Time passed happily in Ayodhya. King Dasarath decided to retire and crown Rama the next King. The city rejoiced and made preparations for the great festival.
But one person did not rejoice. This was Manthara, the hunch-backed maidservant of Queen Kaikeyi, the youngest and favorite of King Dasarath’s three queens.
Imagining her own fortune declining as maid of a queen who was not the mother of the next king, Manthara approached Kaikeyi and convinced her that she, Kaikeyi, now had no future. Consulting in secret, the two women created a plot, one that revolved around two boons Dasarath had once promised her many years ago when she had saved him on a battlefield. At that time she had not decided what she wanted, and had left the boons for a time when she might need them.

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