Raja Garga was the ruler of a small kingdom by the banks of a river. The king was kind at heart, but was short-tempered. He would bark out orders and expect them to be carried out immediately. Luckily, he was surrounded by wise ministers who would take the right decisions.
Raja Garga was very happy the day his son was born. He named his son Chandra after the moon. Like the moon, the young Prince smiled a lot. He would eat his dinner on time, and sleep through the night.
Once when the Prince was three-years-old, he started crying. He just would not stop!
The Queen, the ministers, the royal caretakers, and everyone were at their wits end. Some tried to dance in front of Prince. The Prince would laugh. But the moment the dance stopped he would start crying.
Magicians did tricks. Singers sang. Clowns were brought from all over the kingdom. But nothing could stop Prince Chandra from crying.
One day, the King was in court. All the ministers were seated in front of him. They were discussing some serious matters. Prince Chandra’s crying could be heard at a distance.
Raja Garga was growing angrier by the minute. Suddenly, he announced, “if the Prince does not stop crying he will be banished from the kingdom!”
The ministers were shocked. “But Maharaj he is your own son, a baby,” some pleaded.
“That’s why it’s important that he learn responsibilities. All this crying does not suit a Prince. Please tell the Prince of my order,” barked Raja Garga.
“But how Maharaj,” asked one of the ministers, “the Prince can barely understand what we say.”
“That’s not my problem. Carry out my command.”
One of the ministers suggested that the Prince be brought to court. “Perhaps Maharaj, you should try calming down the Prince. Who better than the father to calm a child down?”
Raja Garga could not stand crying. He had stayed away from the Prince ever since his bawling began.
“Maharaj, if anyone can do it, it’s you,” said the minister.
Raja Garga could not refuse his ministers. He himself believed he could do anything.
Prince Chandra was brought to court. The little one’s eyes were red. He was pouting. King Garga had fought wars. But the little one scared him a bit. Shaking off his fear, he held his hands out. The Prince was given to the king.
Immediately, the Prince began sniffling. He was about to start crying. The King knitted his eyebrows in anger. Suddenly, the child paused. Even the king was surprised.
Prince Chandra touched Raja Garga’s moustache, carefully at first. When Raja Garga did not react, he grabbed hold of it and pulled hard!
“Oww! Oww, oww, oww!” yelled the King.
Prince Chandra started laughing loudly. Everyone was surprised. They had not heard the Prince laugh since many days. Again, he pulled the King’s moustache. Again, the King yelled in pain. Again, the Prince laughed.
One of the ministers spoke, “Maharaj, now we know what to do when the Prince starts crying. There is no need to send the Prince out of the kingdom.”
King Garga was scared. “That order is cancelled. My new order is make dolls that look like me. When the Prince cries, give him the doll, and make sure he has a big mooch (moustache)!”
Everyone in the court started laughing. They all shouted, “Moocha Raja ki jai! Moocha Raja ki jai!” (Victory to Moocha Raja).
And that’s how Raja Garga become famous all over the world as Moocha Raja.