A Robber for A Noble Cause :
“You can’t escape!” said Vikram. “Okay, but listen to this story,” the betal added.
Aditya was an upright man. He was a minister to king called Siddharth. Though Aditya was holding a high position in the king’s court, he was rather simple. At the same time he was very intelligent, compared to all other ministers. He always advised the King on matters relating to good governance and justification. The king rated him very high.
Aditya was still unmarried. He was in his late 20s. One day, he happened to see a pretty girl. He wanted to marry her. He learned that her name was Preethi. But, he never expressed his desire to her.
Preethi too saw him on number of occasions. To her, he seemed a decent and nice person. But, she too never expressed her wishes nor did she give him a hint about it. This went on for several months.
She expected him to approach her. But, Aditya felt shy to speak to her. “Supposing she turned me down, she might go and tell everybody and that would certainly dent my hard earned reputation as an important minister!” he thought. And according to him, he was right.
But the basic instinct of a girl prevented Preethi to speak to him. Meanwhile, her father had negotiated and finalized her marriage with another person - a bit older man aged over 40 years!
Preethi had no other alternative, but to agree to that proposal. One month later, she was engaged to that man. On hearing it, Aditya was disappointed! He decided not to marry any other girl in his life!
On a few occasions, Aditya and Preethi saw each other in the streets. But it was Aditya who shifted his glance away! One day Preethi casually enquired her uncle who worked as a treasurer in the king’s court.
“Why uncle, your minister, the tall, young and handsome person, I mean Aditya, not getting married yet?”
“I asked him about it. He said frankly that he liked a girl and wanted to marry her. But when she was engaged to another fellow, he got dejected. Since then he had made up his mind not to marry any other girl in his life time!” replied her uncle.
She felt sorry for him. Meanwhile, her wedding day approached. She sent a letter to him saying that she would meet him after her wedding. That evening, still wearing the marriage dresses and jewels, she set off to see Aditya.
Then things began happening so fast! On the way, a robber stopped her. He demanded her jewels. Preethi told all about herself. “I am going to meet him to console him. Please allow me to go. I will hand over all my jewels when I come back!” The robber allowed her to proceed.
It was shocking to Aditya to see her. “This is not correct,” he advised, “Now you are a respectably married woman. I should not entertain another person’s wife. Please go away!” he went in and shut the door!
Preethi became dejected too! She returned to her husband’s home. The robber who was waiting saw her sadness veiling face. On learning what had happened, he felt sorry for her. “Here, take the jewels! She took off her bangles, first.
“No, I don’t want anything from you. I am sorry to hear your plight. Let me accompany you up to home'.’ he escorted her and left.
At home, another shock awaited Preethi! Her husband turned her down. “I cannot take you back. No husband will tolerate his wife visiting her former lover. So, please go away!” he too shut the door!
Preethi’s situation became worse! After some time, she threw herself in the lake and ended her life!
The betal said, “That’s all, Vikram…. Now tell me the answer. All the four people in this story were dignified. But who is more dignified and noble?”
It is the robber who is the noblest. Though robbing was his profession, he was moved by Preeti’s sad story and did not ask the jewels. Moreover, he escorted her to home. That makes him above human,” replied king Vikram.
“Good, so let us also be dignified now. Because you have spoken up, it is time for me to go back, as per our agreement!” the betal laughed, as it jerked free and winged its way back to the Peepul tree!
A Robber for A Noble Cause
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