The True Lover Of Music – Short Stories

Once upon a time there was a King who loved classical music very much. He used to invite great musicians to his court and would listen to their concerts. He then bestowed on them many valuables and sent them back with honour. Many people would attend these concerts. They would pretend to be lovers of music and would keep nodding their heads even before the musicians could start singing. Some could appreciate the music truly but the others would come to create a good impression on the king. Day by day the audience to the concerts grew.

The King would silently observe all the people from his throne. But he could not differentiate between those who truly liked music and those who only pretended to do so. He decided to test the true lover of classical music. The King arranged for a very famous musician to give a concert in the palace. Along with the open invitation to attend the concert he also sent a proclamation. The proclamation read that nobody should not their heads or joins the beats of music and no one should voice their appreciation loudly. If anybody was found doing any of the above, their heads would be chopped off.

The day of the big concert came. The King and his family took their seats. Then the other people who had come to listen to the great musician sat down. The musician bowed to the King and began to sing. His voice was so melodious and his command over the music was so much that he held his audience spellbound. Even those who were not at all interested in music felt like shaking their heads as he sang. But the fear of the King’s proclamation kept everybody silent. There was not even a murmur of appreciation. The audience sat like statues without moving.

Now among the audience was a poor man who genuinely loved music. He could not sit still any longer. The musician took a few moments respite to drink some water. Waiting for this, the poor man jumped up and said to the King. “Maharaj, I do not mind losing my head. But I cannot sit still when I hear such wonderful music by a great master. I shall give that beat with my hands and nod my head in appreciation. Let me enjoy the concert first and then you may take off my head.”

Hearing this, the king was very happy. At least one person was there who really loved music so much so that he was even willing to die. The King descended from the throne, came to the poor man and embraced him. He then led him by the hand and seated him in a place of honour just in front of the musician. The king and the poor man enjoyed the concert immensely. Later on the king rewarded him and from then onwards he was always invited to the palace to listen to the concerts.

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The Three pearls – Short Stories

Long ago there was a King called Marthanda who ruled over the Kingdom of Indrapuri. He was very clever and ruled over his people wisely. One day a Brahmin came to his court and blessed the King. The King told the Brahmin to ask him for anything he wanted. The Brahmin replied. “Your Majesty, I have to get my daughter married. But I do not have any wealth. My words are my only wealth. Think of my sayings as pearls. For each sentence pay me one thousand gold coins. I shall tell you three valuable pearls of wisdom.” The King was impressed by the Brahmin. He asked him to tell his valuable words and paid him three thousand gold coins. The King got the three sayings of the Brahmin engraved on a silver plaque and hung it in the royal bed-chamber.

That night the King looked at the words before retiring for the night. The first pearl of wisdom was “The King should at all times be alert.”The King then disguised himself and went into the town incognito. On the way he saw an old woman crying under the street lights. He asked her why she was crying.”O what can I tell you, My Lord? In seven days time, the King of this land marthanda will die bitten by a snake. I am crying because we will not get such a good king ever again,” replied the old lady. The King was surprised to hear this but he did not reveal his identity. Consoling her as he could he returned to the palace.

The next morning as soon as the King woke up, the words of the Brahmin hung above his bed, caught his eye. A King should always respect his enemies and honour them, was the second saying. The King thought that since the snake was his enemy now, it should be treated like a royal guest. So he ordered that his bed-chamber should be sprayed with perfume and plenty of fresh fruits, milk and honey should be kept in golden bowls. The passages leading to the bed-chamber was strewn with flowers. Thus making all these arrangements the king slept peacefully in the night.

On the seventh night the snake came to the bed-chamber of the King. Seeing the flowers and the fruits in the room it was very happy. It drank the milk and tasted some honey. A man who treats his enemies with such hospitality does not deserve to die, thought the snake and slid away quietly without harming the King.

Now the Minister of Indrapuri was a wicked man. He was always planning on ways to get rid of King Marthanda as he wanted to become the ruler himself. One day the King fell ill. Seizing this opportunity, the Minister coaxed the doctor to mix a little bit of poison along with the medicine the King was supposed to take.

