A collection of Indian tales of wit, wisdom, humour, bravery, devotion and lots more...

Tag: indian tales

Always be friendly with your neighbours

Long long ago in the forest of Swetharanya, there lived a two hawks. They had recently migrated to this forest from another forest as  humans had begun to inhabit that forest in which they lived earlier. Here, they had built their nest on a tall tree by the side of the river Swetha Pushkarini. There were a couple of eggs in their nest which were about to hatch any time.

The hawks were very happy in the new forest which was free of humans and in due course their eggs hatched into cute little chicks.

From the day they had come into Swetharanya, Shyeni, the female hawk was insisting that they should find out who their neighbours were and be friendly with them. The male hawk Shyena , on the other hand was not so particular and was also lazy and did not bother. However , due to the persistence of Shyeni, he finally went to seek his neighbours. In a burrow in another tree lived a Kingfisher by name Suchitraka. He was very happy when Shyena met him and they both became good friends.

Now, there was a lion by name Jatila in a cave near the river. Shyena met the lion and introduced himself and became good friends with him too. Finally he found that there was this tortoise by name Dadru living in a bush just below the tree where he had his nest. And so, because of the hawks’ efforts, Suchitraka, Jatila and Dadru became friends with Shyeni and Shyena.

They used to meet everyday and exchange courtesies. Life was going on smoothly until one day……

It was a new moon night and the forest was pitch dark. It posed no problem for the hawks and their friends as they could see well in the nights also. It was just after midnight, when Shyeni thought she heard some rustling near the tree. She peered out of the nest and was shocked to see two human figures groping their way through the dark. Shyeni and Shyena could fly away but what about their chicks? They were yet to grow wings fully and were very vulnerable. Shyeni was worried.

When the men came near the clearing under the tree, they stopped. “Hmm.. it seems we have lost our way.. All because of you “, grunted one fellow who was giant like. “Don’t blame me for everything . It was You who wanted to come with me?” retorted the other who was of a smaller built. “Ok Ok” said the bigger man, “I am feeling hungry. Get me something to eat. I was a fool to come fishing with you in the river. We didn’t catch even one fish and you let the net get washed away by the current. Now, go and get some food to eat.. Fast!” he ordered.

By now Shyena was also awake and was wondering what to do if the chicks woke up and started making noise. The very next moment, what he dreaded happened. The chicks were disturbed by the sound of the men and started making screeching noises. The men were first frightened but then knew that it was the sound of young birds. “Aha.. ” said the bigger fellow, “I can see the nest on the top most branch. Now, you fool, go and collect some twigs and we shall make a fire and eat roasted chicks…” he ordered the smaller fellow. The smaller fellow got up mumbling something and ambled into the bushes peering in the dark for twigs and slowly brought some. “Faster, you fool, now rub some stones and make fire, fast.. and go and get some more twigs….” said the bigger fellow and the other one obeyed him.

Soon, a fire had started to blaze and the bigger fellow now tried to climb up the tall tree. Shyeni was panicking and told Shyena to go and call their friends. Shyena also, not knowing what to do went straight  to Suchitraka and called out to him . “Suchitraka, Suchitraka, my friend, Please come and help me!” he cried out, “My chicks are in danger!”. Suchitraka woke up with a start and flew out fast to see the blazing fire and the man trying to climb the tree. The tree had its branches high up and so the man was struggling to get a foothold and go up.

Suchitraka thought for a moment and like a flash of lightning dived into the nearby river, came out like an arrow from the quiver and went over the fire and flapped his wings hard. The water droplets fell on the fire and the fire made a fizzling sound. The man who was trying to climb the tree, turned around, but Suchitraka had vanished for another round of water spraying. He did this act again and again. The fire was now struggling to burn  due to the continuous spraying of water and  was almost extinguished and the enraged men saw the bird  and came running at Suchitraka waving a cloth.

Suchitraka was terribly tired of this exercise and flew into his burrow and dropped down due to exertion. The bigger man then said, “Don’t worry, I shall climb the tree and kill the chicks and we can go home and have a good breakfast” and continued his efforts to climb the tree.

Now Shyena was worried. What could he do next? In the meanwhile, Dadru, hearing the commotion had come out of the bushes. In a flash he understood what was going on. He pulled himself up and walked as fast as he could near the smaller man and the man almost tripped on Dadru in the dark. But he found that it was a tortoise and shouted to his comrade , “Hey , don’t take the trouble of getting the chicks. Here is a tortoise. It’s a long time since we had tortoise meat. Lets’s take him home. Come on”

The bigger man sneered at him and said “You Budhdhoo, how do you propose to take a tortoise home? Lead it like a doggie Huh? We do not have any weapons . Go , Go and get some creepers from over there and we shall make a rope to tie and carry him    . Go fast,  you dud!, else the tortoise will go away !” The smaller man retorted with a grunt and went to bring some creepers. Dadru consciously moved very very slowly and the men thought they could catch it. The man returned with many creepers and they started making a rope.

