Anukriti was a daughter of a noble man. She was talented, smart, and absolutely child-like. Her purity was such that whenever she laughed bright dust of precious gold danced and rained around her face and fell on the ground. People loved her child like laughter. It took away their worries and pain. The servants made her laugh more often to gather the gold dust from around her.
When she grew up, a young man saw her laugh with child-like mirth. He instantly fell in love with her. Her father saw that this was a good match and agreed to the young man’s marriage proposal.
Anukriti and Shailesh were soon married but the moment she set foot in her husband’s small province, she saw desert, drought and hunger-deaths all around. It depressed her to learn that the draught had persisted for nearly a decade. Her depression grew deeper every day. Witnessing more poverty and sadness filled her eyes with tears. Her tears created thorns and cacti and shrubs wherever they fell.
Shailash grew concerned about it when he noticed that the regal gardens were slowly turning into thorny shrubs. He sought the help of his family guru who lived by the stony mountains. When he narrated his story, the guru gave him a red thread and sword to be placed under her pillow. Next morning, the depressed wife who by now had lost all her vigor, started shedding tears of sadness. But this time instead of thorny plants, streams of water started to flow wherever her tears fell.
At first he was sad to see her cry, but Shailash also found relief because the incessant flow of water started helping the people in his province. He tried to pacify her by showing her all the greenery around. But by then, Anukriti was beyond solace. One night, she cried incessantly. The rivulets swelled into streams, streams into rising rivers. Shailesh ran to his guru and asked for his help. Guru gave him a sad look and said, “when you saw her laughing in pure mirth, you coveted her beauty. When you saw the thorns, you wanted a remedy. And now when your province in the peril of being drowned in your wife’s tears, you came back to me for help. When was it that you ever genuinely cared about her? This problem would only be fixed when you will shed tears for your wife or you are doomed to drown.”
Shailash came home to find his wife’s beautiful face covered with shadows of darkness and pain. His heart twisted in pain and remorse. He felt responsible for her plight. He tried cheering her and trying to make her laugh. When all attempts failed, he looked up to the sky and prayed on his wife’s beautiful face again. Sad tears of repentance rolled out of his eyes. He forgot all about it till a few days later he found Anukriti in the garden smiling faintly looking at a pair of parrots.
Fragrant flower petals danced around her face as she smiled; soon spring came. One day watching their little one play, she laughed playfully. Strands of silver danced around her and fell on the ground. One day just like that, the house of Shailesh was filled with her child-like laughter again and servants chasing her to collect to all the gold from the ground.