TODAY -

Two Princes
- From a book by N. Bemni Singha -

James Oinam *

Illustration by N. Nongdon Sana
Illustration by N. Nongdon Sana



Long, long time ago, there lived a king. He had two wives. Each of them had a son.

The second wife was actually a monster who had taken a human form and married the king. No one knew her secret. The son of the elder queen was called Surajkumar and that of younger queen was called Nabakumar.

The two princes loved each other very much as if they were born of same mother.

Once the king had to go to a neighbouring kingdom bearing some gifts for a religious ceremony held there. Before he left, he made some arrangements for the two princes to learn sword fighting from a teacher while he was away.

As soon as the king left the kingdom, the young queen started taking the form monster at night and started to eat one person at a time every day.

When people started mysteriously disappearing from the kingdom, everyone was panic stricken. The younger queen decided to take her son into confidence.

She told him that she was a monster and eating people at night. And she planned to eat the elder queen and her son Surjakumar too.

Nabakumar was heartbroken. He revealed the secret of his evil mother to Surajkumar and the elder queen. They couldn't believe the young queen was a monster.

Meanwhile, as asked by the king father, the brothers had to leave the palace to go to learn sword fighting. The elder queen gave some milk to them in a utensil.

'Keep this milk with you always. If the milk turns blood red, know that harm has befallen me,' she told them.

The brothers left the palace with heavy heart and great anxiety. While they were staying at the house of the teacher, Surjakumar could not keep his mind off the milk his mother gave him. He kept looking at it regularly every day.

One day he called his younger brother, 'Look brother, the milk has turned blood red.'

'My monster mother must have eaten our elder mother. Come with me to the forest. I'll hide you from her. We will avenge the death of our queen mother,' said Nabakumar.

They ran to the thick forest nearby. The young queen came looking for them there in her monster form.

'Brother, climb up this tree and hide in its thick branches. Let me speak to her,' suggested Nabakumar.

The elder brother did as he was told.

'Where is Surjakumar? I'm here to eat him. And together, we mother and son can rule this kingdom,' thundered the monster queen. She was huge and formidable.

'Mother, I have already eaten him. The milk that elder queen gave turned red. So I knew you have eaten the elder queen,' told Nabakumar.

The monster took human form again and with the prince Nabakumar returned to the palace. Surjakumar came down the tree and went to a nearby village for shelter.

Upon reaching the palace, the young queen said, 'When the king return, we will together kill him and rule this kingdom our way.'

This made Nabakumar very sad. For days he thought how to kill this monster.

One day he asked, 'Mother, after we had killed the king and eaten all the people, you will die. What will I do all alone?'

'Son, I am immortal. Seven layers of earth below the room we are living, there is a bow. That is my life. As long as it is safe, I'll be alive,' replied the young queen.

One day, the young queen decided to go to some faraway place. The young prince took this opportunity and invited his brother to the palace and told him all about the bow. They dug up the place and found the bow.

The young queen felt her arms twitching. It wasn't a good sign. So she hurried back to the palace. She found the brothers together and became furious when she realized her own son had lied to her.

'Mother, forgive me. But to save my brother and father, I'll have kill you.'

And they broke the bow in the middle, killing her instantly. Then the brothers ruled the kingdom until the king returned from his journey.

When the king returned and learned what had happened in the kingdom, he wanted to banish Nabakumar, but the elder brother Surjakumar stood his ground and said he would rather be banished with his younger brother than live alone in the palace.

Seeing the love of the brothers, the king relented. And so, all three of them ruled the kingdom prosperously.


Source Details:

Translated from 'Rajkumar Ani' story in the collected work Funga Wari, Vol. 3
Author: N. Bemni Singha
Book Illustrator: N. Nongdon Sana
Publisher: Naharol Khorjei Thaugallup Jaribon
Year of Publication: 1999




* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on April 11, 2018.



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