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Vaitaal Stories-2

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2-Relative Villany of Men and Women-3

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Vikram and Vaitaal Stories-2 - Story 2-3 (Keral Version)
"Captain Sir Richard R Burton's Vikram and the Vampire: classic Hindu tales of adventure, magic and romance" / edited by his wife Isabel Burton. [etext Conversion Project, Nalanda Digital Library, NIT Calicut, Kerala State, India]

2-Relative Villany of Men and Women-3

Story of Ratnaavatee - Told by the Parrot
The parrot started - "It is when I was quite young, even before I went to school, I was caught in Malaya country and was sold to a rich merchant, named Saagardatee, who was a widower and had one daughter Jayashree. Since her father used to spent much of his time in counting his money she spent her time more freely then it was required. 

Men commit two major mistakes - over vigilance and under vigilance. Some parents never lose sight of their daughters. And however vigilant they are, their daughters fool them. While some never look at them what they are doing. They allow them to sit in idleness, which is the root of all evils; permit them to talk with wicked; and give them liberty which breeds opportunities to do wicked actions. What they should do that they should study their children and improve their behavior accordingly."

Vikram said - "Don't tell me all these things, if you have to tell any story, tell one." Vaitaal continued - "OK, After that the parrot advised Raajaa Raam a ton of advice how to bring up daughters. To continue to the story of Jayashree, she was neither very beautiful, nor ugly. Seetaa was very beautiful, that is why she was carried away by a demon. Raajaa Bali was very generous, he emptied his treasury. In this way exaggeration of anything is bad. But as a rule, a beautiful woman is more virtuous than an ugly one. The former is often tempted, while the ugly one must tempt instead of being tempted and she must yield; because her vanity and conceit are gratified by yielding, not by resisting.

As ugly women are more vicious than beautiful women, that is why they are more successful. We love the pretty, we adore the plain. And why do we adore the plain? Because they think to think less about themselves than us - a vital condition of adoration.

Jayashree made some conquests by her good looks and some by her father's reputation. She was truly shameless, because she always at least half a dozen admirers around her. When Jayashree reached at the age of 13, the son of a merchant, her father's neighbor, returned home from far countries. His name was Shreedatt and he loved her from her childhood. He had come home as a man missing all the period in between.

He could not see that her idol was changed in her form. She now adored all swordsmen who fought on horses and elephants. Having her father's permission he proposed for the marriage. But she had decided that no suitor should come to her through her father. She refused to marry him and told that he was good as a friend but not as a husband.

There are three types of feelings which women regard in their masters - love, hate and indifference. Of all, love is the weakest and the most transient; because the essentially unstable creatures naturally fall out of it as readily as they fall into it. Hate, being a sister excitement, will easily become, if a man has wit enough to effect the change love; and hate-love may perhaps last longer than love-love. The neutral state is a state of despair. For a man versed in Leelaa Shaastra, can convert a woman's indifference into hate, which is as easily permuted to love.

Vaitaal asked Vikram - "Which of these birds had a deeper knowledge of human nature." The trap was set openly. He called his son, not answering Vaitaal. Vaitaal continued his story, where he left it - "Shreedatt got very disappointed hearing the decision of his beloved. He thought to commit suicide by drowning or jumping from Mount Girnaar or becoming a religious beggar.

Later when he had calmed down, he thought that patience is a virtue. He resolved impatiently enough to practice it. And he succeeded. How fools are men to make wish, and how wise are gods who are deaf to their wish. At last Jayashree was married to Shreedatt after six months of his return. He considered himself the luckiest person on the earth and offered sacrifice to deity for granting his wish. He truly loved her very much."

Vaitaal said - "I have given you the bird's and the parrot's definitions of the tender passion; but I don't accept anyone of them. Love, according to me, is somewhat akin to mania, a temporary condition of selfishness, a transient confusion of identity. It enables man to predicate others, who are his other selves, that which he is ashamed to say about his real self. I suppose the beloved object to be ugly stupid, vicious, perverse, selfish, low minded, or the reverse; man finds it charming by the same rule that makes his fault dearer to him than all the virtues and good qualities of his neighbors. You call love a spell, an alchemy, a deity? Why? Because it deifies self by gratifying all man's pride, man's vanity and man's conceit."

