Episode # 426 – Bahuka & King Rituparna prove their expertise to each other!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Damayanti having her own doubts about the whereabouts of King Nala. She is quite sure that King Nala is roaming around somewhere, and is still alive. However, he is in a disguised form, else people would have identified him quite easily. With this intention in mind, she sends a Brahmin Pandit from the Vidharba Desha in search of King Nala with a couple of questions. As the Pandit goes around and meets many kings with these questions, he isn’t quite convinced, until he comes to King Rituparna. As King Rituparna tries giving answers, Bahuka (King Nala in disguised form) intervenes timely and gives a peculiar answer to both questions, which triggers a doubt in the Pandit’s mind. He makes a note of the answers of Bahuka carefully and conveys this to Damayanti. Upon hearing this from the Pandit, Damayanti is surprised! Nobody would give such an answer and is quite apt to what she has undergone with him! Is King Nala somewhere associated with King Rituparna? With this doubt in mind, Damayanti requests her father to arrange for a second “Svayamvara”, which shocks King Bheema. However, later he understands that this is a ploy being created by Damayanti to find out the whereabouts of King Nala. Accordingly, the “Svayamvara” invitation is passed on to King Rituparna in particular. King Rituparna accepts it immediately and gets ready to travel to Vidharba Desha to participate in the “Svayamvara” event, and requests Bahuka to ride his chariot. 

Moving on thus, Bahuka readies the chariot for King Rituparna with the best set of horses that would take him swiftly to Vidharba Desha. As King Rituparna gets on to the chariot, he is somehow not convinced with the set of horses that are tied to his chariot. He asks Bahuka to change them and replace them with the set of horses that he wanted. However, Bahuka tries to convince King Rituparna that these are the best in the lot and can travel long distances with ease. Bahuka is an expert in identifying the best horses and riding them with absolute expertise. However, King Rituparna does not know of Bahuka’s expertise, and insists with his set of horses. Obeying the king’s orders, Bahuka changes horses and rides them. However, to the king’s dismay, the horses that he selected aren’t even moving a few miles and are collapsing one after the other! Thus, King Rituparna understands slowly that what Bahuka had told earlier was right. Thus, he changes the set of horses to which Bahuka wanted to ride, and requests Bahuka to go ahead with his plan. Accordingly, Bahuka ties the horses that he wants to ride, and the horses run quite swiftly as expected! Upon looking at the swiftly running horses, King Rituparna is surprised with Bahuka’s unique expertise with his horse-selection and horse-riding skills! Thus, both of them, along with Vaarshneya proceed towards Vidharba Desha. 

As the trio are driving their way, they spot a huge banyan tree and upon spotting it, King Rituparna immediately exclaims that there are exactly 2505 leaves in this tree! As Bahuka hears this, he is shell-shocked! How can a person tell exactly how many leaves are there in a huge banyan tree, given the fact that he has just glanced at the tree only once during the fast travel? Having this thought in mind, Bahuka immediately asks King Rituparna thus, “Oh king! How is it possible that you’re able to tell exactly the number of leaves that are present in the tree? Are you simply faking it or, are you telling the truth?” As Bahuka asks thus, King Rituparna replies, “Oh Bahuka! Don’t you know? I’m extremely good at mathematics, counting and gambling. With my mathematical and counting skills, I was able to exactly count the number of leaves in the tree even as we were swiftly passing through that tree. If you want, you may stop the chariot and count it for yourself! But we do not have sufficient time!” 

As Bahuka hears thus, he really wants to confirm the number. He stops the chariot for a while, with due permission from King Rituparna and starts counting the number of leaves in the tree. As the counting is going on, King Rituparna also says exactly the number of leaves that had fallen on the ground, as against the exact number of leaves that are still in the tree! Upon counting the leaves, Bahuka is startled to find the exact number of leaves as King Rituparna had said! Thus, with these two incidents, both Bahuka and King Rituparna prove themselves to each other! On one hand, Bahuka has already proved that he has enormous levels of expertise in horse-riding and horse-selections whereas on the other hand, King Rituparna proves that he is an expert in mathematics and counting. This is exactly what Snake Kaarkotaka had advised King Nala before asking him to go to King Rituparna and spend a few days there. Apart from counting and mathematics, King Rituparna is also extremely skilled in gambling, which Bahuka remembers in a flash! 

So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness how Bahuka is going to exploit this expertise on gambling that King Rituparna possesses. Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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