Vikram and Betaal – The Vain Man

Vikram and Betaal

The graveyard was still. There was no sound of rustling leaves or howling dogs. Nor were there any moving shapes that night. Blood pounded in King Vikramaditya’s ears. Somehow, above that sound, he could hear something else truly chilling. The one sound that broke that silence around him— his footsteps! Would something jump out at him from the dark? “It is a spooky sinister place, but I mustn’t let my mind play tricks on me. That is the only thing I have to do,” Vikrama told himself. Adventure sounds really exciting, and adventure with a companion is always better. But King Vikrama had agreed to go alone to the graveyard. And by now, he could find his way to the peepal tree with ease. So on he went, not minding his own footsteps.

He reached for the waiting spirit, put it on his shoulder, and started back to his camp. Now he had a companion but not one to share his adventure!

In the quiet night, the Vampire seemed to have plans of its own!  As always, he began by mocking King Vikrama.

“So, king, you are back! I do wonder about you! You are so keen to do the hermit’s bidding; do you think he respects you? You have agreed to all his conditions, haven’t you? Don’t you think that is very naïve of you? Beware. Sometimes, even spirits don’t respect a man if they think he is weak!

Let me tell you the story of Varada and the two Yakshas.”

Listen and enjoy!

THE VAIN MAN

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