Nani ki kahani (Grandma’s tale)

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A long time ago, there were four friends who decided to visit another town to look for a job. While their path was a straight one, they had to cross a  forest land before they could reach the outskirts of their destination. These four friends were Brahman (Priest), Sunaar (Goldsmith), Darji (Tailor) and a Carpenter.

It didn’t take them much time to reach the forest land and they soon had their guards up. The Brahman decided to lay out a strategy, “My dear friends, it seems like the night would fall soon, a sleeping man is equivalent to a dead man, so I suggest we take turns to guard while the others rest.”

The others agreed to it and prepared for the night. While three of them slept, the Carpenter was the first one who had the guarding duty. While looking at his friends he couldn’t hold back a yawn, so he decided to do something with the free time he had or else he might fall asleep. So he took out some wooden pieces from his luggage and started making a human structure out of it. After an hour or so, he finished up with the model and happily kept the doll beneath the tree. Being an excellent carpenter, his doll looked like a real human figure, even its facial features were realistic.

Soon his friend, the Darji, woke up too and switched places with the carpenter. Looking around lazily, he found a beautiful doll sitting beneath a tree. He thought, ‘How nice it would be if that doll had some clothes on!’

So he took out some clothes from his luggage and started stitching them with excitement. Finally, when it was finished, he dressed the doll and looked at it with pride. The doll wearing the red colored dress, looked like a real bride. (In India, a bride’s dress is often red, which symbolizes a married woman.)

His turn finished and was again switched with Sunaar. The first thing he noticed, was the beautiful doll. As he was a goldsmith, he had a few jewelries with him, so he took it out from his bag and started beautifying the doll. Soon, the doll looked like a real bride, this time it lacked nothing.

The Brahman being the last one to do his duty, took place of his friend. Noticing the beautiful doll, he couldn’t help but smile slightly. “So my friends were doing this to pass their time, so beautiful the doll is. If it had life, then it would be even better.”

Being a powerful priest in his locality, he knew many spells and had superior knowledge about life and death. He did not waste time as he started with the spells quickly. The earth sung and the wind danced, as his spell was completed. What he saw in front of him, disarmed him of his thoughts. There in front of him stood a beautiful bride, blushing slightly and looking at him with a smile. Her eyes, her hair, her hands, her smiling lips, everything was real, she was finally a real human being.

When the others woke up, they were as surprised as the Brahman to find such a beauty standing in front of them. They all had worked so hard to make her look like that, so they all wanted to protect the young lady and be with her, they started arguing among themselves, as to who will keep her.

The Darji was looking around with annoyance when he saw a wise looking man crossing the forest path, so he quickly caught up with him and told him their situation, “…it would be nice brother, if you would tell your unbiased opinion on this issue.”

The wise man accepted his request kindly and met with the others. He spoke, “After learning about this cause, I have come to a conclusion. The Brahman, who blessed the doll with life would be like a God to her, so he cannot marry the woman. The Carpenter, who built the doll is actually like a parent, so it is again impossible to marry the lady to him. The Darji, who dressed her, respectfully saved her pride as a woman, is like a brother to her as he took care of her like a sister, so again he cannot marry her (In India we celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan, which is when a brother promises to protect his sister if she is in danger). In the end, the Sunaar, who gifted her with jewelries, is like a husband who makes his wife look beautiful, thus he should be the one to marry her.”

The four friends agreed to the man, and thus the Sunnar and the young lady got married happily.

This story was something my grandma told me long time back, it is surely a fictional one, but is a tale I wished to share with others and thus keep it alive. Thanks for reading it!

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