The theme that went on and on

Last week at home was Vikram and Betaal.
A’s Dasara vacation triggered the exposure of some very old (around 20 years) Chandamama magazines lying at home, to A. And the very first thing she stumbled across, in those magazines was Vikram Betaal series of stories. I read out to her one of those stories, just so that she doesn’t push them aside. She sounded interested and gave me the task of finding out the details of why and what of this series, by the end of the day.
And then for the first time, I read about its details and here is what I learnt :
Vikram Aur Betaal is based on Betaal Pacchisi, written nearly 2,500 years ago by Mahakavi Somdev Bhatt
Vikram Aur Betaal is based on Betaal Pacchisi, written nearly 2,500 years ago by Mahakavi Somdev Bhatt. These are spellbinding stories told to the wise King Vikramaditya by the wily ghost Betaal.
At the beginning of the frame story, Vikramaditya king of Ujjain receives, among other visitors, a mendicant who presents the king a fruit on every visit. In the fruits are later discovered orbs of ruby. Upon this discovery, the king resolves to visit the mendicant, who arranges a meeting under a banyan tree in a cremation ground beyond the city, at night, on the 14th day of the dark half of the month. At the meeting, the mendicant requests that Vikramaditya bring him a corpse suspended from another tree, with which the mendicant might achieve occult power.

Upon Vikramaditya’s doing so, the corpse is identified as Betaal, the ghost, who narrates a story to the king, concluding that Vikramaditya must answer a moral question pertaining to the story’s characters, on pain of his own death; and upon his answering the question, Betaal returns to his tree. This sequence repeats 25 times until Betaal reveals the mendicant’s plan was to kill the king after obtaining power from Betaal himself. Thus forewarned, Vikramaditya kills the mendicant after their meeting.
Courtesy : Wikipedia 

And this song too played quite a bit at home !
Off we go, to read some more stories of the series and then some more of other ones !

And what have you been reading ?

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