KING Krishnadeva Raya would attend court daily but find his favourite courtier Tenali Raman missing. A week passed and still no sign of Tenali Raman. He became worried and sent a servant to Tenali Raman’s home to enquire about his whereabouts. The servant came back to say, “Your Majesty, his wife says that Tenali Raman is absolutely alright but every morning he leaves the house and returns late at night without telling her anything as to where he goes and why.”
The king was somewhat perturbed at Tenali Raman’s long absence without informing him about it. Seeing this the right time to turn the king against Tenali Raman, the commander-in-chief said to the king, “Your Majesty, Tenali Raman has become too big for his boots. He thinks he need not inform Your Majesty about his movements and for all one knows, he may be working elsewhere.”
The king became angry and sent a message to Tenali Raman’s wife, ordering his presence in court the next day or else be prepared to lose his job in the court. Next day itself Tenali Raman came to court with a rectangular box-like thing wrapped in a red cloth in his hand. The king asked him, “Where were you all this while? Have you started working elsewhere? Why didn’t you take permission from me before leaving the town?”
Tenali Raman quietly untied the red cloth and took out a book to place it in front of the king. The king looked at the book and smiled happily at Tenali Raman. The book had been missing from the royal library since months and it had been written by a scholar. It was titled The History of Vijayanagar.
The king asked excitedly, “Tenali Raman, where did you find this precious book? It had been missing for a long time.”
Tenali Raman replied humbly, “Your Majesty, I scouted around the town for a week and then saw a man was trying to sell this book to a foreign trader. So I took it from him after threatening him with evil consequences. He quietly handed me this book. This took me some time because of which I failed to attend court.”
The king was thrilled to recover this book and embraced Tenali Raman warmly. The commander-in-chief and the courtiers looked at the scene with scowls on their faces.