I had read this story in one of the children’s book when I was 6 years old. That was during my only visit to Kolkata (India). Mom was happy that dad had bought an English story book instead of the regular Hindi books. As much as my father versed with the language; mom was highly intended that I speak plosive English. This was practically 26 years back from today. Since she was born and brought up in Kolkata in an affluent family; she was close to the British culture right from the start. The English I speak has always been different from how it is still spoken here- commonly.
The story has stayed with me since then.
Long long back, there lived a King in India. He was everything a King was ought to be. His Royal Treasure was an over- flooded river; yet, it couldn’t tackle the issue he was facing then. Our Dear King was balding- fast.
He had tried all the hair oils possibly available, importing those from foreign land too. None of those had worked really. His problem seemed to be multiplying in geometrical counting with each passing day. A bald King was completely unthinkable of. After all, what the neighboring Kings must think of him? How would his own subjects treat him? His majesty was threatened to be balding..
The thinning of his hair was affecting his already shaken confidence. Would he continue to remain powerful and masterful? Would he be referred to as a King even?
It was a bright early summer days, as it is now here; when the Royal physician was summoned. Cotton ball clouds waved around up in the sky making it dark but with no signs of rain. The season’s first mangoes had just ripened. The Royal physician was assigned the task of finding a remedy to the King’s problem. Asking for a couple of days’ time; the Royal physician had disappeared inside his lab.
It was him then to be staying awake at nights.
A few days had gone by when the Royal Physician had wanted to talk to the King. He claimed to have discovered a miracle medicine; wanting to handover the bottle to the King himself. The magical powers were not to be lessened by passing the bottle via others’ hands when they were not the ones to use the potion. The King was pleased to hold the tiny bottle himself.
It came attached with a condition.
He was never to think of mangoes while applying that oil. The Royal physician had given that away in a whisper in King’s ear, so no one else heard that. That was easy or so the King had muttered under his breath.
The “magical powers” were directly trans-passed.
The next morning, the King was awake earlier than usual. He was to use that remedial hair oil. Excited he had uncorked the bottle in a jiffy and was just about to pour the contents on his palm, when a plateful of freshly plucked, yellow ripened mangoes..
Did I say mangoes?
Poor King, the first day of the oil application was ruined already. He decided to try the procedure the next morning; successfully. Something happened again and before he could not think of mangoes again; the thoughts of the forbidden fruit had floated inside his mind already. The same happened the next morning and the morning next to that. A week had passed without any success at all. No matter how much he tried; the thoughts of mangoes would envelope his mind in no time.
The following morning, the King trashed the bottle into the bin. Standing in front of the mirror, grinning wide; he had plucked the final few strands as well.
He was so relieved of not being cautious about not to think of mangoes anymore. Not only he had learnt to savor the thoughts of the fruit as much as the fruit itself; he had come to terms with his baldness too!
Of course, the King lived happily ever after.