. He expressed his desire to marry the princess. Chol Desh was a very mighty kingdom in those times, so the king had to think about it. He said to him – “Please you stay in our special guest house, we will consult the princess and then only we can reply you. By the way what is your specialty?” The prince said – “I am a good archer. I can shoot “Shabd-Vedhee” (shooting an arrow just only listening by sound) arrow and I don’t miss my target.” And the prince was sent to the guest house.

After this another prince, prince of Vaishaalee, came with the proposal. King asked him also, “What is your specialty?” He said – “Nobody can can make a cloth like me. I alone know how to make the best silken cloth.” And he presented a very good silken cloth to the king. All courtiers got stunned to see the quality and softness of that cloth. That cloth was sent to the princess and the prince was sent to the guest house.

After this another prince came with the marriage proposal, he was from Bang Desh. His specialty was that he was very learned. He remembered all Ved, Geetaa, Puraan etc books. Anybody could ask him anything from anywhere. The king sent him too to guest house respectfully. Now came the prince of Chedi Desh. On asking his specialty, he told that he knew all the body parts and the princess will never be sick if she was married to him. He was also sent to the guest house. Thus four princes gathered in king’s palace as suitors for the princess.

Now the king said to his daughter – “Dear daughter, Four princes have come with the desire to marry you. Take this Varmaalaa and put it in the neck of the prince you like most. The princess came to the guest house with the Varmaalaa. Now tell to whom the princess should choose as her husband. If you did not reply in spite of knowing, your skull will split into pieces.” Vaitaal got silent after telling this.

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Vikram was also silent. He was walking fast and he had held Vaitaal tightly. He knew that he had to reply, he could not be silent, so he said – “Listen O Vaitaal, A man is a Braahman, or Kshatriya, or Vaishya, or Shoodra by his Karm (actions) only not by his birth. So the princess should marry the prince of Chol Desh because only he is a true Kshatriya; others are Vaishya, Braahman and Shoodra respectively. Only a Kshatriya can be the appropriate husband for a princess.”

As Vikram broke his silence, Vaitaal said laughing – “You are right Vikram, only a Kshatriya can be the appropriate husband for the princess.” and saying this he again ran away from the king’s shoulder. Although the king was attentive still he took some time to capture him. He again started walking towards the cremation ground.

After a while Vaitaal said – “You are right, a man is Braahman, or Kshatriya, or Vaishya, or Shoodra by his Karm only not by his birth, then who will be the carrier of a dead body?” “Shoodra.” And Vaitaal broke into laughter.

After a while, Vikram saw a fire burning at one side and a woman was crying.
Hearing this, Vikram stopped. Vaitaal said – “Don’t stop, keep moving. This is
a lonely forest. Ghosts and vampires play games here. Don’t even look at
that, just keep moving on.” Vikram obeyed him and kept moving.