Phakir Chand

Once, a king’s son and a minister’s son, close friends, embarked on a journey to foreign lands. They rode on magnificent horses, the pakshirajes, and explored various terrains. One night, near a clear-watered tank, they witnessed a giant serpent with a dazzling jewel on its hood.

The serpent, after displaying the brilliant jewel, devoured the horses tied to a nearby tree. The minister’s son, quick-witted, covered the jewel with horse-dung, causing the serpent’s demise. The next day, the friends discovered an underwater palace with a garden filled with exquisite flowers.

Inside the palace, they found a sleeping princess. She revealed that a mighty serpent had devoured her family. Grateful for their help, she asked them to stay. The king’s son, captivated by her beauty, married her without a formal ceremony.

Time passed joyously, but the king’s son decided to return to his kingdom. The minister’s son left to prepare for their return with grand celebrations. Meanwhile, the princess, curious about the upper world, visited it secretly with the snake-jewel. She was eventually captured by the Rajah’s son.

Learning of this, the minister’s son rushed to the city and discovered the princess’s plight. The Rajah’s son, enamored by her beauty, had lost his sanity. To cure him, an old woman named Phakir’s mother was brought in.

The minister’s son, learned that the marriage ceremony was imminent. He planned to rescue her. Phakir Chand, a mad lad, was associated with the old woman. The minister’s son, resembling Phakir Chand, joined the city residents in celebrations.

The minister’s son, concocts a daring plan to rescue the king’s son and the princess. Assuming the guise of Phakir Chand, he skillfully gains entrance to the snake-jewel held by Phakir’s mother. His eccentric dances and odd behaviors, part of the disguise, amuse and bewilder the old woman, ultimately allowing him to obtain the crucial snake-jewel.

With the powerful jewel in hand, the minister’s son infiltrates the Rajah’s palace, navigating through challenges to reach the captive princess. During his stay, he learns about her dire situation and forms a plan for escape. As night falls, he and the princess manage to slip away from the palace, skillfully avoiding guards returned to the underwater palace with the rescued princess.

The lovers now reunited make their way to the princes palace above ground and the minister’s son discovers a series of prophecies foretelling dangers to the king’s son. He is tasked with not telling the king’s son , failure to do so would turn him into a marbled statue, and only the blood of the couple first child poured over the statue would bring him back. Despite his efforts to avert each peril, he finds himself transformed into a marble statue, fulfilling the final prophecy.

Before succumbing to his petrified state, the minister’s son discloses the nature of the prophecies to the king’s son, stressing the imminent threat of a deadly cobra in their bedroom. In a selfless act, he sacrifices himself to save his friend, hoping to shield the royal couple from the impending danger.

The prince and princess, grief-stricken by the minister’s son’s sacrifice, decide to honor his memory. They then resolved to keep the marble figure concealed in a safe place, and to besmear it with the blood of their first-born child when it should be ushered into existence.

In process of time the hour of the princess’s travail came on, and she was delivered of a beautiful boy, the perfect image of his mother. Both father and mother were struck with the beauty of their child, and would fain have spared its life; but recollecting the vows they had made on behalf of their best friend, now lying in a corner of the room a lifeless stone, and the inestimable services he had rendered to both of them, they cut the child into two, and besmeared the marble figure of the minister’s son with its blood. The marble became animated in a moment. The minister’s son stood before the prince and princess, who became exceedingly glad to see their old friend again in life. But the minister’s son, who saw the lovely new-born babe lying in a pool of blood, was overwhelmed with grief. He took up the dead infant, carefully wrapped it up in a towel, and resolved to get it restored to life.

The minister’s son’s wife, a devoted follower of the goddess Kali, learns of their plight.

Driven by her devotion, she beseeches the goddess for help, explaining the minister’s son’s sacrifice. Kali, moved by the plea, agrees to restore life to the sacrificed child. The minister’s son’s wife performs a ritual, and miraculously, the child is revived.

Overjoyed by the unexpected reunion with their child, the prince and princess express their eternal gratitude. The minister’s son’s sacrifice, though tragic, ultimately leads to a joyous conclusion as the reunited family cherishes their happiness and lives harmoniously ever after.