Shyena and Shyeni were very worried now. They could not afford to lose Dadru for the sake of their chicks. Shyeni said to Shyena , “Go , go quickly and call Jatila!!” Shyena flew fast and called Jatila from his den. Jatila sprang up and came running . The men had caught Dadru and were about to tie him up when from their back they hear a roar “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….”  Terrified, they turned around and to their  horror found a big huge lion staring at them menacingly as he  roared again. The roar was deafening and the next moment, the men forgot Dadru, the chicks and all and started running for their lives.

They ran out of the forest never to be seen again. And the hawks thanked the three friends for saving them and their friendship bonds were further strengthened.

Shyena looked at Shyeni thankfully as it was at her insistence that he became friendly with their neighbours.

Moral: Always maintain a good relationship with your neighbours.

The lost diamond

In the present day Andhra,  in olden days there lived a wise person by name Maryada Rama. He was a very clever and shrewd person with an impeccable sense of justice and he was trusted by the people of the village and the nearby villages for his impartial judgements. Before going to the king’s court people used to come for him for any settlement of disputes. Many a time the cases never went to the king’s court at all as the judgement given by Maryada Rama would be perfect.

In the nearby village there was this man by name Prabhakara who possessed a large hexagonal shaped diamond . The diamond had been passed over to him by his ancestors and he cherished it very much having inherited it from his ancestors.

Now, Prabhakara had a wish to go on a Yatra to Kashi to perform the rites for his dead parents. But he was worried about his diamond. His house was not safe enough to keep the diamond and he could not carry it as he had to go on a Pada yatra – by walk . Those days had not seen the advent of motorised transport and so people went by bullock carts or by walk.

Prabhakara was really worried. He did not know what to do. Then, suddenly, he remembered his close friend Divakara who lived in the neighbouring village. So he carried the diamond to Divakara and asked him whether he could keep the diamond in safe custody until he returned from Kashi. Divakara hesitated at first but on seeing the diamond he was tempted to say yes. The diamond was such a beauty and it was so alluring that nobody could say no to keeping it.  Prabhakara was relieved that there was somebody whom he could trust and left the diamond with him and went to Kashi. He performed the rites for his parents and visited many holy places and at last returned to his village after few months.

A few days afterwards, he went to Divakara’s house to redeem the diamond. After exchanging niceties, when Prabhakara asked for the diamond back, Divakara  put on a surprised look and said, “My friend, you came to my house yesterday and took back the diamond and you are asking for it back again today, huh? ” Prabhakara was taken aback. What was happening here? He told Divakara that he had returned to his village a few days back but it was only today that he was meeting him. But Divakara kept on insisting that he had given the diamond back and he had nothing to do with the diamond any more. Prabhakara was crestfallen. The thought of losing the diamond was too much for him and he went back to his home weeping silently not knowing what to do. After going home he told his wife what had happened . She was a bold lady . She consoled Prabhakara and said “Do not worry. What is rightfully yours can never be taken from you. Let us go for justice to Maryada Rama whom they say is justice incarnate”.

They both went to Maryada Rama who patiently heard their case. Maryada Rama asked them about any striking feature of the diamond and they told him that it was a big an beautiful one, hexagonal in shape.  Maryada Rama then sent word for Divakara. Divakara came to the court of Maryada Rama out of respect. Maryada Rama heard his version too and asked him if there were any witnesses for his giving the diamond back.  To every one’s surprise, Divakara said “Yes, Sir, there are three witnesses”. Maryada Rama said, “Fine, bring them all here tomorrow and we will see”.

The next day, Divakara brought his three servants,  the gardener, the washerman and the cook. Prabhakara and his wife were also present there. Maryada Rama asked the servants, “Did you see your master giving back the diamond to his friend who is here?” “Yes Sir” they replied in unison . “Did you see the diamond?” asked Maryada Rama. “Yes Sir” replied the servants. “We saw the diamond which our master gave to his friend. We saw it. We were standing next to this man as witnesses” said they pointing at Prabhakara.

Maryada Rama closed his eyes and thought for a while. Then he called the servants and asked them to go into three separate rooms in his house. He called his own gardener and asked him to bring some clay. He took the clay, made it into three parts and went into each room and gave each of them a portion of the clay and told them to make it into the shape of the diamond which they claimed to have seen so closely. The doors of the three rooms were shut for a while and after some time, Maryada Rama called Divakara’s  gardener. The gardener came out with his version of the diamond, in the form of a round fat pebble. As a gardener he had seen only pebbles in his life. Next , the washerman came with his version of the diamond, in the shape of a rectangular washing stone!!. The cook was called next as she came with her version of the diamond, in the shape of a grinding stone!!!

Maryada Rama looked at Divakara questioningly and said jocularly, “Maybe the diamond possesses some magic that it keeps changing shapes. Could you explain the magic Divakaraji?” Divakara was very ashamed. He fell at the feet of Maryada Rama and Prabhakara and felt extremely sorry for his nasty behaviour. He asked for forgiveness and immediately rushed home and brought back the diamond and gave it back to to its rightful owner Prabhakara.

Prabhakara was very happy. He expressed his feeling of forgiveness to Divakara and embraced him. He said he still wanted to be  friends with him as he had realised his folly. They both thanked Maryada Rama for his sharp intellect and novel way in which he had handled the case. They lived as friends forever.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén