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Tenaalee Raam's Story No 2

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2- Tenaalee Raam and Eggplant

As this story goes, King Krishnadeva Raaya had some eggplant plants of excellent quality growing in his private garden and no one was allowed to even look at them, let alone eat the fruit. One day, he invited his courtiers to a feast where a dish cooked with this special eggplant was served. Tenaalee Raam liked it so much that he couldn’t stop describing it to his wife when he got home.

That tempted his wife and she wanted a taste of this special vegetable at any cost. Tenaalee Raam knew that being caught stealing even one eggplant from the King’s garden could mean a death sentence, but he couldn’t refuse his wife. So one night, without anyone’s knowledge, he managed to steal a couple of eggplants which his wife cooked and fell in love with it.

Now she wanted their six year old son to also share the experience. Tenaalee Raam was now in a fix. He couldn’t steal again without being discovered, and even if he did, a six year old couldn’t be trusted to keep a secret.

So after much thought, Tenaalee Raam went out and managed to steal a couple of eggplants/ brinjal, once again, from the King’s garden without anyone discovering him stealing. His wife cooked it and their son also got to enjoy the vegetable for dinner.

Later at night, Tenaalee Raam took a bucketful of water and went up to the roof where his son was sleeping. He poured the water on the sleeping child and then picked him up and took him inside telling him it was raining outside. He then changed the boy's wet clothes into dry clothes and put him to bed.

The next day, the theft was discovered because the royal gardener had started counting the number of eggplants (fruit and flower) and found that some of the eggplants were missing. The King declared a huge prize for whoever caught the thief.

One of the King’s ministers suspected that only someone as clever as Tenaalee Raam could manage a theft of this sort.
So both the King and his minister knew that they would not be able to trick Tenaalee Raam into confessing without proof so they decided to question his son. The boy was brought to court and asked what he had eaten the previous night. The boy replied, “I had eggplant and it was the tastiest vegetable I have ever eaten.”

The minister turned to Tenaalee Raam and asked him to confess to the theft since his son had disclosed the truth. Tenaalee Raam however refused to accept the theft, asking how they could go by a six year old boy’s statement. He explained that his son was prone to fanciful dreams at night, had a tendency to make up stories and probably dreamt that he ate eggplant for dinner. He then asked the King to ask the boy if he thought it had rained the previous night.

So the boy was asked the question and he promptly replied saying that it had rained the previous night and that he had got drenched and had to change his wet clothes into dry clothes. Since everyone knew it rarely rained in summer and it had definitely not rained in Vijayanagar the previous night, the King and his minister had no choice but to let the boy go and apologize to Tenaalee Raam for suspecting him of the eggplant theft.

The End



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/2001
Modified on 04/01/14