The disturbed bush of the cremation"ground was shattered by the frenzied shriek of a ghoul. But King Vikrarn did not turn a hair. He marched on to the gnarled old tree and snapped off the rope that bound the corpse to the branch. He threw the corpse across his shoulder and began walking back when the Vetala that possessed the corpse spoke.
O King! it said. Wbat has influenced you' so deeply that you seek me again and again? Whatever it is, please make sure that whoever basmade that kind of impact has good inrentions, like the one the story about King Subhajit of Gouda. Lislen to the story, for it might set you thinking about your own action.
Subhajit, the King of Gouda, was a lover of art. He patronised artists, and was himself a very good artist. Brilliant works of art adorned his palace. He was a worshipper of beauty, and appreciated aU art that was beautiful. Under him, artists flourished.
The common people did not mind lhis fancy of their young king till. one year, the monsoon seemed to have failed. The crops withered and injust six months, the kingdom suffered from famine and drought conditions.
Yet King Subhajit continued to reward artists. He did not appear to be aware that his subjects were suffering. Naturally, they were upset. They presentedpetitions to him, and even organised meetings to protest"his insensitive attitude - all in vain. The king had eyes"only for art.
"The last straw came when the king announced an art exhibition. He invited all the famous and up-and-coming artists in the kingdom and outside. He announced that the best work would win for its creator the p.Jsition of court artist The people were shocked. While they struggled for their next sip of water and morsel of food, here was their king spending lavishly on art and artists.