Outstanding Story (Senior) - Clever Tenali Raman
“Clever Tenali Raman” is one of the outstanding stories of the second biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 written by Nagulavaram Sri Sai Raghava Mahitha, India.
Clever Tenali Raman
Once upon a time there was a man named Sri Krishna Deva Raya who was the king of Vijayanagar. He had a jester named Tenali Raman. He was very clever. He was very excited to solve problems. One day, while the king was cutting fruits, unfortunately he got hurt. Then Tenali Raman said, “Whatever that happens to us, is for our own good”. By listening to this the king got very angry. He asked Tenali Raman, “I got hurt while cutting. But it is not a good thing. But you said that whatever happens to us is for our own good. This is not correct”. He got very angry. So, he kept Tenali in the jail. One day, the king and his soldiers went for hunting into the forest. There some forest men came and took the king for offering him to their goddess. While they were going to kill him, suddenly they found the wounded finger. They have a rule that they would not kill anyone who had got hurt. So, they released the king. After coming to his kingdom, the king came to Tenali Raman said, “Tenali you are a wise man. What you said is correct.” And he told Tenali whatever happened in the forest. Tenali Raman laughed and then the king asked Tenali Raman, you are correct but what makes it good, that I kept you in jail. Then Tenali Raman said, Your Majesty, “If you had not kept me in jail, I would have came with you to the forest. You got hurt, so they lived you. But I did not get hurt. So, they may have killed me. So, keeping me in jail is a good thing for me and it saved my life”. By listening to this, the king realized his mistake and said, “Tenali Raman, once again you proved that you are very clever”. And the king Krishna Deva Raya gave him a gift. All the people clapped for Tenali Raman.
Moral: Whatever happens to us, is for our own good”.
Again one day, the king called Tenali Raman and said “To again prove that you are clever, I will give you one task. You should solve it. If you solve it, I will give you a bag of Gold Coins”. Then Tenali said, “O.K Your Majesty. What is that task?” Then the king said, “You should find 5 people who are fools. I will give you 1 week time”. Tenali accepted the challenge.
After 1 week, he came to the meeting hall. All were eagerly waiting to listen to what Tenali says. The king asked, “What Raman? Did you finish the task?” Then Raman said, “Yes Your Majesty”. The king asked, “Where are the 5 people?” Raman said, “These are the members who are found as fools. But the king asked that there are only 2 members here, where are the other 3 members?” Tenali said, “King, I will explain”. And he started explaining. First he showed a person and said “Your Majesty, he was the fifth fool whom I found, because on his house rooftop, some grass had grown. He took his horse and pulled it to the top of the house to feed it with grass”. By hearing this, all the people laughed along with the king. Next he showed another person and said he is the fourth fool because he was going on a bullock cart, he thought that the bags which were in the cart were very heavy for the bullocks so he kept that bags on his head. So, he is the fourth fool. Then the king asked who the third fool was? He said, “I am the third fool because, I have so many important works, but I did not care about that. Instead of doing that, I was doing a foolish thing that is, searching for fools. And the second fool is you the king because, you have so many works in the kingdom but instead of that you are finding fools. So, you are the second fool. The king and all the people laughed. Then, the king asked who the first fool is? All were eagerly waiting. Then, Tenali Raman said, “The one who is hearing this story is the first fool”. For his cleverness the king gave him a bag of Gold Coins.
Moral: “Do your work first, don’t care for any other foolish works”.