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 13

The Royal Dudda

Bhola Nath, his wife and parents sit to discuss matters pertaining to the pre-marriage ceremony feast. In honor of their son, which falls due only a couple of months or so. The arrangement of the feast is fixed for the day of Mehindirat, a couple of days before the ceremony.

The list of guests is arrived at as follows:

Family members and collaterals 50

Maternal Parents and their relatives 50

Family relatives and friends etc. 200

Miscellaneous invitees. 100

Total. 400

The estimates of the feast Menu stands as: 

Vegetarian: Potatoes 2 quintals with matching quantities of cheese, Lotus roots, vegetables, for as many as for twenty different preparations.

Non- Vegetarian: A quintal of mutton etc. All preparations are made and invitation cards distributed.

The family elders and the head cook sit together in a meeting a day or two before Mehindirat and settle about the exact quantities of Palav, Dama-alloos, Red cheese and Roganjosh pieces to determine the number of guests for whom the food and Palav have to be cooked and Damalloos, Red cheese and Roganjosh pieces are to be provided for the members of the vegetarian and the non-vegetarian dishes arrived at in each case is 150 and 250 respectively.

Grand father of Bhola Nath who is quite experienced and mature in respect of Pandit marriages and marriage feasts says, "Ashpuzji (Head-cookji), let the Damalloos Red Cheese, Roganjosh pieces be fifty more in each case and one Degchi (big kettle) more of Palav. So please prepare 200 Damalloos, 200 Pieces of Red cheese, Five Kettles of Palav and three hundred pieces of Roganjosh so ,that we may not feel embarrassed in case the number of guests exceeds the number we have provided for Gulaba, an accounts officer of the gazzetted rank in the A.G.'s office is busy at his table at the head of a group of his assistants:

Soon after they relax for a while on solving a knotty problem that has caused them headache for days on end and heave a sigh of relief, one of his assistants in jubilant mood interrupts saying: -

Bhola Nath's son is to be married on October 4. They have arranged for a pre-marriage feast on Oct .2 on the occasion of Mehndirat ceremony. Their closest women folk have been invited for dinner and the others for lunch on Oct. 2 the next day. " Yes sir, I have also precise information about the feast," says his head assistant Gulam Din.

"It is expected to be a grand feast as many VIP's too have been invited" says another clerk, Ramo.

In a mood of hilariousness. Gulaboo interjects," What a relief after great exhaustion all these days!

October 2 is a gazzetted holiday. We'll all certainly participate in the feast whether invited or not. We'll go there together from my home at 2 P.M. when most of the invitees are expected to have already left, to get better attention from the hosts.

Do you agree?

"Certainly sir, we will accompany you." came the reply in chorus. Gulaba is an expert accounts officer. He is capable of detecting the most intricately hidden friends and locating even a tiny pin from a heap of dust so to say. Even so, he is not destructively critical as auditors generally are, but a fearlessly constructive commentator for improvement as an unparallel honest sentinel of government accounts Hence the wide respect he enjoy and the halo his office has developed around themselves.

Gulaba and party arrive at the feast exactly at 2P.M. when only a few top VIPs are there.

The party is well received and take their seats at a prominent place. Everybody comes to greet them with salutations and prenams.

Lunch over, pleasantries are exchanged among the VIP's hosts and Gulaba's officials freely.

At the end Gulaba in jubilant tone says,” Gentlemen, Do you know? I’ am not a DUDDA. My men aren't Duddas either.

We are certainly invited not only by Pt. Bhola Nath but also by his beloved parents too. Isn't it so, my colleagues?" "Certainly sir, certainly it is true, we are genuine invitees"

They respond in confirmation.

Bhola Nath sweats profusely in at his lapse of not having invited a generously honest auditor like Gulabo and his assistants.

Deeply moved by the profusion of droplets of sweat rolling down the cheeks of Bhola Nath in self-abasement, Gulabo turns towards him saying. "Never mind dear, Bhola Nath. I was simply joking. Why do you take it so seriously? Be assured, we certainly are not Duddas but very honored guests. We had been duly invited not only by you but also so cordially by your good and gracious parents, though you seem and feel like not having done so.

Haven't you included us in your miscellaneous list of invitees and made additional provisions of 50 Damaloos, 50 pieces of red cheese and 50 pieces of Roganjosh with proportionate additions of other items of your menu of the feast?

Hearty thanks for the sumptuous feast and warm reception.



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