Who bodes ill?
The entire town was convinced that Ramaiyya was a jinxed man and his presence bodes ill for everyone. The citizens believed that if one saw Ramaiyya’s face as the first thing in the morning. One would not get a morsel of food the entire day. Hence nobody liked to confront him early in the morning.
Somehow this matter was conveyed to the king, Raja Krishnadevrai who decided to test this belief of the person. He sent for Ramaiyya and asked him to stay with him for a day. He wanted to see his face as the first thing in the morning and experience its consequences. And the next morning he did so. Then the king went to hold his court. When finishing his morning session the king went to have his food, he found a fly ruining dish especially prepared for him. He immediately developed dislike for food and left it uneaten. When the dish was again prepared, the king felt no hunger because of his early morning experience.
Now the king thought: “This Ramaiyya is an inauspicious fellow for sure. That is why I could not have my food the entire day. The people rightly believed his presence to be a bad omen. Such a man deserves death for the benefit of my entire state. If he continues to survive nothing good shall happen to state.”
With this thought as uppermost in his mind, he developed instant dislike for Ramaiyya. Then the king summoned his soldiers and ordered them to have Ramaiyya beheaded forthwith.
When poor Ramaiyya was being taken to the scaffold, he happened to see Tenaliram. Ramaiyya told him about his ill luck and requested Tenali to help him. Tenali whispered something in his ear and asked him to repeat the same before the king.
When Ramaiyya was standing on the scaffold, the king arrived and as was customary and asked Ramaiyya t express his last wish. And Ramaiyya said: “My last wish is a request to all the people of the state, I wish to tell all of them that his majesty, the king’s presence is much more ominous than my presence. It is widely believed that he who sees my face early in the morning has to forgo his food for the entire day. But he who sees our king’s face early in the morning has to lose his life. My this execution is an evidence to prove my contention!”
The king immediately rescinded his order and gave ample award to Ramaiyya to prove that viewing his face in the morning entailed good reward. Thus Tenali could not only save Ramaiyya’s life but also had the unfortunate man get good reward.