MahaBharat : The fisherman who sold his boat

Under his mother's care, Devavratha (that was Bhishma's original name) grew to be a fussy kid. He had dozen tasters test his food for poison before he even put a morsel in his mouth . And at nights he used to check under his bed for assassins - every hour.

But his shrink said, "You are fine. It's a standard clinical reaction of a kid whose mother drowns seven of his brothers. Nothing to worry about." But Devavratha really looked forward to going back to his dad's place because he was kinda tired living with a serial killer and really wanted to be part of a normal family and breathe easy.

And finally on sixteenth birthday, Devavratha went over to his father's palace to start a new life. A life full of promise and hope.

Shantanu: Ah! finally the day I had longed to see for sixteen years.
Devavratha: I was also looking forward to see you too, papa.
Shantanu: I am so sad that I was not there to bring you up. But I will make amends now. Tell me your future plans.
Devavratha: I want to be the king of the world!
Shantanu: That plan has got Titanic written all over it. Do you have a plan B?
Devavratha: I want to marry the most beautiful girl and..
Shantanu: Plan C?
Devaratha: Well, I know that Chinese kids practice archery since they are in womb. But I was hoping to become the best archer in the world.

After hearing his son's dreams Shantanu became thoughtful. It was quiet sometime before he spoke.

Shantanu: Have you read the latest Hastinapur Times best seller - The fisherman who sold his boat? The author self published it.
Devavratha: I haven't read many books. I can't take my eyes off my mother, if you know what I mean.

Shantanu signals and someone brings a book. It is a very thin book. It has few photographs of boats. There is something written in the middle page. Devavratha reads it aloud, 'Any one who stays away from frown, crown and gown will outlive and out shoot anybody.'

Devavratha: Thats it! He self published this book. This thin book!
Shantanu: C'mon! He sold a boat.Not a Ferari.
Devavratha: But do you believe what the fisherman has said.. about this frown..
Shantanu: Don't forget about the crown and gown, my son.
Devavratha: yes, frown, crown and gown. The thing is, I really want to be the best archer in the world and for a long time to come.
Shantanu: Then, you know what you must do.
Devavratha: Yes,I am thinking of staying away from...But..
Shantanu: I see a sense of vacillation. Maybe, you will do well to take a vow to stay away from the evils.
Devavratha: Vow! I mean.. Wow! That sounds...

(Shantanu claps his hands. A guy brings a parchment.)

Shantanu: I have already drafted a vow for you. Now if you can just sign it here..
(Shantanu claps his hands again. Three more guys enter)
Shantanu: I also have three witnesses ready.
Devavratha: Vow! You are really fast.
Shantanu: This is nothing. You must see my Bank relationship manager! If you sign it now, I can get you a new name as well.
Devavratha: New name! Where do I sign it?

(Bhishma signs and Shantanu gestures to the sky. People hidden in the attic shower rose petals. And a loudspeaker starts crackling.)

Loudspeaker: Devavratha! Son of Shantanu! History will remember you as Bhishma.
Devavratha: Bhishma! That name sucks. Why can't I be Mark or Luke?
Shantanu: Now son, if you just move a bit...
(Shantanu takes the parchment from Bhishma and gives it to a witness)

Shantanu: There! My son will stay away from crown and gown. Can I marry your daughter now?
Witness : Now that my demands are met, I do not see any problem.
Bhishma: Demands! What demands? And, You are marrying again!
Shantanu: It's a long story. But yeah, I am going to marry his daughter, sathyavathy.
Bhishma: Who is this man? Why is his face familiar?
Shantanu: He is the fisherman who sold his boat.
Bhishma: Is this all a setup? Am I not going to be the best archer? Am I not...
Shantanu: You are an ashta vasu. You will be the best archer. And you will live till hundred.
Bhishma: What is an ashta vasu?
Shantanu: No idea. But you will live till..
Bhishma: This sucks.
Shantanu: You have entered into a binding contract,son. Stay away from the crown and gown.
Bhishma: And frown?
Fisherman: I just added it because it rhymed.
Bhishma: Oh! Thank GOD.. For a minute, I really thought that is the end of my life.
Shantanu: (To the fisherman) If I remember, you wanted a yacht too as dowry, right? Here is the key.
Bhishma: You are giving him a yacht!
Fisherman: (To Bhishma) By the way, look out for my next best seller - The fisherman who sold his boat and got a yacht.

The only thing that can be said about Bhishma's parents is they made any other parents look good.

From Mahabharat

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