The Minister promised to reward the doctor handsomely after he became the King. So the doctor as suggested by the Minister, mixed a bit of poison with the King’s medicine and took it to him. The King sat up to drink his medicine. He took the glass in his hand and his eye fell on the engraved words of the Brahmin. The King started thinking about those words. The doctor who had been watching the King waited anxiously. The King seemed to be hesitating about something. Fearing that he had somehow found out about the poison, the doctor fell at the King’s feet and begged his pardon and said poisoning the King was not his idea.

The King questioned him and found out all about the Minister’s plot. He pardoned the doctor and banished the Minister. Later on after he had recovered, King Marthanda sent word for the wise Brahmin and made him his Minister.

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The Prediction – Short Stories

Long ago the Kingdom of Inder was ruled by Kalyan Malfee. One day astrologer came to his court. The King asked him “Tell me, when will I die?”

The astrologer replied “My Lord, birth and death is not in our hands. You will die on the 29th of the last month of this summer. Your death will because by lightning.”

The King started to laugh. During summer, the day would be so hot, the stars would shine brightly, there would hardly be any black clouds let alone rain and lightning he thought.

“Alright, if what you have predicted happens I shall gift to you a part of my kingdom. But if nothing happens to me you shall be thrown into prison.” the King said to the astrologer. The astrologer agreed and stayed in that town as he was not allowed to leave.

As the summer was coming to an end the King’s attendants made arrangements for the safety. They took him a cave in a mountain. Except for five strong men the others went to their homes and stayed inside. All wondered whether the astrologer’s prediction would come true.

The day the astrologer had predicted came. That day two strangers came to that town. They were brothers who had planned to kill the King and usurp the throne. Suddenly the wind began to blow furiously. Thunder rumbled in the skies. Fleshes of lightning were seen. The strangers asked the town people what was the cause of such a thunderstorm during the summer. “O our King’s end has come near. It is said that he is to die today struck by a bolt of lightning.”  Said the townpeople. The brothers felt their work was made easier. They had come on camel-backs. They made their way to the cave where the King was staying on these camels.

They entered the cave and one of the brother’s said to the King “I will kill you with my gun” The King was surprised to see them. “Who are you” he asked. They removed the cloth covering their faces. “You are Mansingh” the king recognized one of the brothers. “Come and kill me, with your sword I saw that what the astrologer has said will come true. There is a flash of lightning when one uses the sword. First sit down for a while you are like my brothers.”

“Why have all your attendants deserted you? Asked Mansingh.

“The bolt of lightning may strike any moment now. So they have all hidden themselves. You also run from this place with your brother” said the King.

But Mansingh did not do so. Instead he dragged the king to the mouth of the cave. At that moment a bolt of lightning struck the King who fell down dead. The astrologer’s prediction had come true. Even hiding in mountain cave the King could not escape his destiny. The people of the town mourned the death of their King.

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The Lost Sword – Short Stories

In a village there lived a Zamindar. Once he went to buy a pair of bullocks at a fair and found that he was short of five hundred rupees. So he went to a pawn-broker’s shop and asked if he could borrow five hundred rupees. The moneylender replied that unless he pawned something he would not get any money.

The Zamindar said that he did not have anything with him at that moment, but if given the money, he would return it very soon. The moneylender did not agree with this. At last the Zamindar took out an old rusty sword.”Look here, my good man. This sword is very precious to me. It has been handed down from my forefathers. Keep this with you carefully and give me money. You can return the sword to me when I come back with the money.” Saying this Zamindar handed over the sword. The moneylender then gave him five hundred rupees and the Zamindar went away.

Months passed and the Zamindar who had taken the money did not return at all. Nor he did pay any interest. The moneylender became worried and decided that he should plan carefully to get his money back. One day moneylender went to a barber. As the barber was giving him a cut, the moneylender began to speak “I’ll tell you something in confidence. The Zamindar of this village had taken five hundred rupees from me. Till now he hasn’t paid one paise interest also. I too haven’t asked him for my money. Do you want to know why? Because I have lost the sword which he had pawned with me. If he comes with my money, I do not have his sword with me. But do not tell this to anyone.”

