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King and the 3 heads
“Is there not a single person in my kingdom who can solve this mystery?” King Raman asked his courtiers.
“Your Highness, all the wise people and scholars have inspected the heads. All of them are pondering over it. Even the royal scholar has said there is no difference,” said Nigehbaan, the vazir of kingdom.
“Does that mean we surrender our territory to Raja Brahman? It’s been a month now the heads had been sent. Is my kingdom devoid of talented wise persons?”
All the courtiers hung their heads in shame. Nobody has been able to solve the mystery of three heads presented by Raja Brahman to the present king of Durgapur sultanate, King Raman.
King Raman had to do something to solve the story of three heads. So he made an important statement to his court, “Time’s running out. It is just 48 hours remaining now to reply back the answer. Anyone who would solve this mystery will be rewarded with a bag of 1000 gold coins and will be amongst my best courtiers, applies to each one in my kingdom.”
Although the statement created an uproar in the entire kingdom, they knew the mystery of heads was far bigger than the reward. Very renowned scholars from distant places had visited the king for solving the mystery, but all of them had replied, “All the heads are identical. There’s no difference in them at all.”
Everything was tried and tested on the golden heads. They were weighed, they were measured, almost everything was done to spot the difference between the three heads but the final result always was - they are identical. All the three golden heads looked exactly the same in all the measures possible- weight, appearance, metal, colour, size, height, density, tensile strength and all measures of physics possible. The three heads were accurately similar, not even a single tiniest of difference could be found.
This was the mystery presented by Raja Brahman to King Raman. It was only 48 hours remaining for the mystery to be solved. If King Raman was unsuccessful to find the difference between three gold metal heads, he would have to surrender the important part of his kingdom to Raja Brahman.
In past, kings used to fight each other to annex the kingdoms of each other. This would result in loss of lives and rampant bloodshed. One king used to win, and the defeated king surrendered his territory to the winner. But some kings chose to avoid warrior fighting, instead they used to challenge each other’s wit. This was piece of the same challenge that Raja Brahman gave to King Raman.
He had presented the three gold heads to King Raman. The three heads were sharp identical copies of each other, not even an inch appeared different. All the three heads had same dimensions, everything similar from skull to neck. When the heads were presented to King Raman, the challenge by Raja Brahman was-
“Within 30 days from now, the kingdom have to distinguish between three heads and describe the logical reasons as how the three heads differ from each other. Each head is different from one other. If King Raman is able spot the differences with logic between the heads, he’d be safe from attacks by Raja Brahman. If, after 30 days, the mystery remained unsolved, be ready to face the consequences.”
All were left mind-struck. Visibly, there was not a single point of difference among the heads.
The heads were inspected by each and every person in the court. The courtiers tried everything to find the difference, brought the royal expert to find the minutest of difference. He checked the heads thoroughly, with all his resources available, for hours but was too left puzzled with the mystery. . The royal expert’s face wore a worried look, so did the king’s and courtiers’. He bumped the heads on the floor to check the brittleness, but all the heads behaved same way. It seemed that it was almost impossible to find out any difference among the heads by naked eye
Therefore, he took permission from the king to look over the heads for two days at his workplace, so that he could carefully study three heads and identify the difference. The king granted him permission and hoped for the positive outcome. Also, he warned him not to provide slightest of damage to the heads, although damage was not possible.
The two days passed in a jiffy. The royal expert came with no progress. He said, “Your Majesty, I checked the heads’ surface point by point. I am really surprised that even the tiniest points on the heads are similar. These heads are work of master piece and I must say that Raja Brahman had given you the toughest puzzle to crack.”
King Raman said in a very strict tone, “Let the political matters remain to me. You just tell me what the difference between three heads is?” All the court became suddenly silent by strictness in King’s voice.
Feared by king’s aggression, the royal expert answered in quivering voice, “My Lord! These heads have no difference at all.”
The king, who first thought it would be very simple to decode the mystery of three heads, became much tensed when he heard those words. He adjourned the court at once and called nation-wide scholars to examine the heads to tell the difference.
Days were passing with no signs of solution of mystery. Every day, the scholars used to come and visit the king’s dormitory where the esteemed heads were kept. They used to do everything on the heads, measuring depth, size, height and some even doing absurd techniques to spot the differences. But nobody provided the solution. The best of the scholars failed at providing the solution for heads’ mystery.
