You may have read stories about time travel in science fiction novels. But the concept is not really all that new! Once Brahma decided to play a prank on Krishna. Krishna, as you may know, was a big prankster himself. He wasn’t the most disciplined of the gods and frequently had his ears twisted by his despairing mother for causing trouble! Brahma was jealous of Krishna’s impish charm and felt that he ought to deflate his popularity a little.
So what did he do? Krishna was out with the other cowherds one day when Brahma decided that it was time to act. The boys were cracking jokes and listening to stories that Krishna was telling them. They were so deep in conversation that they did not notice their cows and calves straying away. Brahma took the cows and calves away and hid them. It was lunch time by the time the boys realised that their cattle was missing. They panicked. Krishna, however, was unfazed. ‘Continue with your lunch,’ he told them. ‘I’ll find them!’
Krishna picked up a ball of rice to eat and went in search of the cattle. But he couldn’t see a single calf anywhere! Puzzled, he went back to report to his friends. But what a surprise, the boys had disappeared too! It was Brahma’s doing. He’d taken the boys when Krishna left and had hidden them away in a cave after putting them into a deep slumber. Krishna knew that there was some mischief afoot. It wasn’t possible for so many people and animals to disappear into thin air! Brahma was happy, thinking Krishna would surely get into trouble for returning to Vrindavan without the boys and the cattle. People would ask him for an explanation and he would be rendered speechless.
Krishna , however, had other plans. Using his powers, he turned himself into all the other boys and the cattle. Every single creature that now stood before him was a version of himself! All the Krishnas went back to Vrindavan and nobody suspected the truth. A year passed. Brahma decided to visit Vrindavan to see what had happened to Krishna. He was sure that he would no longer be a favourite amongst the people. To his shock, he saw all the missing boys and cattle in Vrindavan. Had Krishna discovered the cave?
Brahma rushed to the cave to check for himself. To his astonishment, the boys and the cattle were still where he had left them. All asleep. He could not understand what had happened. At last, he went to Krishna. Even before he could say anything, Krishna smiled at him and pointed silently to the children and the cattle. This time, when Brahma saw them, he saw that they were all Krishna. The truth hit him at last.
He fell at Krishna’s feet and begged his forgiveness. Krishna, who was always fond of tricks, was only too happy to let Brahma off the hook. Brahma freed the cattle and the boys from the spell with which he’d put them to sleep. And then, Krishna went back in time, rice ball in hand. He gathered the cattle and went to his friends who were waiting for him to return so that they could eat their lunch. ‘You found them!’ they gushed when they saw Krishna with the cattle. ‘We were getting so hungry but we didn’t want to eat without you!’ they said, inviting Krishna to sit down for the meal. Krishna smiled and sat down next to his friends. And once again, he began to tell them his jokes.