Yadvendra and His Wallet
Long, long ago, there was an old man. He was very poor. In the name of property all he had was a small hut and a very small piece of land.
Once he fell ill, and when he realized that he was in his last days, he called his eldest son.
He said, “Yadvendra, my days are numbered. I may breathe my last any day. So, I wish to discuss with you about the little property I possess.”
“O my loving father! I shudder to think of such an event. You have given so much of love and care to us throughout your life that it merely goes beyond my imagination to see you in your last days. Dear father, don’t talk like that. Tell me what I can do for you,” said Yadvendra with tearful eyes.
The old man smiled feebly. He said, “My son, don’t weep. No one is immortal. One has to die one day. All that I want you to do for me is to tell me everyone’s share in the property.”
“Dear father, may you live for as long as the earth exists. This is what I wish from the core of my heart. But as far as the property is concerned, you may give the hut to my mother who on becoming a widow after your death, won’t be able to fend for herself. And the small piece of land should be given to Surendra, my younger brother,” said Yadvendra.
“And you don’t want anything for yourself, my dear son?” said the old man.
Yadvendra kept quiet for some time. Then he said, “Father, I am grown up enough to take care of myself. Don’t worry about me.”
The old man was very pleased to hear his reply he took out a wallet from the inside pocket of his jacket and giving it to Yadvendra, he said, “Dear son, you may keep this as a token of remembrance from a poor father. May this wallet never be empty of what you need. But, my day son! Your need has to be genuine. Misuse of this miraculous wallet will bring an end to its power. Be very careful.”
Saying this the old man closed his eyes never to wake up again.
Yadvendra was shocked. His father didn’t even give him a chance to offer his thanks.
Yadvendra stayed with his widow mother and younger brother for them, he took leave of hem and set out with his mother’s blessings for a new town where he could get some work to earn his living. All that he possessed was the wallet given by his father.
He reached a new town after having walked for many days. Every time he felt hungry in the way during all these days, he took out a little money from his wallet and bought meals for himself. Today also at the end of his journey he took out a rupee from the wallet and bought a few chapattis and vegetable.
He sat in the shade of a tree and began enjoying his simple meal of chappaties and vegetable. He was at the end of his meal when he noticed a miserable looking little dog coming toward him. The dog came and stood before him and began wagging his tail in such a manner as if he was asking for his share.
Yadvendra was a kind- hearted boy. He gave away the remaining food to the dog. The dog ate it and became very happy.
Now the dog, in order to show his gratitude to his new master, began licking his feet. Yadvendra patted his back and stretched himself in the cool shade of the tree to take a nap. The dog also sat by his side.
Yadvendra woke up after a deep sleep of two hours. He again took to the road. The dog also followed him , and made it clear by his gestures that he was in no case going to quite his company.
They kept walking and at last they reached the capital of the kingdom. Yadvendra saw everyone in the capital in a rejoicing mood, and drums and pipes were being played at every street corner. The whole capital was in a festive mood. He couldn’t understand anything. He saw a man passing by.
He asked the man, “Excuse me! What is this all about?”
“Oh you don’t know? You seem to be an outsider. Well our princess is going to hold a Swayumvar today,” said the man.
“Yes, I am a stranger; I have come here looking for a job. Could you please guide me to some place where I can get a job,” said Yadvendra with folded hands.
“Oh yes, of course. Go to the palace gate and ask the keeper for a job; I am sure there will be plenty of work to,” said the man assuringly and left.
Yadvendra made for the palace gate with his dog. There he requested the keeper to employ him. The keeper said that there was plenty of work for him to do but he had to leave the dog outside. But Yadvendra had developed so much affection for the dog that he refused to part with him.
The keeper said, “Either you leave the dog to his fate or leave yourself to your fate. But I shall be the last one to allow the dog to enter the palace gate.”
The princess, who was at her window, saw the altercation going on at the palace gate. She saw Yadvendra and also realized his tender feelings for the dog. She was so impressed that she fell in love with him. She ordered the keeper to let him in along with his dog.
By the time Yadvendra came in with the dog. The princess had come on her balcony to have a closer look at him. She found him to be a very handsome boy and secretly desired to choose him for her husband. She immediately instructed the gardener to give him some light work.
Yadvendra heard the princess speaking in a warbling tone. He looked up and saw an unmatched beauty. Never in his life had he seen a more beautiful girl. He at once fell in love with her. He also realized that the princess too had fallen in love with him. Cupid had released his arrow and Yadvendra and the princess had become targets.
Yadvendra thought, “A person who is loved by a princess need not and should not work as a gardener.”
Suddenly he remembered the wallet given by his father. He became very happy. He went to a corner and began shaking it. Money began pouring out of his wallet. When he had extracted sufficient money, he went out of the palace gate and went straight to a nearby market. There he bought a princely garment and a horse for himself.
Yadvendra returned to the palace dressed as a prince. The horse he was riding was no less charming.
There were a number of princes in the Swaynmvar hall and Yadvendra was one of them. The princess came with a garland in her hands. Every prince hoped to be chosen by her as her husband. But the princess seemed to be looking for someone else ignoring all the princes including Yadvendra. Finally she rejected everyone of them.
All the princes returned disappointed. Yadvendra also came out of the Swayumwar hall and returned with his dog. He went back to the same tree under which he had taken his meal in the morning.
He was lying heartbroken with his dog under the tree when he suddenly heard footsteps coming towards him. He became alert and his dog began barking thinking that these men were going to launch an attack on his master.
Yadvendra raised his head and saw palanquin bearers coming with a royal palanquin. He became confused , but the princess inside the palanquin had heard the dog barking and was happy to guess that Yadvendra too must be there.
She commanded the palanquin- bearers to stop near the dog. She saw Yadvendra there and became extremely happy. She immediately jumped out of the palanquin and threw the garland, she was still carrying , round Yadvendra’s neck and proclaimed him her husband.
Everyone present there was astonished; and so was Yadvendra. He said, “Princess, I am indeed very much surprised as when I presented myself dressed as a prince in the Swayumwar hall , you did not even look at me; and now when I am lying under this tree in shabby clothes, you have proclaimed me your husband. Isn’t it strange.”
“Not that I was not aware of your presence among the princes,” said the princess with a sweet smile. “but I had watched you closely even before that. I had seen you going in the corner stealthily and shaking your wallet and jerking out a lot of money. I asked my magician to tell me everything in detail about you and your wallet. He waved his magic wand and got every information about you. He also told me that your kind father had instructed you not to make a misuse of it. And you did misuse it. I was pained to learn this. Yadvendra! I love you and not your princely garments and likewise your shabby dress cannot make me hate you.”
Yadvendra realized his mistake and apologized, promising that he would never make a misuse of his wallet ever in future.
Yadvendra and the princess lived happily ever after; and of course, the princess herself asked him to bring his widow mother and younger brother to live comfortably in the palace.