Folk Tales from Kashmir

Table of Contents

  Twin Scientists
  Daddy’s Distress
  Breaking the Horse
  She is the Apple of My Eye
  Daddy’s Coronation
  The In-Law Tussle
  Broken Pen
  The Dudda
  Daddy’s Nightmare
  Rise and Fall
  Rivalry and Rebuff 
  Mini Marco Polo
  Royal Dudda
  Facing the Challenge
  Yes, No? May be So
  Crest Fallen
  Shock Treatment
  Grandma’s Shivratri
  Conquering Death
  Prickly Thistle
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Chapter 1

Twin Scientist

(Background Story of my One-Act-Play under the same caption)

Jagan and Prem are the twin sons of a business magnate Prakash. Jagan grows up to be a prodigy while Prem only as his loving brother and imitator. He never misses imitating whatever Jagan does.

Jagan invariably always tops the list of successful candidates in classes including higher public examinations till he completes his post-graduate course. Prem too passes the post- graduate course in science subject but invariably with marginal marks. After weighing the pros and cons of the achievements of his twin sons, Prakash has made up his mind to see Jagan start doing research work in any field of science of his choice, for he is sure of Jagan's ability to make his mark anywhere especially in the academic field. And for Prem, he has chosen the post of general managership of the vast business he has so ably established.

On the other hand, their mother Preeti, finds it hard to reconcile with the objective of her husband Prakash's sagacious decision taken for the betterment and prosperity of their twin sons. For, her comparatively longer contact with her children has led her to the belief that Jagan and Prem were inseparable. So, she feels it desirable to let them continue working together in the field of their choice as usual.

The issue becomes contentious and controversial as continued bed-room discussion between husband and wife go on endlessly night after night. Naturally heat is generated at times during the course of these discussions. So, voices are raised during such periods on both sides. The twins sleeping in the adjacent room generally cannot escape overhearing the loud words spoken by them. They too spend sleepless nights in weaving these over-heard tit-bits into complete sentences and paragraphs. This leads them to fully understand the working of the minds of their parents about their future course of action. They in-turn discuss their own future and the line of action to be adopted. They decide to stick to their guns and do whatever they feel is good for them together. Days pass by and weeks lapse into the past. One day the family feels relaxed at tea-time in their usual free talk. This grows into free joking, riddles and dancing chagrin.

Handing over the telegram to her, he holds back the other telegram and waits to receive a reward. The sister is overjoyed and becomes hilarious. She jumps and shouts, "Hurrah my brother, Jagan has passed his post graduate examination with flying colors. He has broken all the university records." She rushes to Jagan and embraces him shouting, "Good luck my brother." The joy of the family knows no bounds. They jump and dance and surround Jagan with greeting words in chorus. In this melee they lose sight of Prem who sits sullen and silent bemoaning his fate for he has failed in the exams.

There is knocking at the door which remains unheard due to the merriments inside. This knocking grows louder. One of the sisters somehow hears the knocking, rises up shouting, "Who is there knocking at the door?" Sister opens the door only to be congratulated by the postman saying that, "Here is the telegram saying that Jagan has topped the list of successful candidates in the post-graduate examination. He has broken all the up to date records."

In utter frustration like a roaring lion, he rises up shouting. "Make merry mother, make merry. Make merry as much as you can for your son, Jagan has beaten the university records. Make merry and let me go to hell." so saying he rushes to a secluded corner of the drawing room, sinks and swoons as he falls on the floor. Seeing this Jagan, his twin brother, pushing aside the revelers, rushes to bring round his brother, and nurse him in this unconscious state. His mother and the whole family follow him and are able to bring him back to consciousness.

The post-man, seeing the consequences of his withholding the second telegram have caused trembles, shouts, "Here is the second telegram, sister saying that Prem too has secured marginal marks for success." The sister rushes to him, snatches the telegram and joyfully runs in to declare Prem’s success. Mother and Jagan both are able to console Prem and assure him that his and Jagan's intimate company will not be interfered with.

Prakash too is made to endorse his wife's assurance to himself. "Let me bring a test tube, collect the tears and find their composition as Jagan did before." He goes to the laboratory and comes back with a test tube, collects the tears and keeps it safely aside. Mourning cries, weeping, wailing, and breast-beating go on endlessly.

The nearby rill flows down roaring but Prakash feels that his plans are shattered and his ambitions for the betterment of Jagan, prosperity of Prem, progress of well established business and the integrity of the family have received a severe jolt. His shock is too deep for him to come out of it.

Once when Jagan and Prem are busy working in laboratory they hear painful panicky cries of

'Fire … Fire … Help … Ho … Help … Help … Help … Help … Help. He

…. Burning dying Help Help".

Looking through the window they find the neighboring house ablaze. They rush out to help. Jagan holding the test tube in his hand. They go in to help bring out the victim trapped inside. They bring out the inmates one by one. Tears rolling down the cheeks of one of the victims in the suffocating smoke flow down and get collected in Jagan’s test tube. In the meanwhile, helps from all sides, fire-brigade and red cross overtake the charge. Jagan and Prem return to their laboratory. Jagan analyses the tears and tabulates the composition.

In course of time one day, Prakash sinks down and meets the end of his life. He dies of heart failure when Jagan and Prem are away working in their laboratory, just at a stone's throw from the house, while they are busy at work, Jagan somehow hears the weeping, wailing and mourning cries emanating from their home. They rush back home in panic.

While nursing their mother, Prem sees big drops of tears of grief roll down the cheeks of his mother. He says to himself,” Let me bring a test tube, collect the tears and find their composition as Jagan did before.”

He goes to the laboratory and comes back with a test tube, collects the tears and keeps it safely aside. Mourning cries, weeping, wailing and breast  beating go endlessly.

In abject helplessness and grief, Jagan and Prem sit in a corner weeping and wailing. During the course of heavy sobs and weeping they burst out into a pathetic song of helplessness and frustration.

To The Moon

Come Come by the mountain side,

With thy silvery colors,

O, come and lead me up to the top,

With thy shining face.

So desperate, so lonely am I,

At this fearful site,

That I so badly need your light,

At such a frightful sight.

Foot Notes :-

i. Twin scientists is the background story of my one act play with the same caption. This play was staged in the C.M.S. Tyndale Biscoe school (the Hadoo School) in aid of world war second, nineteen hundred forty four along with Principal KWS Jardine's play "The tower that touched the sky." A sum of Rs. 400/- raised in one show was paid to the Indian red cross. Needless to point out that a full cinema hall could be booked for half that amount those days for a similar show.

ii. The Hindi version of this play formed one chapter of my book “vaigyanic abhinai” published by T.C.E. Journals and publications Ltd. Lucknow in 1948-49 and the original English version formed the concluding chapter entitled "Whither Education" in 1962, published by Mahanoor Publication Srinagar.

iii. Kashmiri version of the same play was included in the school magazine "Poshnool" (1976-77). That magazine and “vaigyanic abhinai” both, were later reviewed and included in the 1st catalogue of Juvenile Literature published by Unesco, New Delhi.



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