The king was fond of gambling and the object of his desire was not money but the desire to defeat his friends in a game of dice. He seemed to have a winning streak, with a secret behind it, which he would not divulge.

Whenever he initiated the process, he started with a verse, which he recited with his eyes closed and in gesture of meditation.

With her virtue I win
By grace of a lady
Who is pure without a sin.

Now the king had his chief minister or the Vizier who was also fond of gambling and the king knew this weak point. So he invited him to a contest of dice, to which temptation the vizier easily fell.

The king took the dice and folded his right hand over it, blew on it and with eyes closed, he recited the mantra:

With her virtue I win
By grace of a lady
Who is pure without a sin.

And lo, the king won.

The vizier attributed this to the King’s luck and made up his mind to challenge the king again in a year’s time. In the mean time, he practiced the art of throwing the dice to a winning number and meditated largely as how to influence the dice to his winning end. He became confident of winning the contest the following time.

On the following contest, the king started with his usual concentration and mantra and in return, the vizier concentrated his mind on the movement of the dice as to influence its desired number to appear but the same thing happened and he lost to the king again.

With much aggravation, he asked the king again and again as to his winning ways. First the king was reluctant to disclose but then said something about the queen. He explained that as he is married to his queen, who is foremost virtuous and loyal to the king, he uses her virtuous energies to manipulate the dice.

The vizier became obsessed with defeating the king at his game and so thought about a great deal, only thing which came out of his obsession was to marry a virtuous woman but where to find such a woman? He would never find a virgin, as he was too old for that of sort of transaction. He had to find a way around it; otherwise his situation was just hopeless.

Still he was a rich man and being a vizier had a high social status, so some virgin might be tempted to have him as her husband. He tried various ways and venues but alas they came to a dead end. One day he saw a girl of about eleven, begging for food around the neighborhood and he sent his servant to follow the girl and find out her whereabouts. The servant came back that she was the daughter of a poor widow who lived in a shantytown on outskirts of the capitol. One night in secret, he went to see her mother and proposed that he would support her daughter until she is 18 years of age and then he proposed to marry her, the mother would come and live with her daughter in his palace.

The mother thought about it but had no objection except the age of vizier who was too old for her daughter’s future husband but poor do not have much choice especially if they are staring in the face of hunger and poverty. So the mother reluctantly agreed to the deal.Soon mother and daughter moved to vizier’s palace. The vizier was proud of his deal although he had to wait for another seven years before he married that girl and with her influence as a virtuous wife, he might be able to defeat the king at the game of dice and thus have his revenge after so many years of humiliation at the hands of the king.

He made sure that no man would be employed in the residence of the girl and her mother, in case he might take advantage of the girl and render her un-virtuous and that would be great loss for him. He selected various female staff to look after the girl. He assigned clever teachers to educate the girl in all sort of subjects and state arts befitting a future Vizier’s wife. Cloth merchants delivered to her home various kind of clothing, sumptuous fabrics of all the colours and shades to beautify the future wife.

As the girl began to grow, she became more attractive each year, which put a fear in vizier’s heart. He wished her to be around him all the time and the idea of another man looking at her with lustful eyes was simply intolerable to him. Day and night he was thinking about and guarding her jealously from other’s prying eyes. The girl was grateful to him but she missed the conversation with people of her own age.

Despite the differences of their ages, the vizier was having new emotional dimensions intruding into his prosaic and ordered life; he was getting restless and disturbed. One can only account for it by his infatuation with the girl. As a man he had now suffered a blow through the love arrows that had pierced his heart and wounded him badly. One might say that theses things do not happen to a man of matured age but here he was silent but inwardly pining for the girl, which he did not intend to do when he started the whole game, the game which was simply to take a revenge on the king and defeat him at the dice throwing contests.

In order to appease his infatuation with the girl and as usual he wanted to do so many things for her, flatter her, give her gifts as some how win her and he began to like the whole process of this infatuation and courting. The girl liked the beautiful gardens and other natural things to surround her and he asked her whether he could do something nice for her. She wanted a garden for to be planted with fruit trees. She was particularly fond of citrus fruit and specially of the orange trees which gave her a new criteria of freshness with its sour and sweet smells, reminding her of the sunrise which used to surprise her in her childhood, with its sudden outburst of orange and yellow disc rising out of the horizon, at the back of cultivated fields, surrounding her little hut.