King’s hopes were withering with each passing day. The courtiers were ordered to keep everything aside, and work for the solution of mystery. The whole of kingdom was under a lot of pressure as time continued to pass.
Vazir Nigehbaan suggested, “Your Highness, why don’t you ask help from neighboring kingdoms? Your Majesty has helped them in their troubled times. Hope they would have some solutions to this.”
Following his vazir’s suggestion, the king consulted his royal friends from other kingdoms. They sent their experts to scrutinize the golden heads. All came and went, with no success. Every visitor who came to solve the mystery looked determined before seeing the heads, but after they studied the heads, all of them used to answer the same. They did plethora of things with heads, some hit the heads with sticks, some performed magic tricks on heads, some even suggested to send the answer “no difference at all” to Raja Brahman.
The king himself used to check the heads daily in case he found some clue. All the three heads looked same and identical. The heads started giving him headaches and sleepless nights. The king looking at the heads wondered, “Will the mystery of heads can ever be solved? Would he have to give up his territory to Raja Brahman? Does my kingdom not have a single person who could solve this mystery?”
Next day, the king called an immediate meeting with all the courtiers. Only two days were left for the deadline. After that, Raja Brahman would ask for the answer. If not provided, the king had to lose his territory.
The court was seated in stunned silence. There was no commotion at all among the courtiers, which was very unusual. They knew this was tough time for the kingdom, which was on verge of surrender. The heads were still a mystery. All waited for the king to speak.
Vazir Nigehbaan explained the helplessness of the kingdom to solve the mystery before the king. Subsequently, the king kept a heavy reward (1000 gold coins) for the one who would answer the question. Everybody in the kingdom had tried their luck with finding the difference in the heads, and even the announcement of reward didn’t work either. The king went into despair and adjourned the court till the decision day.
With just a day remaining for the end of challenge, a message from Raja Brahman arrived, “Raja Brahman would be visiting on the last day to meet King Raman. Raja Brahman would like to see the solution of mystery of three heads.”
The arrangements were made for the visiting king. There was a widespread talk in the nation that Raja Brahman was coming to see King Raman’s misery with the three heads. The kingdom was sure that their majesty would lose his important territory to Raja Brahman. More than territory, it was the matter of royal shame as it was not able solve the head’s mystery within stipulated time.
Irony was, the metal heads were high in pride and the human heads were low in shame. The kingdom had just one day as the undivided nation. Next day, Raja Brahman was to ridicule the king.
Queen Taramati, first wife of King Raman, called for an immediate secret meeting with her female councilors. She, at once ordered Nigehbaan, some very important thing. He left the royal palace at once.
Finally, the 30th day dawned. It was the decision day, where the fate of Durgapur Kingdom was to be decided. More or less, everybody thought it was already pre-decided.
King Raman’s court went live again. The courtiers were carrying a fake-happiness look, as they knew what was going to happen. All the courtiers were present, except the vazir.
Raja Brahman arrived at Raman’s palace with few of his important ministers. As was the rule with Indian monarchies, guests were treated like God, even if he was an enemy. Raja Brahman enjoyed the royal hospitality at Raman’s kingdom.
After the greeting formalities were over, Raja Brahman said, “My friend Raman!”(Although he meant exactly opposite of that), he continued, “I hope your kingdom might have cracked the mystery of three heads. Please tell the difference between the heads and give its explanation now. So go ahead, my friend Raman, please order anyone of your subjects to explain the difference.”
The king hung his head down. All the courtiers did the same. A stunned silence struck the capacity-filled court. All the loyalists of King Raman appeared to be defeated. The entire kingdom -- courtiers, the subjects, and the royal family including the queens- all appeared to be beaten. Queen Taramati was also watching the proceedings of court which had turned pin-drop silent.
The visitors were full of pride when the hosts turned silent. They seemed they have conquered the kingdom.
Raja Brahman gave the impression as if he was expecting this. He continued with a cunning smile, “So King Raman, as you have failed to solve my mystery of three heads, I am really very sorry but I have no option to annex the major part of your territory to my kingdom. What you have to say, Raman?”
All the ministers of Brahman smiled with superiority. Raja Brahman told King Raman to affix a royal mohur on annexation documents. The documents stated the breaking of kingdom’s territory.
