Saturday 4 July 2015

The Monkey God who gave golden discs to the old ma

So, this one's coming right from my Grandma's chest. Both figuratively and literally for I fealth her breath calm as she would narrate this to me, my head in her lap. The fact is that I've been raised in a Hindu household and in a Marwari family,and brought up with lots and lots of childhood stories out of my grandma's chest.And true , her heart was a chest of age old wisdom, faith, devotion and the simplistic love that generation held for their family toddlers !

So, this particular story used to be a Tuesday special. I've narrated it in Marwari first and the English translation has followed with a few lines about what this story does to me even now, when I'm almost 31, every time I listen to it, or narrate it to anyone who understands the language.

The dialect I've used is not standard I believe, but I've tried to be loyal to my grandma's pronunciation, as much as I could. And I've attempted to use a picture of the Ghati wale Hanumaan ji, thanks again to my grand mother's devout faith in that temple in that particular deity and temple.

एक बाला साब की डोकरी ही । रोज दो रोठ करती, एक आप खाती, एक बाला साब न खवाती । एक दिन डोकरी न बुखार आग्यो । रोठा तो पोया, पण मिन्दर कोन'गी ।
बाला साब आया -  "डोकरी, डोकरी, रोठ !"
" म्हाराज, चूल्हा लारै पड़्या है । "

बाला साब जो - गंवहां का रोठ ले ग्या, सोना रूपा का धर ग्या।
पाड़ोसण आँच लेबा आई । सोना रूपा का चक्कर देख्या तो राजा कन` जा`र बोली "म्हाराज थाने सोहवै कै डोकरी नै सोहवै ?"

राजो रागड्यो निर्भागी;बी की मत मारी'गी - "म्हाने सोहवै, डोकरी नै काँई सोहवै ।" बो डोकरी नै बुलाई। राजा रोठ लेवै, जो - गंवहां का हो जावै; डोकरी लेवै, सोना रूपा का हो जावै ।
"बोल डोकरी ! कुण का चोर ल्याई ? कुण नै मार ल्याई?"
"म्हाराज, कोई का चोर ल्याई, न  कोई नै मार ल्याई । मनै म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या । "
"देख डोकरी! साँची बोल, नहीं तो सूळी पर चढ़ा द्यूंला ।"
डोकरी लाण कण जाणै न कामण  - "म्हाराज कण जाणूँ न कामण, मनै तो म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या ।" राजा डोकरी नै कोटड़ी मैँ घला दी । डोकरी लाण बाला साब को नाम ले र सोगी ।

रात का राजा का सपना म बालाजी म्हाराज आया । " देख रै राजा ! डोकरी का दो रोठ पाछी दे दीजै नहीं तो थारी सोना की नगरी की लंका बाळ द्यूंला!"
राजा की बुद्धि ठाणे आई। सुबह होतां ही डोकरी न बुला'र रोठा पाछी दिया । "लै अयै डोकरी, म्हें तनै टूठ्या !"
डोकरी ठैरी बाला साब की भगत - " म्हाराज थे टूठता तो इतरा दिन टूठता , मनै म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या । "
डोकरी रोठ ले`र घरै चले`गी ।

हे बालाजी महाराज ! डोकरी नै टूठ्या जिस्या सक्कळ नै टूठजो, राजा नै रूस्या जिस्या कोई नै मत रूठजो । घटती की पूरी करजो, पूरी का परमाण छोड़जो । दो नाम घटता, दो नाम बढ़ता ! 

English Translation
Once upon a time ( I know stereotypical, but afterall it's my grandma narrating this story ! :)
So, once upon a time, there was a devotee of Sri Hanumaan Ji. An old, venerable grandma, who used to cook two thick chapatis in her fireplace. She would go to the Hanumaan temple daily, without fail and offer one roti to Sri Hanumaan ji and eat the other as prasad.

One day, the grandma fell sick and couldn't visit the temple. Such was the power of her devotion that Hanumaan Ji came to her house and asked for his roti. When she told Him that the rotis were lying behind the small alcove where she used to cook them, He picked up the wheat - barley chapatis and replaced them with Gold and silver discs.

Now, those were days when people would keep at least some light in either their fireplaces, or their lamps or lanterns. It was rare in a household to not have some light which could be used to light a fire. 

But then if THAT would be true, how would women folk (specially the younger ones, with their mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, watching them constantly), get an opportunity to talk to the neighbouring woman? :)

But no one minded going to our grandma's place, for she was well respected, humble, pious and non-gossiper. And it so happened that a neighboring woman came to ask for some fire. Since the old ma was sick, the neighbour went to the alcove to take fire herself and saw the gleaming precious disks.

Now, this neighbor obviously got jealous and complained to the King. Apparently the king wasn't easy to satisfy when it came to his greed despite his huge wealth. But to his dismay, the moment  he touched the discs, they got converted to normal rotis.

Our grandma was summoned and questioned. Poor, simple and humble as she was, she denied all accusations of robbery, theft or stealing. She simply said - "Hanumaan ji had come and must have kept them near the alcove!"And as obvious as that is, she was not believed and sentenced to death after a day on imprisonment.

That night a miracle happened! The king dreamt that he was visited by a very angry Hanumaan Ji ! Hanumaan ji destroyed his beautiful city, just like he'd done to the opulent Lanka! The king was trembling, shivering and was hoping for Hanumaan Ji to calm down, as the great Monkey- God roared, thumped, jumped furiously calling out for the king.

It took king superhuman effort to present himself and offer his obeisances. It was then that Hanumaan Ji told the king that if out of greed the king kills the old ma, his city would burn just like Lanka did.

Such a scary dream it was that the king woke up with a jolt. Sweat broke on his face as he noticed with relief that it was only a dream. He immediately called his jailor and asked him to remove the lady from the prison and put her into the kingly abode.

In the morning the first thing he did was summon his court and return the precious discs to the ols ma saying - " I'm happy with you and I give you back these discs as a reward to your honesty. "

The old ma as simple she might be, was certainly not gullible and a fool. She folded her hands, covered her head, remembered Sri Hanumaan Ji and said - "Maharaj! If you were the one rewarding me these, you'd have done it all these years, it's my Hanumaan Ji who blessed me!"


And with this, MY grandmother would fold her hands, cover her head and remember her Ishta Dev, the so-called Monkey God, the Devotee God, Sri Hanumaan Ji, who had delievered her so many times. She'd pray to Him to bless the entireuniverse, the way He did to the old woman, and not get angry at anyone like He did to the king. My grandma would hope that she's chanted sufficient names and would forgiveness for any wrong counts.

And... I know it for a fact, that my parents would narrate these stories back to my children. And some day, if I become a grandma, I will do the same - fold my hands and narrate the story of the woman who got golden discs for her devoted rotis.

Disclaimer - This is a very traditional story. My copyright is only for my style, not the content of the story.

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

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