They took Kalidas to the palace and presented him as a great sage who
was observing a vow of silence, and told the queen he could only communicate through
gestures. Previously theyd advised Kalidas to keep his mouth shut under all
circumstances and simply move his fingers and fists when questioned. The princess
interrogated Kalidas and the responses of his fingers and fists, as interpreted by the
wise men, made him seem the wisest man in the kingdom.
Delighted, the princess married
him. Shortly after they entered the marriage chamber Kalidas uttered something and the
princess, with horror, discovered she was married to a dolt. She kicked him out of the bed
chamber and palace. She called him a camel and other such endearing names.
Kalidas was miserable. He determined life was not worth continuing especially his
He went to the river to drown himself. But once there, he observed that the rocks
beside the river had been worn down by the washerwomen who scrubbed
and pounded the clothes on the stones of the bank. Kalidas hesitated a
moment in his desire for oblivion and studied the hollows worn in the stone banks by the
"If merely washing clothes can...