Gonu Jha was well known for his wit and repartee who used to entertain the king and ministers in funny instances. King was very much impressed with Gonu Jha. Few ministers were jealous of his growing popularity in the kingdom and respect in the eyes of King. These few ministers wanted to get rid of him at any cost. And among them was one barber who wanted to be out of his way very miserably. The barber was proud of his intelligence and so took up the task of getting rid of Gonu Jha.
The grave of King’s father was in a garden of the kingdom where king used to visit daily and pay homage to his father. One such day, the king found a letter.
Dear Son Hari,
I know you love me so much and I am so happy with the times spent there with you. I am facing problem in my prayer. Please send Gonu Jha for my assistance. There is a graveyard to the east of village. You will find a heap of brick there. Seat him on it, put planks and set him on fire. He will directly reach to me. I will send him back after few days.
The king got perplexed after reading the letter. Logical argument started in king’s head on reading the letter. He was unable to zero on any conclusion whether it was really his father or it was any conspiracy. King was aware of Gonu Jha’s growing popularity and growing base of enemies. King returned to kingdom and informed the ministers regarding the letter. Gonu Jha’s enemies became happy and started murmuring “Gonu is so lucky for getting the opportunity to serve King’s father in heaven” , “Gonu is a saintly soul that he is going to visit heaven in his life”, “I do not have such luck, I would have happily accepted the offer if we were approached.” and so many fuss. Hearing all of these the barber said “Lord will be unhappy if Gonu Jha does not go as he has asked him to come personally. Not all are capable that’s why lord has asked for Gonu Jha’s assistance.” King was in deep thoughts over the issue and thought of going straight to Gonu as last resort.
Gonu Jha had been listening all of these quietly and was able to smell something fishy in the whole incident. During whole time he was trying to devise a way to deal with the situation. When the king approached Gonu with the issue, he asked for three things:
- 3 months time
- Until I return from heaven, my family should be paid 10000 per month.
- I need 50000 before going to heaven so that I arrange all stuffs for my family.
King was surprised listening that Gonu Jha was ready to go to heaven. “Will you really go to heaven Gonu?”, the king asked. Yes, lord. You do not worry even a bit. I will go to heaven and help your father and come back.”, said Gonu. The king accepted Gonu’s demands with a heavy heart. Some ministers who loved Gonu were tensed and some who were jealous of him were happy on listening that Gonu Jha had agreed to go to heaven. The barber was very much happy to know his plan was working in his favor.
Soon 3 months passed and everybody gathered at the graveyard located to the east of village to bid adieu to Gonu Jha. Everybody from the village except few ministers were sad and crying. But there was not a single wrinkle on Gonu’s face. He was smiling and confident. He smilingly sat on the pile of bricks as written in the letter. Plancks were put on him and was set on on fire. The barber and ministers were happy to get rid of Gonu. Days passed. Months passed. Everybody including the king was sad by the absence of Gonu Jha. One day the king was discussing something about Gonu and suddenly one guard came running to the king and said Gonu Jha was sighted coming to the kingdom. Gonu has put on good amount of weight and he was healthier than before. The barber was in sweat seeing this.
Gonu came before the king and said “Lord, I am coming from heaven and your dad is healthy. But his hair and beard has grown long and needs a shave very badly.” The barber started running after listening to Gonu and seeing himself in the trap. But the soldiers got hold of him and presented before the king. “You were speaking too much when Gonu was going to heaven the previous time. Why are you scared now?”, said the king. On sensing that if he does not disclose the matter before court, he will have to die; the barber said everything in detail about how he wrote letter and placed at the King’s father tomb to get rid of Gonu Jha. “Gonu Jha knows black magic and so he was out of the fire without a single burn”, said the disturbed and fearful barber.
Gonu was asked to explain how he dodged the death from fire and returned after 6 months. “After seeing the letter, I was sure that there was something fishy in it and so I started thinking of an escape from it. I made a tunnel from the graveyard to my house in the 3 months I had asked for and used it when I was seated on the brick heap. I secretly started investigating and came to know the involvement of the barber in this. If I would have told these without proof, no one would have believed me. So, I thought of geeting the person behind this caught red handed.”, said the proud Gonu Jha. The barber was punished and sentenced imprisonment while Gonu Jha was given away prize for his bravery and presence of mind.