Game 5

Question:
पानीयं पातुमिच्छामि त्वत्तः कमललोचने ।
यदि दास्यसि नेच्छामि न दास्यसि पिबाम्यहम् ॥
paanIyaM paatumichChaami tvattaH kamalalochane |
yadi daasyasi nechChaami na daasyasi pibaamyaham ||

Exposition:
Solve this प्रहेलिका (prahelikaa - riddle).

After splitting the composite words (sandhis), it could be read as -

पानीयं पातुम् इच्छामि त्वत्तः कमल-लोचने ।
यदि दास्यसि न इच्छामि न दास्यसि पिबामि अहम् ॥
paanIyaM paatum ichChaami tvattaH kamala-lochane |
yadi daasyasi na ichChaami na daasyasi pibaami aham ||

If we take the straight forward meaning of the words here, it would mean -
Oh, Lotus eyed one, I would like to have a drink of water from you.  If you give, I don't want it.  If you won't give, I shall drink!

Meaning:
Well, that doesn't make any sense!  How can one drink without giving and on giving, he doesn't want it?!!

The trick here is, the word दास्यसि has to be split as दासी असि (servant, thou are).  Then the meaning of the verse would change to -
Oh, Lotus eyed one, I would like to have a drink of water from you.  If you are a daasI (a servant woman), I don't want it.  If you are not a daasI, I shall drink!

Answer:

These were the days when untouchability and caste systems were very prevalent.  It was a taboo to take food and water from someone who was from a lower caste or a servant.  Hence, the person was making sure of the lady's status.  He said he would accept the drink from her hands if she was not a maid and wouldn't accept if she was one.

Now, that makes more sense :).
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