The Right Bride :
Vikram fetched the betal. It went on to tell a story.
King Gurucharan was a happy person. He had all that a king would wish for. A prosperous kingdom, noble subjects, brave soldiers, caring wife (queen), faithful servants, devoid of disease and sickness in the country, excellent revenue, total integration amongst his people and all were there. This was the condition despite the difference in religion and caste.
Above all he had a young, handsome and well taught courageous son called Yeshwanth to ascend the throne after his time. So, the king did live in peace.
One day, the king visited the neighboring country. He saw the king’s daughter over there. The princess was gorgeous. He wished that Yeshwanth married that girl. So, he called his son and said, “I have found a suitable match for you. She is the princess of the neighboring country.
“The princess is extremely beautiful. She will make a good match for you. However, before I finalize your marriage with her, I want to know if she is in love with anybody. Come to think of it. How will you find that out?” he asked Yeshwanth.
The wise prince said, “Let me wear a disguise and go there and stay in an inn and watch her movements, besides casually probing about her with the others. For this purpose, I will disguise as a merchant, father!”
“Very good, son. I will make all arrangements for you. And I will send two of the guards too with you as your assistants!”
“That won’t be necessary, father. I can manage!”
If so, get ready. Go tomorrow morning,” patted the king. The next day Yeshwanth set off. By the time he reached the neighboring country, he was soaked in the rain. However, he stayed there in an inn.
But things did not work well for him. He developed high temperature. It was because he had got soaked in the rain. For two full days, he remained in the bed. Here was no servant. But the inn keeper’s daughter took pity on him and helped him.
Her name was Sowmya. She was the only daughter of the inn keeper. Yeshwanth under the disguise of a merchant could not even communicate to his father. Because he knew, if he wrote a letter to his father and send it through someone else, it might raise the suspicion of the men over there….Who he was and how could he write to a king and so on. So, he did not take chances.
Meanwhile, Yeshwanth was looked after by Sowmya and was recovering. One day, he casually enquired about the princess there. “You mean, Divya, the princess here? She is fine. She and I are friends. She is a beautiful girl!” Sowmya praised openly.
“Is it? But is she in love with anybody?”
“Not as far as I know. Anyways, are you interested in her?” asked Sowmya. Yeshwanth spoke as if he was hurt. What is the use of me showing interest in her? She is the princess. I am like a nomad. I just asked if she has any male friends and that if she was in love.” Yeshwanth sounded casual.
Sowmya was no fool. Though Yeshwanth was wearing in the disguise of a merchant, she knew who he was. She had seen the ring in his right hand - a ring only royal people wore! But she did not show any sign of knowing who he was.
“Don’t worry. I will ask the princess tomorrow about it at the temple,” assured Sowmya. The next day she met the princess and asked her about it. “Nobody,” replied the princess. Back at the inn, she told Yeshwanth that the princess did not intend to marry any particular man.
The betal grunted. “Now is the question time, Vikram. Tell me, of these two girls, I mean, the princess Divya and Sowmya, who Yeshwanth chose to marry and why?”
Prince Yeshwanth chose to marry Sowmya, the innkeeper’s daughter. And the reason was that she could have lied him that the princess was in love with someone and gained his love. But she did not do that. Instead, she spoke the truth. That shows her honesty. Hence, Yeshwanth opted for Sowmya, because he found that she was the right bride for him,” answered Vikram.
“Since you spoke up and gave the right answer, I now opt for my home back to the Peepul tree!” the betal freed itself and disappeared from his sight.
“Wherever you go, I will follow you like your shadow!” muttered Vikram, going back to the Peepul tree.
The Right Bride
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