The barber immediately went to the Zamindar’s house and as he was attending on the Zamindar, the barber related all that the moneylender had told him. Hearing this, the Zamindar became very happy. He thought his five hundred rupees and the interest would be safe and he would not have to repay it. So the Zamindar collected together five hundred rupees plus interest and went to the pawn-broker’s shop.

“Take your money and the interest for all these months. Give my sword back” he told the moneylender. Smiling inwardly the moneylender replied “Oh, what can I say sir. The sword which you have left with me is lost. What shall I do now?” Hearing this Zamindar pretended to be very angry. “What did you say? You lost it? I told you it was my ancestral sword and I would take it back when I returned the money to you. The sword should store in our family. Go and look for it once again.” He shouted at the moneylender.

“Alright, I will search once more” said the moneylender and went through a door which led to his house. He took out the sword which he had carefully locked in an iron box and brought it out. The Zamindar could not believe his eyes. It was his own sword. There was no doubt about it. Seeing no other go, he paid the moneylender his money, took his rusty, useless sword and returned home. The moneylender was happy that his little plan had been successful and he touched the money to his eyes and locked it up in a safe.

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The Hidden Treasure – Short Stories

“Thomas! Come and eat your breakfast. How many times must I call you?” shouted Mrs. John. There was no answer from upstairs. “Thomas”, called his mother louder. This time Thomas heard and reluctantly closed his book. His mother seemed to be angry with him.

Thomas was a twelve year old boy who liked reading books a lot. That morning he was reading about buried treasures in the earth and had been so absorbed that he had not heard his mother call.

“There you are. What were you doing all this while” said Mrs. John giving him breakfast. “I am sorry, mother. I did not hear you” explained Thomas. I was reading an exciting book about hidden gold.”

Mr. John who was reading the newspaper looked up at that. “After you finished your breakfast come out to the backyard and I shall show you some more gold which is hidden in the earth.” He said to his son. “Yes father” said Thomas slowly.

Mr. John was a lover of nature and an enthusiastic gardener. He was also a very hard worker and would work tirelessly from morning till evening in his garden. Usually Thomas would avoid going into the garden because his father would make him do some work.

Mr. John asked Thomas to get a basket and a shovel and he took him to the backyard. Mr. John had grown many kinds of vegetables, fruits and flowers. “Come here and I shall show you gold”. So saying Mr. John began to dig in the row of potatoes. Thomas began to laugh “Are you joking father? You promised me to show gold and you are digging for potatoes,” he said.

“Wait, my son, you shall see” replied his father. Digging with his spade slowly, he parted the soil and there lay big, golden brown potatoes. Golden potatoes glistening in the sun. Mr. John plucked them and put in the basket Thomas was holding.

“Now come this side” said Mr. John and began to dig in another row. He pulled out beetroot, carrots, turnips and put them all this in the basket. Thomas was still puzzled. Why had his father lied to him?

Then after all the plucking was over Mr. John sat down in the garden and explained to his son. “Listen Thomas, you thought that I would show you gold metal. That is a different kind of gold. It is the cause of much greediness and people fight and die for it. But look at this gold nature gives us so plentifully. Carrots, beets, radishes and all the other vegetables and fruits too. We need them and use them every day to keep us alive. This is the kind of gold which keeps us healthy. A man who has a lakh of golden coins but is very ill is indeed poor as his gold is not of any use to him. Now do you understand what I mean when I say I have a treasure buried in my backyard?”

Just then they heard Mrs. John calling out to them. Gathering all the freshly plucked vegetables they went inside. “Mother I have brought you a basket of gold” cried Thomas. “What did you say” his mother came running and then stopped and they all began to laugh. Thomas realized the truth of his father’s words.

