Telugu poet Tenali Rama served as a counsellor at King Krishnadevaraya's court in what is today Andhra Pradesh. Due to his clever and entertaining stories, he has also been renowned as the court jester. Tenali Rama was known for using his intellect and moral principles to find solutions to problems, therefore his tales make excellent bedtime reading for young children.
Nothing can match the delight of reading Tenali Rama stories. Let’s dive into the story to know the suspense hidden in “Tenali Rama and the brinjal curry”.
Sri Krishnadevaraya was the emperor of Vizayanagra. He had eight advisors. Tenali Rama was one among them. He was very clever and spontaneous. Sri Krishna Devaraya had some special kinds of brinjal plants in his garden. The brinjal was a very rare kind and curry made out of it was very tasty and was loved by the emperor. As it was a rare kind, the garden was very guarded and no one was allowed to view the plants without the emperor’s permission.
Tenali Rama - Image
Once the emperor had arranged dinner for his advisors and the brinjal curry was served. Tenali Rama had enjoyed the brinjal curry very much and went home. But he was unable to forget the taste.
He told his wife about the taste of the curry. Tenali Rama’s wife also liked brinjal curry, so she asked Tenali Rama to bring a few brinjals so that she can prepare a curry. But Tenali Rama knew that the emperor was taking extreme care of the brinjal plants and he could easily detect the missing of even one brinjal from his garden. The emperor would punish such a thief if caught stealing brinjal from his garden.
Tenali Rama Stealing Brinjal
But Tenali’s wife pleaded with him to bring brinjal from the garden without telling anybody. Tenali Rama had no choice other than to steal brinjal from the emperor’s garden. One night he went to the garden, jumped over the wall, and plucked a few brinjals from the garden.
By god’s grace, no one had seen him. His wife cooked the brinjals and the curry was very tasty. Like all the mothers, she too loved her son very much and wanted to serve him brinjal curry. But Tenali Rama asked her not to do such a thing because if their son revealed to anybody that he had a rare brinjal curry, then they might get caught and punished for stealing brinjal from the garden.
Tenali Raman And His Family Having Brinjal Curry Together
But his wife did not agree. She wanted to serve the curry to her son. She was unable to eat the curry alone without serving her little kid who was sleeping after doing his homework on the roof of their house.
She asked Tenali Rama to find a way so that their son could also taste the brinjal curry. Tenali Rama also loved his son, so he thought of an idea. With a lot of hesitation, he went on to the roof to wake up his child with a bucket of water and poured the water on the child.
When the child woke up he said “It is raining. Let’s go inside the house and have dinner”. After entering the room he changed the clothes of his son and gave him rice and brinjal curry for dinner. Tenali Rama told his wife loudly, “It was raining outside, let the boy sleep in the room”.
The next day, the emperor came to know that a few brinjals were missing in his garden. The gardener who kept the count of each vegetable and flower found that the three brinjals were missing. It became a challenging issue for the emperor who took it very seriously. He declared a reward for the person who could catch the thief. Chief advisor Appaji suspected that only Tenali Rama was capable of doing such things and told the emperor about it.
The emperor sent his courtiers and asked Tenali Rama to come immediately. Once Tenali Rama came he asked him about the missing brinjals. Then Tenali Rama said, “I was not aware of the missing brinjals”. Then the chief advisor said, “Tenali Rama was lying. Let’s enquire about his son”. The king sent his courtiers to bring Tenali Rama’s son. Once his son came, he was asked what vegetable he had for dinner last night. The child replied, “The brinjal curry was very tasty”.
Then the advisor told Tenali Rama that he needs to accept his crime. But Tenali Rama said his son had slept very early and he might be saying something which he had dreamt about. So the emperor asked the little kid, “Can you please explain clearly what you did yesterday after coming from school?”
Tenali Rama’s son replied, “Yesterday, after coming from school, I played for some time and after that, I went on to the roof, did my homework, and slept on the roof. But when the rain started, my father came and woke me up. By that time my dress was fully wet, then we went inside, had dinner, and slept again”.
The chief advisor Appaji was shocked because there was no rain at all the previous day. So they thought the kid had a dream and freed Tenali Rama without any punishment. However, later Tenali Raman told the truth to the emperor and was pardoned by the emperor for his clever witty idea.
“Stealing is never a good idea”. Although Tenali Rama was a witty person and had managed to fool everyone, he confessed the truth to the emperor, thereby displaying that he was a virtuous person too.
This story is about the brinjal curry and the clever idea of Tenali Rama about stealing them from the King’s garden, despite strict security. Using his sharp mind, he was successful in stealing the brinjals, further having it with his wife and son. Very smartly, he also influenced his son, Appaji and the empire that his son had just dreamt about the brinjal curry and didn't actually have it. The story is interesting and tells us that one should never use unfair means to get the wishes fulfilled and at the same time presence of mind is the most important aspect.
1. List the characteristics of Tenali Rama.
The characteristics of Tenali Rama are that he is intelligent, can fix issues, and Tenali always uses his expertise to find a solution to any issue that arises at the court of emperor Krishnadevaraya.
2. What lessons can you learn from this story?
The important lesson of this story is always use your intellect to get out of challenging circumstances. Whatever the case is, a lie will eventually come out, so one should never lie about the things and should be Loyal and straightforward for his/her demands.
3. List some other Tenali Rama stories.
Some other Tenali Raman Stories in English are:
The Biggest Fool in the Kingdom!
The Cursed Man or King?