Two noble kings, King Ratan Singh and King Chatan Singh, once ruled the Kingdoms of Ratangiri and Chatangiri, respectively. The two kings had been best friends since childhood and their friendship was an epitome amongst their subjects. So close were they, that neither would take any fiscal or strategic step without consulting the other. The subjects of their empire were the happiest, as they knew that the friendship between the two kings was the pillar of harmony between the two states. Every year, people from the two states would gather to pay homage to their friendship. Citizens from near and distant part of the country would come with precious gifts as a token of reverence for the two kings.

One fine evening, King Ratan Singh held a jester court in his palace. Artistes and humorists traveled from the farthest corners of the country to amuse the King. In midst session, a clown questioned the king, “My lord! Would you like to share the most amusing incident you have come across?”

To which, the king replied, “The most amusing incident has to be the one when; King Chatan Singh’s clothes were stolen from the lake by a hoodlum, while he was bathing. Poor Chatan had to stay in the pond all morning, until one of his soldiers went back and got him new set of clothes. When I heard this anecdote from Chatan himself, I could not help roll in hilarity.”
Hearing this tale, entire court exploded in laughter. An hour’s amusement later, the court was adjourned. After the session, one of his ministers went home. On arrival, his wife asked him how his day had been.

“It was amazing”, replied the minister. “The king cracked us all with an amusing incident. It so goes that once while our neighboring King Chatan Singh was having his daily bath in the pond, some hoodlum stole all his clothes. Apparently, he had to walk home naked.” Both the minister and his wife had a good laugh at the joke and went to sleep.

Next day, the minister’s wife went to dhobi ghat to wash clothes. Upon meeting her friend Sarla, she said, “Did you here that once King Chatan Singh had to walk back to his palace naked. Some hoodlum had stolen his clothes. Apparently, he used banana leaf to cover his… you know what. Can you imagine that?” Upon hearing this story, both had a good laugh and went home.

Now Sarla went home, where her husband, a soldier of King Chatan Singh’s army was waiting. Upon seeing her husband, she said, “Did you hear what talks are going on in Ratangiri about our king? It turns out that King Chatan Singh was once robbed out of his clothes while bathing in the pond. He walked home butt naked, with only banana leaf to cover his…you know what! And apparently, his leaf was eaten away by a goat.”

Upon hearing this story, the soldier got furious. He went straight to his minister and said, “Sir! A source tells me that our King has become a subject of mockery in King Ratan Singh’s Kingdom. The story goes that, our king roamed the city streets naked, once while his clothes were stolen from the lake. And that he used a banana leaf to cover his…you know what, which later became a goat’s lunch while he was on his way back. Apparently, the palace gatekeeper refused to recognize him and charged him a penalty for derogatory public conduct. I have to say that being his majesty’s soldier; I can assure you that no such incident occurred.”

Upon hearing this story, King Chatan Singh’s minister got even more furious and went to seek audience with the King himself. On seeing the king, the minister said, “My lord! I am ashamed to tell you that King Ratan Singh has caused our kingdom a great deal of embarrassment. The King told numerous of his subjects that, a hoodlum stole your clothes in spite of heavy security. And that you walked the city streets naked with only a banana leaf covering your… you know what. Later the palace gatekeeper refused to recognize you and apparently charged you with a penalty and 20 lashes. This baseless story has sent a wrong message of bungling management of your kingdom. The word has spread like a wild fire throughout the country and you have become a topic of amusement.”

Upon hearing this from his most trusted minister, King Chatan Singh went mad with rage. He soon declared a war on the kingdom of Ratangiri. After days of furious battle, a million were killed along with both the kings.

“Apparently”, no one ever talked about their friendship ever again.