The vizier called for his chief gardener and put the idea of a fruit garden to him and following day, he brought him a layout of the proposed garden. The vizier approved of this plan and gave order to start creating the garden. The ground was laid out and different fruit trees were planted. In two years, due to plenty of sunshine and rain, the trees began to grow bigger and spread their branches and leaves in a canopy of rich dark green foliage.

The whole thing was kept secret from the girl and one day the vizier invited the girl and told her that he wanted to give her a surprise and a gift. The girl was blindfolded and led by him to a spot surrounded by the newly created garden and when the blindfold was removed, she gave a scream of delight and it was a good time to satisfy his hunger for closer physical contact. He embraced her tightly within his arms and planted a passionate kiss on her trembling lips, to which girl responded by reciprocating with intrusion of tongue into his mouth.

The vizier was delighted with the progress he had made and thought it a proper occasion to propose their engagement and his luck held as the girl consented. He promised to shower all his love on her and the girl promised to do likewise.

While all this was going on, there was fire of revenge still smoldering in vizier’s heart and so he thought that having won the love of a virtuous women, he would challenge the king for another dice contest and which he did.

At the start of the contest, the king recited again:

With her virtue I win
By grace of a lady
Who is pure without a sin.

The vizier took the dice in his hand, blew over it and recited:

By the virtue of my mate
I thee now proclaim
Winning ways of my fate.

And to his surprise he won. The years of frustration came to an end but the king was peeved and suspected that his vizier must have a virtuous lady in his house. He had to do something to take her virtue away by hook or crook. He invited a young scoundrel to help him. This young man was famed for seducing the innocent girls and was reputed to have such power over the opposite sex that even unknowingly all the women craved for his embrace. He used the entire weapon in his armoury such as charm, flattery, lies, and passion; to seduce the ladies.

The king made a monetary deal with the scoundrel to find the vizier’s lady and corrupt her so that the vizier could never win the dice contest again and so the scoundrel set about doing his deed. He set up a watch on vizier’s house and after the surveillance found that an old woman was often leaving the house and then returning with the provisions. He reckoned it to be the girl’s mother.

One day he dressed in torn clothes and fell in front of the mother in the street and feigned a fit of fainting. The poor woman came to his aid and tried to revive him and when he recovered from his false fit, he told her a false tale of his woes. His poor mother had died recently and he had been hounded by the debtors out of his home. In one go he had lost his only human support and also his house as his shelter. He had tried to commit suicide but not had been successful and he had been starving for a number of days and thus fell down due to weakness from starvation.

The poor woman took him at his words and secretly smuggled him to the girl’s residence and nursed him to health by feeding him with nourishing food. He flattered the old lady stating that he had found a new mother and a new home and that he would never forget the charity and kindness provided. He moved away but began to visit his adopted family secretly at regular intervals. One day he boasted that he had found a very good job in the king’s court and thus began to bring valuable gifts for the girl and his mother. As he became a loving and gentle sheep in wolf’s clothing, he began to make advances to the girl, to which the girl first resisted but in the end fell a victim to his wiles of seductions.

Encouraged the scoundrel began to visit the girl more often and one day the vizier arrived when the girl and the scoundrel were sitting close to each other, holding hands. He watched with disgust when they became entangled in an intimate embrace with their lips on each other, drinking from each other’s mouth. He could not contain his rage and in a fit of rage caught the scoundrel by lapel and dragged him to the front door and kicked him out of the house. Still angry, he advanced towards the girl to hit her. She ran through the house pleading her innocence. He caught hold of her and seized her by throat and was nearly going to throttle her neck when the mother intervened. The girl again pleaded that she was innocence and the scoundrel forced her to commit the act of physical intimacy. To prove her innocence, the girl offered to walk on a live coal fire as to prove her purity.A fire walk was arranged and the news of the event was ripe in the town and people thronged to watch that interesting episode. The girl secretly invited her lover to come and rescue her. A big coal fire was arranged and at the start of her walk, the scoundrel suddenly appeared in a different guise, as a foreign merchant with a horse. He seized the girl from behind by her midriff, dragged her into the horse’s back and galloped with her to a distant land.

Durlabh Singh© 2008.


Durlabh  Singh

London, United Kingdom

  • Artist


story short

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