Empty Throne! ~ Fiction.

Note: This folk tale is based out on one of my recent glass paintings.

3 Princess Glass Painting with Kundan work.[This is yet to be framed]


Once upon a time, when HarshaVardhana was reigning in PushpakaNagar a wild dream haunted him on the full moon night. He had been a great devotee of goddess Durga all his life. That night the mighty king woke up confused after what he had heard in his dream. He would be dying soon and had only a couple of weeks left in this world.


King Harshavardhana had 3 daughters all of whom had mastered martial arts, learnt various skills a ruler of a kingdom should eventually know. They were wise and extremely beautiful. When the news broke in the kingdom that their beloved king would be gone in a few days, there came a need to choose the new heir to the throne. It became difficult to choose the right one to be successor of such a mighty king Harshavardhana.
Minister Chatrapati and Maharaja Harshavardhana discussed of a plan where all the three gorgeous princess would be tested of their values and beliefs. They kept the mission a secret so that they would be able to judge them on par.

Next day, the King called his daughters Menaka, Maanvika, MaaLavika to his private room to discuss about whom he would hand over the kingdom before he died. When all the three arrived, he turned to them and said “I would like to give the kingdom to my daughter who has the most beautiful hands”. The minister told them that King would declare the best hands on the day that followed and asked them to come prepared.

His daughters were equally thrilled and happy to hear the deal. Menaka, the eldest of all, applied sandal-wood paste on both her hands, later washed it with rose water. She applied a soothing nail colour that would match her royal outfit. She was well-prepared for the show next day.

Maanvika got the best of perfumes from the land of Sumadhura Nagari and cleansed her hands with fresh fruit packs. Maanvika made sure her soft hands glittered with Gold jewels making them the best hands seen ever.

MaaLavika, a young pretty girl applied almond oil to smoothen her hands first and later washed her hands clean with water that had fresh flowers soaked in it.

Early next day all three young ladies assembled in the royal Puja room to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga Devi. The priest sprinkled holy water on all of them while chanting the mantras, that he usually did on any auspicious day. The princess bowed to him and walked towards the Royal court where King Harshavardhana was supposed to meet them.

On their way to the court, in the garden, they heard a moaning of a poor kitten. The little one had slipped and fallen in a pit dug up to plant a coconut tree. Menaka and Maanvika shooed away the kitten as they feared of dirtying their hands and loosing the chance to the throne. A soft hearted MaaLavika stopped by to rescue the kitten and thereby uniting it with the mother cat. She was very happy to see it jump and play with its siblings. Her sisters laughed at her and teased of her muddy hands. MaaLavika did not bother much about it.

When they reached the entrance of the palace where the royal hearings happened every week, a maid carrying a basket of food slipped and fell down. The curry and rotis she was taking for her husband who worked as a guard in the west-gate of the palace, fell on the ground. Menaka and Maanvika shouted at the hapless maid and mocked at her situation and hurried to the Court. The little one was compassionate and helpful in nature, gave support to the maid and cleaned the basket too.

The maid was happy and thanked MaaLavika profusely. Looking around and noticing the fact that her sisters had left her behind, she ran inside.

King Harshavardha was eagerly waiting in the court with his minister Chatrapati. Menaka and Maanvika entered with a smiling face as if they had already won the title. However noticing that the little daughter was missing, King questioned them about MaaLavika. Both replied in unison "My lord, she is delayed due to some disturbance at the entrance. You can first see our beautiful hands and decide the best among us" replied Menaka.

King obliged to the request. On seeing the pretty hands of Menaka he said " These hands are as soft as silk and they look very pretty." Next it was Maanvika's turn and she was very keen on displaying the ruby studded ring on her fair complexioned soft hands. King appreciated her hands too and turned to see if MaaLvika had made it to the hall. "Ah there she is , Dear what took it so long for you. Come show your pretty hands." said the king.
Maalavika apologized for being delayed. She initially hesitated in showing her filthy hands and later when demanded, she reluctantly opened her fist. King was relieved and praised his daughter. "These are the most caring hands I've ever seen . They know to care for the needy and help the ones in problem. They will serve a kingdom best, where people need these wonderful hands that can give all the love and care. These hands are the best one can have. Dear MaaLavika, you will be the next ruler of PushpakaNagar." declared the King.

Menaka and Maanvika were perplexed on hearing the declaration. When asked about how King chose those dirty hands to rule a kingdom , Minister Chatrapati revealed the secret mission of deliberately having the kitten kept in the garden's pit and how the king had advised the maid to slip and fall while she saw the three of you at the entrance. Menaka and Maanvika felt dejected but they had learnt a lesson to share and care.

MaaLavika ruled the kingdom efficiently. PushpakNagar was a happy Kingdom ever after.

9 comments:

Jack said...

Ashwini,

An engrossing story with nice lesson in the end.

Take care

Bikramjit said...

well hope we learn from this story ...

Open letter to all -Bikram's

KParthasarathi said...

Very nice story well nnarrated with
a good message.The glass painting is superb and very apt for the story.Thank you

Ranjana's craft blog said...

Beautiful glass painting

Sabyasachi Patra said...

A very nice story with a message. We used to read nice stories in chandamama. I am sure you can continue writing good stories so that lot of people can read and enjoy. People can learn a bit about our culture as well.

TTT said...

wow the glass painting is so beautiful.And you've narrated the story so well :)

sHoNa said...

Very well written. Blessed is the person who gets such a ray, to wipe away all the scars....

jaish_vats said...

Both painting and the story are beautiful!

ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/ Ashwini said...

@Jack: Thanks!

@Bikram: Yeah true..

@KParthasarathi: Thank you for the encouragement.

@Ranjana's : Thank you!

@Sabyasachi Patra: I was reading a whole lot of them when I was in school. I am truely inspired by those wonderful stories.

@TTT: Thanks!

@sHoNa: Yes you're absolutely right. Just divine is the next word I'd give that person. Thanks for visiting..

@Vaish: Thanks a lot for dropping by and glad you loved the story and the painting.

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