Vaitaal again started his story - "Jayashree immediately developed a dislike for her husband and a fierce affection towards a man who was indifferent to her. The more Shreedatt loved her, the more she behaved rudely with him. He brought many dresses and jewelry for her to wear but she called him a fool. She used to stay away from the house. At last one day she decided to go away with her lover. One day when she thought that her husband was asleep, she got up quietly and set off to her lover's house.

A man saw her going like this, so he just followed her. When she reached her lover's house she found her lover lying near the door dead. He was stabbed by that man who was following her. She thought he was drunk as usual, so she lifted his head and caressed him with great care. A Pishaach lived on a nearby fig tree, he thought that he has got a good opportunity to amuse himself, so he immediately jumped from the tree and entered the body of that man and started to respond Jayashree. As she bent down to kiss him, he bit her nose and went off from the body. The body was dead again. She was surprised to see all this.

She arose from there and walked straight to her husband's home. There she started crying violently. Family members, even neighbors came there to know what had happened to her. They saw that Jayashree was crying, her nose was bleeding and her husband was trying to console her. People started to abuse him. Shreedatt had also guessed the trick played upon him. He thought, "One should have no confidence in a changing mind, a black serpent, an armed enemy and one should dread a woman's doings. What a poet cannot describe, what a Yogee cannot know, what nonsense a drunken man will not talk, what limit is there which a woman cannot cross? True it is that even gods cannot know about the defects of a horse, of the thundering of the clouds, of a woman's deeds, of a man's future fortunes. How then can we know?" He just wept and sworn that he had not committed any crime.

In the meantime Jayashree's father reported the incident to the king and the king summoned both husband and  wife. When the judge asked Jayashree, she said showing him her severed nose - "You can see yourself, Sir." and when he asked Shreedatt, he said - "I know nothing." Still the king was going to punish him, that the man who followed Jayashree, was watching all this drama and the punishment to an innocent man. He immediately came forward and said - "Mahaaraaj, I am a thief and this man is innocent." Then he told the whole story omitting the murder. King's people went there and found the bitten nose in the dead man's mouth. Shreedatt was freed, Jayshree's head and eyebrows were shaved, and her face was smeared with oily soot. She was taken around the city riding on an ass. The thief and Shreedatt were dismissed."

Parrot further said - "O King, Wet cloth puts out the fire, and bad food destroys the strength, a bad son ruins the family, and a friend in wrath takes away the life. But whatever a woman does in grief of love or hate makes one sick. And again the beauty of the nightingale is its song, science is the beauty of an ugly man, forgiveness is the beauty of a devotee and virtue is the beauty of a woman - but where will we find it? Again, among the sages Naarad, among the beasts jackal, among the men barber, and in this world the woman is more crafty.

What I have told you, I have seen it with my own eyes and it has made such an impression on my mind that I have decided never to marry."

Hearing this Dharmdhwaj said to his father - "I was thinking, what women will say of us if they composed verses in Sanskrit?" The king scolded him - "Then keep your mouth shut. You always take the path of wickedness." 

Vaitaal continued his tale - "Madanmanjaree the bird, and Choodaamani the parrot told this what they believed. Chandravatee said to the parrot that he should be ashamed to abuse female parrots because his mother was among them. Raajaa Raam had not forgotten the rule, "masculine is more worthy than feminine." Madanmanjaree burst into tears that her life was not worth living. Being just married how the king and his wife could decide this about the relative wickedness of men and women? O King, If you had been there, maybe you could decide." Dharmdhwaj wanted to say something but he was twice asked to keep his mouth shut, so he didn't speak.

Vikram said - "Women are worse than we are. A man, however bad is still retain some notion of right and wrong, while a woman does not. She has no such regard whatsoever." Vaitaal said - "The beautiful Bangaalaa Raanee for instance." Vikram got so annoyed to hear this word that he just saved himself from a fall by keeping his hand in front of him, thus dropping the bag of Vaitaal down. Vaitaal immediately ran away from the bag as fast as he could, but he could not go far that Vikram caught him before he reached his tree.

Seeing all this young Prince was afraid to accompany his father and could not join him for some minutes.

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 06/05/13