Indian Cinderella Story
Sodewa Bai was lovely and beautiful. When she was born, she was predicted to be richer than any other lady. She was born with a golden necklace. If it was taken off, she would die. When she spoke, jewels would fall on the ground. Sodewa Bai was very stubborn. She refused marriage to other rajahs.
For her fourteenth birthday, she was given slippers made of jewels and gold; and she would always wear them. One day, she slipped and lost a slipper while playing. There was a great prize for whoever found the slipper. A young prince found the slipper while hunting. He looked for the owner for many months. When he finally returned the slipper to Sodewa Bai, he asked for her hand in marriage. Sodewa Bai said,"I saw that Prince, and I am willing to marry him."
One day, the prince took the princess back to his home. Now, Rowjee (the prince) had another wife and a child. The first Ranee was very jealous of Sodewa Bai because Rowjee loved her the best. Ranee was a very bitter person. Rowjee's parents watched Sodewa Bai and Ranee very closely, but they weren't that afraid.
One day, Rojee Rajah had to go on a journey without Sodewa Bai. He told his parents to watch over her. While their husband was away, Sodewa Bai and the first Ranee compared all their jewels and pretty things. The first Ranee asked her why she was always wearing those jewels around her neck.
Sodewa Bai replied,"I was born with this necklace around my neck. If I take it off, I will die, for this necklace contains my soul."
When the first Ranee returned to her house, she told her most trusted servant to steal Sodewa Bai's necklace while she was sleeping and put it around her own neck.
The next mornning, the old Rajah and Ranee found Sodewa Bai dead. They wanted the prince to see her before she was buried, so they put her under a canopy in a little tomb. It seemed as though Sodewa Bai was just sleeping. When Rowjee Rajah heard of his wife's death, he was broken-hearted. Sodewa Bai would come to life whenever the servant would take the necklace off, which was when she would go to sleep.
Two months later, Sodewa Bai had a little son at night. In the morning, she died again. One night, The Rajah saw jewels by the tomb. He went to the tomb and saw Sodewa Bai alive and holding their child. She told him how she died every morning and she came to life every night because someone stole her necklace.
The next morning, the Rajah summoned the whole household. When he saw Sodewa Bai's necklace on the servant's neck, he took it and made her confess. The first Ranee was then imprisoned for life. The Rajah returned to the tomb and put the beads around his wife's neck. She came to life and lived happily ever after.