Young Harshvardhan (a King in ancient India) was imprisoned and sentenced to death by a neighboring King. Instead of killing him, however, the King, moved by Harsh’s youth and ideals, offered him freedom in exchange for answering a difficult question. He was given a year to find out the answer, If he still had no answer, he would be put to death.
The question was: “What do women really want?”
This question had perplexed even the most knowledgeable people since ages and to Harsh, it seemed an impossible query. As it was better than instant death, he accepted the proposition to have an answer by year’s end.
He went out and started asking everybody – the royals, the common man, the priests, the wise men and women, teachers, court jester etc. He asked everybody, but nobody could give him a satisfactory answer. However, there was an old witch and many people advised him to consult her as only she would know the answer.
The witch was famous for the exorbitant prices she charged. The final day of the year arrived and Harsh had no alternative but to talk to the witch. The witch agreed to answer his question but he’d have to accept her price first – Marriage with Siddhraj, the most noble of ministers in the kingdom and Harsh’s closest friend!
Young Harsh was horrified as witch was hunchback, hideous, had only a tooth, smelled very bad, ugly and unpleasant. He refused to force his friend to marry her and have to endure such unbearable burden. Siddhraj, upon hearing of the condition, spoke to Harsh and persuaded him that nothing was too big a sacrifice compared to Harsh’s life and preservation of the Kingdom. Hence, their wedding was proclaimed.
The witch then answered Harsh’s question and it was: “What women really want is to be in charge of their own life.” Everyone instantly knew that the witch had disclosed a great truth and Harsh’s life would be spared. And so it was. The neighboring King kept his promise and granted Harsh total freedom.
What a wedding Siddharaj and the witch had! Harsh was torn between relief and anguish. Siddhraj was proper as always, gentle and courteous. The old witch put her worst manners on display and made everyone very uncomfortable. After wedding, home settlement hour approached. Siddhraj steeling himself for a horrific experience entered the home. But what a sight awaited him! The most beautiful woman he had ever seen sat before him! The astounded Siddhraj asked what had happened. The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she had appeared as a witch, she would henceforth be horrible, deformed self half the time, and the other half, she would be her beautiful maiden self. Which would he want her to be during the day, and which during the night?
What a cruel question? Siddhraj pondered on his predicament: during the day a beautiful woman to show off to his relatives and friends, but at night an old witch? Or would he prefer having by day a hideous witch, but by night a beautiful woman?
Dear reader, what would you do? What Siddhraj chose follows, but don’t read until you’ve made your own choice.
The noble Siddhraj replied that he would let her choose for herself. Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time, because he had respected her enough to let her be in-charge of her own life.
It’s always better to be sensitive, empathetic, encouraging and supportive towards women in their cause of being in-charge of their own life. One is surely to get more respect, liking/affection/love, support, care and strong relationship in return.