The king of Bilaspur spent all his time in nothing but luxuries. As a result of this while he was middle aged, his hair became white, his face wrinkled and his joints weak. These indications of old age made the kind very anxious.

He sent for his physician and asked him, “Can you cure me of this old age and restore my youth? I shall reward you to your heats content.

The physician said, “O’King! I know the secret of eternal Youth. In six months I shall make a new man of you.”

It was announced all over the kingdom that the king was about to retire for six months. The physician ordered that an under ground chamber should be built for the king, away from the city. The king entered his chamber which was always kept completely dark. Except the Physician no one could enter it.

The physician went on administering all sorts of medicines to king. But the only effect they had on the king was to make him still more old. Soon he developed some illness and died a miserable death. The Physician promptly buried him in that very chamber so that no one knew of the kings death.

Then Physician began to search on the highways for a youth who had some resemblance to the dead king. One day he found such a youth.

The physician said to him, “If you obey me and do as I say I can make you king.” The youth agreed.

The physician brought him to the dark chamber and told him all about the kings death. Then he sent word to the ministers and officials of the court to come and visit the king.

when the ministers and officials came the physicicans told them, “The king is still under treatment, though he is now considerably younger than before. You will have to meet him in total darkness. I suggest that you go in to him one by one, announce yourselves by name and position, give him the latest information regarding state affair and come out.”

By this trick the youth in the dark chamber can came to know the name of his courtiers and latest news about the state. Fot six months these officials kept coming and going. After thant the physician announced that the kings treatment was complete.

An auspicious day was fixed for the kings return.. On that day the entire population was outside tha underground chamber to hail their king.

When the king came out everone was thunder struck at the change in him But for a slight resemblance he was altogether a new man.

Thanks to my treatment the kind shall never become old again. If necessary, I am capable of changing his appearance beyond recognition, “said the physician. This was a threat to the young man who was pretending to be the king. The young man alonw understood this threat.

The king was taken to the court in a great procession and crowned afresh. The courtiers named him Ajara, which means one who has defeated old age.
Now the wily physician was the most powerful man in court his word was law even for the senior ministers. His orders were of the same importance as kings orders. The physician began to take a mean advantage of this situation, he dicatated to the new king without the slightest hesitation on every matter of importance to the state.

The new king tolerated the physician very patiently for a long time. Then he called him alone and said, “Your behaviour is not proper. since you have made me king you may order me as you please. But you should not interfere with the ministers and other officials.

“Ah power has already gone to your headq When i do not care a fig for you, is it likely that I shall care for your ministers and other menials? It is wiser for you not to forget that i have made you what you are!” said the physician in rage.

The king replied, “You are a wily man. It was foolish of me to have recevied help from a rogue. But it will be much more foolish to be grateful to you for such help.” So saying , the king took out a dagger and stabbed the wily physician to the heart.

Later king Ajara ruled the land happily for a long time.

(Source : Chanda Mama 1955 August)