What Fate ordained

Prakash Joshi

Crafts Museum

Crafts Museum

“What is the price of this book,” the father asked. “Hundred rupees,” said the son. The father flew into a rage and said, “You are a fool. You have paid hundred rupees for a book that has only one verse. You will never succeed. Leave my house at once. There is no place for you”. Thrown out, the boy went to another city and began a new life there. One day, a neighbor asked him, “What is your native place and what is your name?” The boy replied, “Man gets what he is destined to.”Summer came and the city was celebrating with a big fair. One of the visitors to the fair was the city’s princess who came with her maids. She was young and beautiful. As she was making the rounds of the fair, she saw an extremely handsome warrior and immediately fell in love with him. She told one of her maids, “It is your job to see that both of us meet.” The maid ran to the warrior and told him, “I have a message for you from our princess. She says she will die if you do not meet her today.” “But tell me where and how I can see her. How can I enter the harem?” asked the warrior. The maid told him, “Come to the palace and you will see a rope hanging from the high wall. Climb over the wall with the help of the rope.” “All right, I will try to do it tonight,” said the warrior. When night came, the warrior lost his nerve. “This is not the right thing to do” he thought and stayed at home. Coming out for a walk in the night, the boy noticed the rope outside the royal palace and curious to know what it was, went up the rope which took him inside the princess’s bedroom. The princess mistook him for the warrior and served him dinner and with great ecstasy and said, “I have fallen in love with you at very first sight. I am yours. You are in my heart and nobody except you can be my husband.” He replied, “Man gets what he is destined to.” The princess immediately realized this man was not the warrior she had seen in the day and asked him to leave the palace at once. The boy left and spent the night in a temple. The sheriff of the city came to the same temple. He had arranged to meet a woman of vice. He saw the boy sleeping there and to keep his meeting a secret, he asked him who he was. The boy recited the verse about destiny. The sheriff then said, “This is a bad place to sleep. You can go to my house and sleep there tonight in my place.” The merchant’s son agreed to go. At the sheriff’s house, his young and beautiful daughter had asked her lover to come and meet her secretly in the night. When the boy reached the house, the girl mistook him in the darkness for her secret lover. She arranged a feast for him and married him according to Gandharva tradition. Noticing that the boy did not utter a word, the sheriff’s daughter asked him to say something. He recited his usual verse. The girl realized her mistake and asked him to leave at once. As the merchant’s son once again took to the street, he saw a marriage procession entering the city led by the bridegroom. He joined the procession. The bride was the daughter of a very wealthy merchant of the city. The bride’s father had set up a gaily-decorated dais for the wedding. In the meantime, an elephant in the procession went berserk and killed the mahout headed for the marriage venue. The bridegroom and his party joined the frightened people who were fleeing the scene of marriage. The boy happened to see the frightened bride alone and abandoned on the dais, shivering in fear. He jumped on to the dais and told the merchant’s daughter that she need not fear that he would save her at any cost. With great courage and presence of mind he approached the elephant with a stick and threatened him. The elephant left the scene. He took the bride’s hand into his as a token of assurance. His friends and relatives returned to the dais and seeing the bride’s hand in the hand of a stranger, addressed the merchant, “Sir, you have pledged the hand of your daughter to me. But I see that you have given her away to someone else. This is improper.” The merchant replied, “My son, I don’t know anything. I also ran away from the dais. Let me ask my daughter.” The daughter told her father, “This brave man saved me from the mad elephant. He is my savior. I won’t marry anyone but him.” It was now dawn and hearing the commotion the royal princess, the sheriff’s daughter and the king himself, all arrived to find out what had happened. The merchant’s son as usual recited the verse. This verse rang a bell in the princess head. She remembered what happened in the night and thought “Even God cannot undo what is destined.” The sheriff’s daughter also recalled the events of the night and thought, “There is nothing to neither regret nor cause for surprise.” The merchant’s daughter also thought “Nobody can take away what destiny brings.” The king now knew everything and the mystery of the verse. He then gave away his daughter in marriage to the merchant’s son and also a thousand villages as gift. He crowned him a prince. The sheriff also married his daughter to him. So the merchant’s son lived happily ever after with his wives and parents. Sometimes man gets what he is destined to.

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  • Title: What Fate ordained
  • Creator: Prakash Joshi
  • Location: Rajasthan
  • Physical Dimensions: Stone colours on paper, 23 X 19 inches
  • Provenance: Rajasthan
  • Type: Phad painting