I am going to tell you an old folk tale from Maharashtra where a queen was banished but her son became the king in a most interesting way:

Once upon a time, there was a king called king Vikram who ruled a kingdom called Avanti. He had seven wives but he spent most of his time with the youngest queen, Queen Shashikala, who was pregnant. This made the other queens jealous. They plotted and planned against her and then told the king that Queen Shashikala had spread rumors about him. The king was furious and told his prime minister to imprison her in the jungle fortress with her maid, Devaki. Devaki tried to ask the prime minister for help, but the prime minister, being a greedy man, thought that if Queen Shashikala and her son were not in the castle, he would become the next king and so he paid no heed to Devaki.

After a few months, a baby was born to Queen Shashikala. Devaki and Queen Shashikala discussed how to bring him us and they decided to train him as a prince. Devaki taught him mimicry and disguise and Queen Shashikala teaches him various musical instruments. They called the child Thugsen. Once when Queen Shashikala was discussing her banishment with Devaki, Thugsen overheard and insisted on hearing the whole story and when he had, he now insisted on revenge

And so he set out for Avanti with only a small jewel that his mother had given him. On the outskirts of Avanti, he found a gang of thieves. He went and when they tried to rob him, he told them that he was only one and so they could rob him later and they should first share a meal with them. Thugsen said he never ate without taking a bath and so they let him go into the river. He came out after a few minutes and showed them the gem and told them that there were a lot of them at the bottom of the lake. The thieves at once jumped into the river and Thugsen quickly took their booty and the best horse and went into the city. There he found a street singer who offered him food and shelter. He went to the singer’s house and at night, he took the singer’s veena and went to the palace. He played an entrancing tune and the guards fell asleep. Then he got in and stole the necklaces of the six queens. The next day when the king saw this, he was very angry. He offered a reward to whoever caught the thief and a wrestler was boasting that he would catch the thief and thrash him. Thugsen went to the wrestler called Balabhima, disguised as an astrologer. He told him to go to the palace and he would find a pot of gold. Balabhima agreed. Then Thugsen went to another wrestler called Hanuman and told him that he would find the thief at the palace. So hanuman went with the stick, found Balabhima, and hit him, thinking him to be the thief. When the king heard of this, he got even angrier and told his minister to catch the thief. Just then, a few jewelers came and said that they were cheated. A man had come and asked for precious jewels. He took some pieces and left a box of money and went away. When the jewelers opened the box, there were stones in it! This was Thugsen. The king told the prime minister to find the thief immediately. The prime minister closed the city gates and Thugsen guessed that he was going to make a house-to-house search.

Thugsen disguised himself as a poor washerman who had to wash his clothes in the lake outside, and the guards, taking pity on him, let him out. But the prime minister suspected the washerman when he heard he was the only person out and went to the lake. Thugsen threw a hollow gourd into the water and the prime minister thought that it was the thief. He took off his clothes and jumped into the water. By the time the prime minister realized, Thugsen had taken his horse and clothes and in the darkness went and told the guards of the palace that the next person to come would be the thief. So the guards arrested the prime minister, who was not wearing any clothes. But the king came and realized it was the prime minister and told the guards to let him go. The next morning, the jewels had been returned to the jewelers. The king then thought that the thief must have a motive if he had returned the jewels. He announced that the thief would be given a whole pardon if he showed himself. So Thugsen went. He told the king who he was and told him what had actually happened. The king brought Queen Shashikala back and banished the rest of the queens. Then Thugsen was crowned the king of the land and everyone was happy.

THE END