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The Clever Farmer – Short Stories

Long ago in a village in Russia there was an inn where all the farmers would gather in the evening. After a hard day’s work they would sit down relaxing and taking among themselves. One evening a trader entered in the inn. Immediately he started boasting to the farmers. “I am a very close friend of the village chieftain. He likes me so much that he makes me sit next to him every day for lunch.” The farmers did not like his boasting.

Amongst the farmers gathered there that evening, was a very poor farmer. He stood up and challenged the trader. “What is so great about having a lunch with the chieftain? Even I can do that”. Hearing this the trader became very angry.

“What did you say? Our chieftain does not speak to ordinary people like you. Let alone have lunch with them. Moreover you are a poor farmer. Do you think it is possible?” asked the trader. The farmer did not hesitate at all. He immediately replied “You just wait and see and I shall show you. In case I fail to do so, I shall serve you as a bonded labourer for three years.” The other farmers cheered him loudly. The trader then said “Alright, if you do have lunch with the chieftain, I shall give you two horses and a bullock. All those present here today shall be our witnesses.”

The next day the poor farmer went to the chieftain’s house.Before the chieftain could ask his reason for coming the farmer began to speak. “Sir, I wish to ask you something. Please tell me softly. How much would it cost me to have my cap embroidered in gold?”

Hearing the word gold, the chieftain pricked up his ears. He thought that this stranger must be very rich. If looked after well, he would probably rewarded with some gold. So he called out to his servants. When they came running he told them “One of you go and bring a cold drink for my friend here. The rest of you make arrangements to prepare a meal fit for a king.” The chieftain bade the farmer to sit next to him.He offered him a cold drink and then they sat down side by side for lunch together. After a splendid meal, the chieftain plied him with fruits and asked the farmer. “Now my good man, how much of gold do you have? Let me see. If you give me a bar, I shall give you two bars of silver in return.”

The farmer said with a puzzled look. “But sir, I do not have any gold with me. I only asked you how much money I would need to get a gold lace on my cap.”

On hearing this the chieftain became very angry .He had spent his time and entertained a fool for nothing at all. “You idiot! Get out of my sight.” The farmer only laughed and replied “I am not a fool my lord. I have not only had a grand feast but have also earned two horses and a bullock for it.”

The trader gave the poor farmer two horses and a bullock as he had promised and from that day onwards stopped his boasting.

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Cleverness Pays More – Short Stories

Once upon a time there were two friends John and Tom. Both decided to the King to seek some work. The King put them in charge of his garden. Everyday John and Tom had to water the plants, pull out the weeds, put the manure in the beds and look after the flowers and fruits in the garden. The King observing both the friends. After two months the King increased the salary of Tom. Seeing this John became displeased and was jealous of Tom. He felt that since both were doing the same work, they should be paid the same wages. But he did not know how to tell the King.

One day the King was taking a walk in the garden. Both John and Tom were working. Seeing nobody else was with the king. John made up his mind to speak to the King. He went up to the king and bowed low. “Your majesty, I too worked as hard as Tom. Yet you have not increased my wages. Please tell me why I paid less,” he said boldly.

At that moment, the sound of a music band could be heard nearby.”Go and find out what that noise is” the King told John. Soon he returned saying that a wedding procession was going in the street. The King asked “Whose wedding is it?” John ran out again. Presently he came back and replied “the Zamindar’s son is getting married.”

“To whom is he getting married?” was the King’s next question. John went again and came back panting as the procession had progressed quite a bit. “My Lord, the Head Priest’s daughter is being wedded to the Zamindar’s son” he said.

The King thanked John and then called Tom who was watering the plants on the other side of the garden. “Go and find out what that noise is” The King made the same enquiry to Tom. John was puzzled at the King’s behaviour.

Soon Tom returned and told the King “Your Majesty, that is a wedding procession. The Zamindar’s son is getting married to the Head Priest’s daughter.” He then went to water the plants. The King turned to John and said “Well, now do you understand why Tom is being paid more than you? To answer my question you had to go three times. Tom went only once and gave me all information I required and went back to his work again.”   John hung his head in shame. He could not find any words. He realized his mistake and decided to take more interest in his work.

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