Sleepoholic Botu spends a sleepless night in the forest.

What shameless men these Kshtriyas are! Does not he understand he is not a young boy any longer, but possesses the throne of the responsible Chandra Dynasty? What a trouble he drags me into time to time! I know I am being cursed by countless women for my evil deeds. Dusmanta showed more eagerness while pursuing Hangsapadika, the damsel once. He cried like a child and convinced me to convince that innocent young lady. I tried to resist but which of the salaried Brahmin can prevent his master? I could not. He flirted and eloped with her, brought the adorable only daughter of the Srigarta king to his palace making him his queen, washed her away which his tide of love and then forgot her! The sad melody of her songs breaks the hearts of even the nocturnal birds, but never reaches the deaf ears of this King! I, being a servant am obliged to execute his order but at times the orders cross the limits of all levels of morality. How come a King, a descent man otherwise, becomes so irresponsibly addicted to women? I am, though salaried one, a Brahmin who is satisfied with only one loyal wife not able to comprehend this insatiable desire. Neither my wife is beautiful enough to be compared to a queen, nor having any special quality to attract fame throughout the land, still I cannot think of any other women in my intimate dreams. I do not understand what kind of disease these Kshatriyas have that forces them to run behind women one after another forgetting one after another. I regret not refusing the court-companion’s job, when this Dusmanta, unfortunately a childhood friend of mine came with the offer. Now I am committed to commit sins endlessly to fulfill my obligations to him. Who knows thousands of curses I earned from hundreds of women is not the reason of my staying childless despite of my being loyal to my beloved wife? I do not want to increase the load of my sins any longer. I may not be able to run away from this forest, may not be able to escape his assigned task this time, but I am going to run away from this King’s prowess once this task is over. Living a pleasurable life on this earth isn’t that complex for a Brahmin and his wife that they need to earn in gold coins. At least we will be able to sleep peacefully in a forest hermitage.


“My King! I have an obligation to perform the way you want me to. Still I should make you remember your forefathers – the pious Chandra kings. They would not permit you doing this what you are doing today flouting the duty of a responsible Master of the subjects. Many beautiful ladies adorning you women’s quarter live with unfulfilled desire for you. You are responsible for them as well. I would request you for the last time, not to indulge in this unscrupulous act once again.”
As soon as that clownish Brahmin meets me in the morning, after his ritualistic bows and all, he starts lecturing. I feel the heat in my ears. Killing a Brahmin will anger the gods; beating or whipping him too will be a reason for Yama, the judge to send me to one or the other hell. I carefully swallow my anger.

“I admire your valuable suggestions. I am King Dusmanta, ordering you to collect necessary information about the forest girl in the Sage Kanva’s hermitage, so that I can proceed further to develop an amorous union with her. I hope you understand now.” – I chew my words.
Botu’s pale face, his folded hands before me tells he does understand. The King in me feels bad for threatening him like this, but I also feel my thirst for the girl with passing time – now I need her at any cost.

I notice Botu’s departure through the forest route that goes towards the hermitage. One of my hunters is guiding him.


To be cont.