Reading Notes: Bengali Folktales Part B

-A queen with four sons loves the youngest best and spoils him
-She and her fourth son are made to live in a separate house by the other sons
-The youngest son is spoiled and takes whatever he wants
-He boards a boat that is not his and sets off on it with his mother 
-Sails out onto the ocean, encountering a whirlpool filled with marvelous rubies 
-The prince gathers many rubies, but, entreated by his mother to throw them back, he tosses all but one back into the sea
-He and his mother dock near a major city and take up residence in a hut
-The boy plays marbles with the sons of the king, using his ruby in place of actual marbles
-The princess observes the ruby and wants it for herself
-The lad is brought to the king, and the boy tells him he found the ruby in the ocean 
-The princess puts the ruby in her hair and asks her parrot how she looks
-The parrot replies having only one ruby looks ridiculous 
-The princess goes into the grief chamber and says she needs more rubies or she will kill herself 
-The king asks the lad to go and retrieve more rubies
-After setting sail, the lad reaches the whirlpool and dives into the center
-He finds a palace at the bottom of the ocean, inside which Shiva is meditating 
-A young lady, whose head is severed from her body, lays on a platform above Shiva
-The blood dripping from her neck turns into rubies
-After picking up a golden rod that touches the woman, her head and body are joined
-She and the lad run away together with a cargo of rubies
-The rubies are given to the princess, who resolves to marry the lad
-Already married to the woman from the ocean depths, he takes the princess as a second wife

-A man has an older and a younger wife, the younger of which he loves more
-The elder is mistreated by the younger wife
-The elder has one tuft of hair and the younger has two tufts 
-While searching for live in the younger wife's hair, a lock falls 
-The younger wife rips out the elder's one tuft and banishes her
-The elder goes to the forest to die, but encounters a cotton plant 
-She cleans around the base of the plant, and is bestowed with a blessing
-After coming upon a plantain tree and once again sweeping around it, she receives another blessing
-Also cleans the shed of a Brahmani bull and receives another blessing 
-Repeats the same process with a Tulasi plant 
-Comes across a muni in meditation 
-The muni tells her to plunge into a nearby lake only once
-Emerges with lon, jet black hair and beautiful features
-Receives a basket filled with gold that never empties
-Receives various other gifts from each plant she cared for 
-The younger wife goes to the muni in search of the beauty he granted her fellow wife, but she disobeys his orders and remains ugly
-The husband returns from traveling and finds his elder wife has become the queen of beauty, and loves her dearly

Rubies on ruby red. Source: Pixabay


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