Once upon a time, there lived a shy, young man by the name of Ajay Singh. While Singh’s night blindness meant that he couldn’t see at night, he undertook maximum effort to hide this shortcoming from others.

One day, he decided to visit a friend. It took him quite some time to get there, and by the time Ajay Singh got to his friend’s house, he felt tired and hungry. His friend welcomed him in. A few minutes later, they sat down for food. Ajay nibbled at his food, for he didn’t want anyone to know he was hungry. After the main course, a lady started serving kheer to everyone. Guessing it was another serving of the meal, Ajay shook his head and refused. The lady with the ladle moved on. When Ajay looked at the man sitting beside him lapping up the delicious kheer, he realized he had turned down the delicious dessert.

Poor Ajay gazed at his empty plate. He found a drop of kheer on his plate. He scooped the drop with his finger and licked it. It tasted heavenly.

The night set in and everyone went to sleep, but Ajay was wide awake. Still on an empty stomach, he tossed restlessly in his bed. The drop of kheer he had licked tasted divine. He desperately wanted to taste a cupful of that milk kheer. As this craving got stronger, Ajay decided to wake his friend up and ask him to show Ajay the way to the kitchen. Ajay told him that he badly needed to have that milk kheer.

Ajay’s friend took him to the kitchen. However, Ajay’s night blindness meant he couldn’t see anything around him. He held his friend’s hand tight as both of them made their way to the kitchen. Now, it was customary in Rajasthan for the pot of kheer to hang from a rope tied to the rafter.

Ajay’s friend waved his hands in the air to feel around for the pot of kheer. When his hand finally managed to locate it, the pot overturned as the kheer spilled down on Ajay’s face. However, poor Ajay did well to not scream. He did not want to wake everyone up. He made short work of the kheer dripping from the pot. After eating to his heart’s content, he realized that he had gotten all wet and sticky due to the kheer.

There was no way Ajay was going to bed in that messy state. At the same time, taking a bath at the odd hour was out of question, for it meant waking up the whole household. While trying to get out of the kitchen, his foot accidentally hit a brass pot, causing a commotion. It woke up his friend’s father, prompting him to ask who was responsible for that racket.

A scared Ajay rushed out of the kitchen. He ran along a passage to his left and stopped inside the sheep shed. He stayed among the sheep while his friend’s father went around looking.

A while later, Ajay spotted two robbers stealthily working their way into the shed. Ajay found a sack and crept inside to escape from them. One of the robbers found the sack and kicked it hard, having mistaken it for a sheep. He told the other robber that they could carry the sheep and sacrifice it at the temple of Goddess Bhavani. That way, they would thank the Goddess for the wealth they had looted from two noblemen.

The robbers reached the temple and dumped the sack on the floor. A shocked Ajay screamed in fear. The startled robbers mistook him for a demon. They threw the two sacks full of the gold and precious ornaments that they had stolen and ran for their lives.

Ajay crept out of the sack and had a good bath in the temple’s pond. He then went back home with the two sacks. His friend couldn’t believe how a drop of kheer had brought Ajay so many adventures and turned him into a wealthy man overnight.

…now that you’re here

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Kalai Selvi, Folk Tale writer at Ameya

Kalai is passionate about reading and reinterpreting folk tales from all over the country. Write to her at kalai.muse@gmail.com to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Internet Archive.