Saturday, March 11, 2006

The young and energetic

There were three girls in the family in a village, with a difference of two years between each of them. Once the mother wanted to go to her maayeka and as the eldest was about 16 yrs. old the mother was convinced that they would manage the house well in her absence.

There was a kothri in the back of the house, like many houses used to have in olden days, and it was cluttered with lots of stuff, like old utensils, one torn up rajaaee
(fataa fataaya comforter), some wood pieces etc.

The girls took out everything to the middle room and gave a good broom to the kothri, and started to throw things which they thought would never be used. They also saw this rajaaee which had so many holes in it and threw it away together with the other useless things.

When the mother returned, she found the house clean and everything in order. Then the girls told her that what a great job they had done in cleaning up the kothri and throwing away all the useless stuff. The mother was quite shocked, woh dhak se rah gaee; she asked the girls that she hoped that they didn't throw away the comforter too. They chorused in unison a yes and said that indeed they had because it was so torn up with so many holes in it.

Now the mother told them that all the jewellery she had collected for their dowry was hidden in the comforter; so they went out to the ghoora to look for it. Slowly they started asking the neighbours if they had seen that rajaaee but no one came forward. Everybody denied having ever seen it and everyone immediately guessed that there must have been some jewellery hidden in it.

After a few months, when the matter was forgotten, one of the villagers came and put a potli in front of the lady and said, please keep it, this is your jewellery which I had found in the rajaaee and I am returning it to you. She was quite surprised and asked why was he returning it now. The man said that after he took the jewellery, his wife fell ill and had died. So he didn't want to keep the jewellery.

The above story was told by the wife of an Indian diplomat while I was assigned in Damascus which she said happened to her as she was one of the young girls.


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