Fickle Minds and Fatal Choices: Vikram and Betaal story 07

Vikram and Betaal story- The next story Betaal told Vikramaditya, was about a beautiful daughter of a merchant. The city of Chitrakoot was ruled by a king called Ugrasen. He had a parrot. It was a very wise bird. Thus, the king always kept his parrot close to him and took all its pieces of advice seriously. One day the king asked, “Sweet friend, tell me, who do you think would make a suitable bride for me?”

The parrot answered, “The princess of Vaishali would best suit you as a bride. Her name is Madhabi and she is one of the most beautiful maidens of her land.” Without any delay, the king sent a proposal to Madhabi’s father, the King of Vaishali and it was accepted. The feast continued for days and the newly-wed king and queen lived happily in their palace.

Princess Madhabi too had a bird. She was called Maina. When Maina came to Chitrakoot, she found a friend in the parrot. One day, Maina told a story to the parrot about a strange woman.

It was the story of this beautiful daughter of a merchant. Once upon a time, there lived a rich merchant. He had a daughter. Her name was Chanchala. Though Chanchala was beautiful and intelligent, she was also very fickle-minded.

Her father tried his best to change her habit but he failed. Disappointed he decided to get her married and sent her away. A handsome groom was chosen for her and she left her home to live with her husband. Her husband, who was a merchant, often had to go on business trips. So he was away from his home most of the time.

One day, her father sent a messenger, to find out how his daughter was doing in her new home. When the messenger arrived, Chanchala’s husband was not at home. Chanchala welcomed the messenger messenger and served him food and wine. She had fallen in love with the man. The messenger too seemed to like her very much. They began to have an affair. As days passed, the messenger grew jealous of her husband.

He wanted to live with her. Chanchala feared that all hell would break loose if her husband found out about the affair. She thought of a plan. Chanchala bought some poison and mixed it with some fruit juice. She then gave the fruit juice to her lover. Not suspecting her, he drank the juice and soon died of the poison. Clever Chanchala dragged the body to a dark corner and hid it there.

When her husband returned, he did not notice the body in the house. When they were having dinner, she began to scream, “Help help! Murder murder!” The neighbours dashed into their house and found the dead messenger.

They informed the guards who captured the husband and produced him before the king. The murderer in that kingdom was punishable by the death penalty. When they were dragging him to the gallows, a thief approached the king and bowed. “I am a humble thief, Your Majesty. On the night of the murder, I was hiding inside the house waiting for an opportunity to steal things.

I saw that not this man, but his wife mixed poison in fruit juice and gave it to the messenger who died because of it. I beg you to please release this man as he is innocent.” The king released the husband and put Chanchala to death instead.

Betaal paused. “Tell me, who do you think was responsible for the misfortune?” Vikramaditya answered, “Chanchala’s father, the merchant was the only one responsible for the misfortune. Had he told Chanchala’s husband of his daughter’s bad habit, he would have been more cautious and would have never left his wife alone.”

Betaal was smiling. The king had been right. He said, “Here I go again!” and he flew back to the Peepal tree.

Read The Previous Vikram and Betaal story Click Here

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