With heavy heart, King Raman picked up the royal mohur to stamp it on the papers that not only handed Raja Brahman an important territory of Durgapur, but was certification of Raman’s surrender.
Before King Raman could stamp the royal mohur, the silence of court was broken by Nigehbaan.
“Stop. Your Majesty!” said Nigehbaan in a firm voice. “Your Highness, I have found the mystery of three heads,” said Nigehbaan.
All the eyes turned towards Nigehbaan. He was standing there firmly, and had a sense of satisfaction on his face. Queen Taramati came forward, although women were not allowed to interrupt when king’s court is actively proceeding, and pleaded the king, “My Lord, sorry for breaking the royal rule, but I had to intervene to save your kingdom’s integrity.”
Raja Brahman angrily at once said, “What’s all going on? The Durgapur kingdom allows women in men’s matter. It’s a shame!”
Ignoring Raja Brahman’s words, Queen Taramati signaled Nigehbaan, and he brought an old man before the court. The old man appeared to be very aged, wearing long robes came before the two kings. Nigehbaan occupied his seat of vazir.
Queen Taramati touched the feet of old man. He in return blessed her. She said to the king, “Your Highness, he is my guru. When the challenge of three heads was brought before you, and nobody in your kingdom could solve it, I discovered the fact that these heads have beyond-physical differences. After seeing the entire kingdom fail at the mystery, last night I ordered Nigehbaan to call my guru, as I knew that he is the only person to solve this mystery.”
Turning towards her guru, she said, “Guruji, years back when you asked me that you’d fulfill my one wish, I told you I’d keep it for the time being”, with tears in her eyes and with folded hands, “I request you to help My Lord with the mystery of three heads. Guruji, this is not the queen requesting you, this is a woman requesting you to keep her husband’s honor intact.”
The Guruji walked towards the three heads. All of the king’s court, including both the kings, kept their eyes glued on the Guruji. He took the three heads in hand, one by one.
“Tara beta, I have found the difference between three heads. The first head is of stupid person, the second head is of careless person and the third head is of a wise person.”
The silence was turned into chaos of words. How did Guruji say that? How could he distinguish among the heads?
King Raman, at once said, “Guruji, Please elaborate in detail.”
Guruji ordered for a glass of jug filled with water. The jug was placed before him. He took the first head in his hand, tilted the head and poured water inside the right ear of head. The water came out gushingly from the mouth of head.
He said, “Look where the water is coming out from. From the mouth. It means this head is of a stupid person. Whatever he hears, he gushes it out from his mouth like stupid. Thus this head symbolizes stupidity. “
He took the second head and poured the water similarly inside the ear. This time water came out from the opposite ear. He turned to the king, “This head symbolizes a careless person. Whatever he hears, it has no effect on him. This type of person ignores everything, whatever is said to him, so this head is of a careless person.”
At last, the third head was picked. Guruji put the water in its ears, and lo! There was no outlet of water from it. This meant the head has stored all of water in it, unlike other two heads.
Guruji said, “This is a wise head. Whatever is poured inside it, it is stored there only. It represents the head of wise person.”
Queen Taramati once again came near her guruji and folded his hands, with her overflowing eyes. She sobbed uncontrollably and thanked the old man, “Guruji, You have saved my husband’s honor today. Thank you.” She cried so much that she fainted in front of court.
She was taken by her female courtiers to her dorm, and the silence of court had been replaced by noisy conversations.
The court was still at amazement of Guruji. The biggest mystery of the kingdom was solved in an instant by the old man standing over there.
Raja Brahman and his cronies were too shocked to react. They were just watching like mute spectators. They could not even think what had happened in just matter of minutes. The brain-storming mystery was simplified by the guruji in no time.
King Raman ordered unsympathetically, “I assume that Raja Brahman might have got the answer he was looking for. Now I request them to leave our kingdom at once. Otherwise, be ready to face the consequences.” From a docile lamb just few minutes ago, King Raman turned into roaring lion. After all, the kingdom was victorious in cracking the mystery.
There were celebrations all over the kingdom for days. The story of Raja Brahman’s misery at Raman’s court became popular all over neighboring kingdoms. King Raman was congratulated by all other kings as well, for solving the story of three heads.
All aside, it was the intellect of a woman that saved a kingdom. Even today, queen Taramati is regarded as the savior of Durgapur.
3 year ago
3 year ago
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