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An open ended story

Date: March 7, 2013 Author: admin Categories: Blog

We all cherish our childhood memories of listening to stories and folklores told to us by our mothers and granny. My brain has stored some of those gems. As a child I would spend my summer holidays at my grandmother’s house . We would call her   ‘Beji’. The best treat used to be her stories at night. All the cousins including me would put mattresses and cots on the terrace at night. Beji would then then instruct us to keep saying “Haan Ji Haan Ji” during the story narration. This “Hunkara” was an indication that listeners were awake and with the storyteller. Her stories always made us wonder about the imaginary world of snakes, lions, kings and sages. Here is one of those stories. I have forgotten the end, hence I have left it at the climax .

The story is revolves around an Ichcha dhaari Naagin

As we understand, the Ichadhari Naag genus is native to the Indian subcontinent. As the myth goes , when a snake completes 100 years of its life, it is granted with a power to change the shape to human according to its will. The Ichadhari Naag is said to have had the abilities to mask itself to the surroundings & even mimic the behavior of higher order mammals such as human beings. The most curious thing is its unusually high loyalty towards its mating partner. The female companion in turn is known to inflict severe & life threatening injuries on anyone who attempts to harm the male during the mating cycle.

The story goes like this…….

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful pair of Ichadhari Naag and Naagin in the jungles of Swai Madhopur, Rajasthan. Naag and Naagin would often play around their love nest, a beautiful lake surrounded by leafy trees and flowery shrubs .

One fine day a baraat (wedding procession) halted and rested around the lake in the jungle while returning from the Bride’s home after the wedding.

The groom went to the lake to fill water in a pitcher for his newlywed wife when he accidentally woke the sleeping Ichadhari Nagin(female snake) up. Nagin, in self-defense bit the groom and the groom died on the spot.

Naagin  soon realized her mistake seeing the bride sitting in her doli  (A Doli is also known as palanquin or palkhi. It is a cot or frame, suspended by the four corners from a bamboo pole. Two or four men carry it.  It is equivalent to the sedan chair)

The bride in the Doli had her eyes full of hope for the new chapter that was about to begin. In  a bout   of guilt   she suggested her mate Naag to go and take groom’s place for few days . Her fear was that this sudden shock could have shattered the bride.

Naag followed Naagin’s command .Disguised in Groom’s body, he went with the bride and the baraat leaving Naagin behind. The new found environment and marital bliss made him very happy. He fulfilled his duties as husband and totally got in to the groove of his new avataar

Months went by and Naag didn’t return. Naagin now started to feel insecure. She  wanted to check if everything was alright with her mate ?She wondered if he  had forgotten her or the beautiful bride had mesmerized him with her charm.

To get her love back Naagin planned to go to Naag’s new abode. She turned in to a Maalin (flower woman) and knocked at the door and her Naag opened the door. For moments she just stood still as she had seen him after a long time. But the Naag could not recognize her.

Naagin- I have got beautiful flowers, why don’t you buy some for your beautiful wife

Naag aka groom- No I don’t want

Naagin- Your wife will be very happy seeing these flowers .. please buy

Naag- No I told you, I don’t want to buy these flowers

Naagin- But your wife loves flowers

Naag- How do you know?

Naagin- I know, she waits for you every evening beside the lake with Maalti (Clove scented flowers) flowers..but you never appear

Naag- Who are you?

Naagin- Sings (in Punjabi)Teri Phulan jeyi raani..tu chodh aayaaa…….(you have a flower like wife and you left her )

Naag was now on crossroads. He wanted to return to her naagin but didn’t know how to reveal his truth to the new family that he had got………….