📕 an eccentric writer, a king, and a bet

by Kshemendra, 11th century
translation by Brishti Guha, 2020

One beautiful spring day, King Satavahana visited a pleasure garden, taking his queens with him. Playing in the pool, surrounded by pretty ladies, the king looked as handsome as Cupid. As the sunlight refracted off their jewels creating dizzying patterns of color in the water, he began playfully splashing his companions with cool drops of water. One of the queens, whom the king had pelted rather hard, cried out “Your Majesty, don’t splash anymore water on me!”

Unfortunately, the queen had spoken in Sanskrit, a language at which the king was a complete dunce. He thought she wanted sweets. “Have all the sweets in the palace brought to the pool side!” he ordered his retinue.

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19 October 2020