Once upon a time, the kingdom of Vijayanagara was being flooded with cases of theft. Everywhere, there was talk about 2 thieves who looted whatever they could find from the houses they broke into. King Krishnadevaraya too grew worried and sought to find a solution for this soon. So, he went to Tenali Rama and asked him to find a solution for this. He also authorised Tenali Rama to take along with him as many soldiers as needed. But Tenali Rama said that he would accomplish the task all by himself and turned down the king’s offer. All the other ministers laughed at this reply given by Tenali. Nevertheless, Tenali went ahead with his own plan.
Soon, a rumour started to spread in the kingdom that there was a magic chant that would protect people’s wealth from getting stolen. It was also said that a merchant by the name of Lakshmi Chand learnt this chant and as he had learnt this mantra, he was going to sleep with his locker open. The 2 thieves heard of this and they decided to rob Lakshmi Chand that night.
During that day night, the 2 thieves sneakily entered into the room of Lakshmi Chand. As expected, they found the locker to be open, with all the money and jewels visible inside. The thieves swiftly cleared out the locker and then left his house. After that, they went to their hideout.
The next day, Tenali Raman came to court with the two thieves. The king was astonished to see such a quick result. When Tenali was asked as to how he accomplished this, he explained the plan that he had methodically carried out. First, he caused a rumour to be spread in the kingdom that there was a magic chant. Second, knowing that the robbers would constantly eavesdrop on the public, he passed a truth as bait, saying that Lakshmi Chand would be sleeping with his locker open. In fact, Lakshmi Chand was a part of the plan too. Then at night, Tenali covered the floor of Lakshmi Chand’s room with black paint. When the thieves left, their footprints were black and hence it would be easy for Tenali to follow them. Tenali also found that an ex-minister of the kingdom was offering refuge to the 2 thieves.
After hearing all this, the king was impressed and he ordered the imprisonment of the 2 thieves as well as the ex-minister. Thus, the kingdom of Vijayanagar was once again saved by the wit of Tenali Raman.
Moral - One should never take anything for granted.