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Tenali Raman Tale -The Most Difficult Job

Updated on January 24, 2017

King Krishnadevaraya

Tenali Raman was a very witty and wise man

Tenali Raman was a very witty and wise man in the court of King Krishnsdevaraya, the ruler of Vijayanagar, kingdom. He was the court jester. Lake the tales of Birbal, there are many stories about Tanali Raman.

One day king Krishnadevaraya asked his courtiers. You are all learned men. Can you tell me whose is the most difficult job in the land?’ without hesitation the courtiers stood up one by one and answered. Your Majesty, it goes without saying -of all the tasks, the one of ruling a country is the most difficult one.’ all except one person. That was Tenali Raman. He did not utter a word, but sat smiling amusedly. The king was very flattered at this answer from his courtiers. Still, he wanted to know why Raman was quiet. He waited for him to say something, but Raman did not anything at all.

Well, Raman, since you are not speaking, can it be because you do not agree with our noblemen here? The king ashed half -jokingly.

Your Majesty, I mean no disrespect to you or to our noblemen assembled here. But I seriously believe that the greatest job is done by a mother. The most difficult task is looking after a child and bringing it up. All mothers burdened with the toughest of tasks -keeping a child happy,’ replied Raman humbly.

The people around burst out laughing and each one passed some comment, you must be crazy,’ said one.

How can you compare the amount of responsibilities a king has a bear, with that of a mother who looks after a child?’ asked another.

This time you have gone too far with your joke,’ added one more.

Tenali Raman

Tenali Raman bowed to the king

Do you mean to imply that the work of looking after a kingdom is less important than that of looking after a child?’ inquired another of the courtiers who was extremely jealous of Tenali Raman.Tenali Raman listened to all this with a smile on his face. Then he turned to king Krishnadevaraya. Your Majesty, if permission is granted, let me demonstrate how difficult is handling a small child, I will be the child and you pretend to be my mother.’ the people present in the court sat up with interest. Some were amused, but some others were snigger's. The king too was curious to know how Tenali Raman would behave as a baby. Then, Raman began to talk like a baby.

`I want a banana. now only, I want one. Wah!’

He began to cry loudly. All the people began to laugh. He was imitating a child throwing a tantrum so well that the king was also highly amused. To pacify Raman, the king ordered a banana to be given to him.

`I want it to be peeled’ cried Raman it completely and handed it over to him.

When asked, you remove the peel completely? Give it back to me as it was mine.’ demanded Raman.

The countries tried giving him. Another one, but he would not listen. `I don’t want another. Give me the same one with its skin. Intact. Not even a little bit should be folded.’ the wails of Raman were getting louder and louder. No amount of reasoning could make him stop crying. Finally the king got fed up.

`Raman, stop that at once, you have made your point, but we are still not convinced. Surely no child is so adamant as you are portraying’.

Tenali Raman bowed to the king and said your majesty, tomorrow morning I shall endeavor to bring a and her son in front of you. Then you shall be able to understand what I mean.’

Tenali Raman and Meat a woman

The little boy asked for the elephant to be put inside

King krishndevaraya agreed and according to his word Tenali Raman presented a woman of ordinary means in the court, the next morning. Her small boy was clutching on to her hand tightly. Raman spoke to him gently and promised that the king would give him anything that asked for. Slowly the little boy lost his awe and asked for an elephant. At the king‘s signal an elephant was led into the court. The boy shouted with glee and pointed it to his mother excitedly. Then, holding out a small basket had brought with him, the little boy asked for the elephant to be put inside.

Unable to do so one by one the courtiers tried to explain why it was impossible. But the child was too young to understand and kept insisting on his elephant being put into the basket. The courtiers felt helpless and even king was at a loss. He did not know how to make the child understand hat the elephant was too big for the basket. All of them turned to Raman for help.

Toy Elephant and Child

Tenali Raman was proved right

Tenali Raman said to the woman. Madam, kindly tell us what we should do to make your child, quiet.’ she at once whispered something in his ear. Raman called one of the attendants and told him to bring something. He soon returned carrying a small toy elephant. The mother carried her baby in her arms and put the toy elephant in the basket. See son, here is a smaller elephant than that which fits nicely into this basket. Come, let's put it in, shall we? And we will tell that man to take away the big elephant as it will break our basket?’

The child was distracted by the new toy and paid no attention as the elephant was taken away. It happily left the court holding its happily left the court holding its toy elephant in its basket and chatting to its mother. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. King krishnadevaraya and the other courtiers at last accepted that once again Tenali Raman was proved right.

Little did they realize that Tenali Raman had briefed both the mother and her son before hand itself.


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