From The Archive: Tenali Raman Tales - Raman Outsmarts A thief (Episode 141)
Tenali Raman was a learned scholar and a poet in King Krishnadevaraya’s court. He was a minister in the court and was also one of the eight poets. He was famous for his wit and quick thinking.
On the Story Prism podcast, Tenali Raman tales are a collection of some of those stories.
Today's story- Raman Outsmarts a Thief is a story that teaches us that being a quick thinker and witty can save us from dire situations. Do you think Raman would be able to save himself this time?
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Once upon a time, Raman set out on a long journey. In those days, one had to walk through the jungle to get to another city.
Children, how can we travel from one place to another nowadays?
That’s a lot of ways, but long-long ago, people had to walk if they wanted to travel.
So, Raman started his journey. On the way, another traveller joined Raman, who said, “This forest is infested with thieves. I am afraid they will rob me. Can I travel with you?” the man asked Raman. Raman readily agreed.
That night, the two of them stopped at some place in the forest to rest. Raman was tired and fell asleep soon. His companion was waiting for this moment. In fact, he was a thief who used to rob travellers. He got up and looked under Raman’s pillow without disturbing him. He found nothing. He carefully searched Raman’s pockets looking for money. To his disappointment, he did not find even a paisa! Then he opened the bundle Raman was carrying. Again, he found nothing.
The next morning, the two resumed their journey. They halted for the night again. Raman again had a sound sleep. Whereas his companion yet again searched Raman’s belongings, looking for money and valuables. Again, he was disappointed.
The next day, the two travellers reached the holy city of Tirupati, the famous holy city in southern India. This was where Raman and his companion had to part company.
At that moment the companion confessed that he was a thief. “ I have never met with failure. But this time I failed. Now that we are parting company, please tell me where you hid the money in the night?” pleaded the thief. “Unless I know your secret, I may not be able to sleep,” he confessed.
Raman smiled, “I knew you were a thief the moment I saw you. I took care to hide money where you would never find it.”
Children, where do you think Raman hid his money?
Let’s listen ahead.
“But where? I looked for it everywhere,” cried out the thief.
“Did you look for it under your pillow?” asked Raman.
“I looked for it under your pillow and found nothing. Why should I look for your money under my pillow?” asked the bewildered thief.
“Because I hid the money under your pillow,” said Raman, “I was confident it was the one place you would never look for my money.”
That indeed surprised the thief's companion. He quietly went off his way thinking about how witty Raman was.
Careful and smart thinking can help one beat even the worst people in the world