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True Reward

It was a dark night and was raining heavily and there were strange noises from every where and voice of  the moaning of jackals could be heard.

Although there was a  bad atmosphere king Vikramaditya did not fear a bit. He climbed the tree to bring the corpse down and soon he began to walk with the corpse lying on his shoulder.

The Betaal spoke: "O King , I pity you as you are making untiring efforts without relaxing as if you wish to achieve something. Instead of enjoying a comfortable sleep in your palace  you’re still coming after me”

King didn’t speak anything because any word from his mouth would keep Betaal right back on the tree.

So Betaal starts his story……….

Long long ago, Kanchannagar was being ruled by King Chandradeep . His daughter was Indumati . Being an only child, the princess was brought up like a boy, and given training in the use of arms an warfare. The princes of many of the neighbouring kingdoms cherished a desire to marry Indumati, who was, extremely beautiful.

Whenever the king broached the subject of marriage, Indumati said "Yes,  but... Whoever marries me must be strong and brave. And he must succeed in the tests that I give."

Indumati, then she listed out what kind of tests she was contemplating for her suitors. The king was horrified. "Don’t insist on any such test, They’re all hazardous. No one will come forward to undergo the tests for fear their life. Just forget about them."

Indumati said,  "Don't worry father! All those who said that they love me than their life will certainly take these tests.”

Minister said "If the princess wanted to impose the tests, let her wish be carried out"

The royal announcement about the princess wedding was made stated that the suitors would have to take certain tests. The announcement was made in all the neighbouring kingdoms.

When  young handicapped man named Kurupshana from Jayanagar heard it. His mother died soon after he was born, and his father took a second wife. His step mother kept his name  Kurupshana, which means ugly looking.  His stepmother ill-treated him much. It was seldom that he even got a full meal. She knew that the boy, with his handicap, would not be much use to her.

He decided to go to Kanchannagar. Few princes had were there Kanchannagar. They were guessing what kind of tests the princess would put them through. The time came to announce the details of the tests. The Princess Indumati came to the stage and sat next to the king.

Prime Minister got up from his seat and faced the princely suitors. "Several suitors are present here to win the hand of princess Indumati. It is her wish that they are put to certain tests and Whoever succeed in the test will qualify to wed her. You all can see the wall in front of you. You have to climb the wall and jump down into the three- tiered cage of sharp knives. The important thing is, while doing so, you must not injure yourself. There should not be a single scratch on your body from the blades of the knives."

Many princes took a good look at the high wall as well as the cage of knives. The wall looked too high for them; the cage was placed deep down below; and the space between the knives was very small. None dared even to make an attempt. As they went back to their seats.

It looked as though no suitor was willing to take the test. The king regretted that his daughter
did not accept his advice. Kurupshana was watching all this from his seat. Suddenly a thought struck him. After all, people back home,  were only wishing for his death. If he were to succeed in the test , he stood to win the hand of  princess So, he decided to try his luck. He left his seat and walked up to King Chandradeep. The king was shocked. Princess Indumati, too, was in a similar dilemma. She was expecting to be married off to a prince. Suddenly a doubt arose in her mind: would this young man be able to complete the test.  King Chandradeep waited for a moment to know his daughter’s decision, and then gave the permission to Kurupshana. Kurupshana went up the wall. He then took a good look at the cage and jumped down. He landed between the knives arrayed all around on all the three tiers. He was unscathed!  He then walked towards the king and the princess. Kurupshana  said "Huzoor ! Please don’t worry. I didn’t wish to marry the princess. I had only wanted to take a challenge and I know I’ve succeeded. That itself is a big reward of my life and I can now face life." He bowed low before the king and retreated.

The Betaal ended his story and asked  to Vikramaditya “King! Didn’t Kurupshana behave like a
foolish? If he had no intention of marrying the princess, why did he at all decide to undergo the test?” And after having succeeded in the test and qualified to wed the princess, why did
not want to marry her? “ , “If you know the answer and still decide not to satisfy me, beware, your head will be blown to pieces!”

""You are right, Kurupshana was a handicapped young man," said the Vikramaditya." He was aware of his handicap that bothered his stepmother. He really wished that she changed her opinion about him. She should not any longer feel that he was no good. Instead she should know that where people with no handicap had failed, he could, despite his handicap, come out a victor. That, for him, was the biggest reward he could aspire for. He decided to undergo the test not with the hope of marrying a princess. If he married her, he would one day be called upon to rule the kingdom. But as a ruler, he wouldn’t be able even to hold sword and could not even protect his kingdom, so it wouldn’t be wise decision for him to marry her. That’s why he gave up his claim to her hand. It was the decision of a wise person."

Betaal knew that king will definitely speak out the answer so he flew back to the ancient tree carrying the corpse along with him. Vikramaditya drew his sword and went after the Betaal.

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