The Real Father

The Real Father :

A long time ago, there lived a poor Brahmin called Aditya in Haridwar. He had a young daughter. The daughter’s name was Radha. Since Aditya was a poor man he had not been able to marry off his daughter. One night when Radha was asleep in her room, she woke up to the sound of some one closing the door.

“Who is there,” she asked.

A man’s voice said, “I am a harmless man who has just escaped from the king’s soldiers. I had just robbed a wicked merhant’s house because he owed me some money and would not pay me. The king soldiers saw me getting away and chased me. I just managed to escape.”

Radha believed the man. Soon they heard the king’s soldiers knocking at the door. Radha hid the young man and sent them away.

Later when she lit a lamp to look at him, she saw that he was a handsome young man. They both fell in love and the next day got married in the temple. The young man whose name was Gopal gave Aditya all the money he had stolen from the merchant. Soon the family was no longer poor. In a few months, Radha was pregnant with his child. Gopal decided to go out of town for a few days to tend his business. But he never returned. When Radha’s father made enquiries he was told that he was captured by the king’s soldiers and put to death.

Luckily for Radha, another young man married her and her son had a father. The little boy was called Harish. When Harish was ten years old his mother Radha died. Dinesh who was really his step-father brought him up well and the boy grew up not realising that Dinesh was his step father. When Harish was a young man, Dinesh also died. After a year at the appointed time, Harish went to the banks of the Ganges to pay homage to the departed souls of his father and mother. But imagine his surprise when three hands reached out of the water to accept the food that he offered.

Harish was surprised to notice that two hands were that of men and one of a woman. He asked the feminine hand “Who are you?”

A voice replied, “It’s me your mother.”

Harish recognized his mother’s voice.

Then he asked one of the masculine hands, “Who are you?”

The voice of Gopal said, “It is your father.”

Puzzled, he asked the other hand, “Who are you?”

The voice of Dinesh said, “It is your father.”

Harish recognized his voice. Then he asked for an explanation and the voices told him the whole story.”

Here Betal stopped and asked King Vikram, “Now tell me O King Vikram, who Harish should pay homage to?”

King Vikram said, “Gopal was only responsible for Harish’s birth into this world. But it was Dinesh who really gave him love and brought him up so well. So it was really Dinesh who was his father in the truest sense.”

Betal said, “Well answered again O King Vikram. But you failed to maintain silence. So I have to leave you again.”

Betal slid off his shoulders and made off for the banyan tree with King Vikram following him resolutely.

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