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 17


Once upon a time in early summer holidays, Suriya and Prakash along with two of their kith and kin Pruznaw and Dina went for a couple of days outing to their hill side land. There they camped in the open on a vast, desolate plateau along with a group of village friends from the out of sight villages down below and flanking the Kareva (Plateau).

On the southern side, the plateau was crowned with snowy mountains slopping down through crimson-blue rocks underneath pinewoods embroidered with sapphire margins of flowery meadows. It commanded a marvelous view of rural Kashmir down below in the distance.

There being no source of water on the plateau, utensils etc had to be cleaned on a tiny little far off spring down below. The two adolescents were assigned the job and the village friends supplied the fuel. Suriya and Prakash cooked the rice and vegetables the party had carried with them.

The sky was clear and starry. The moon shone bright and shed its soft, silvery beams of light calmly to help them share the dinner with the merry group of their village friends. Folksongs and folklore and local folk dances and Banda-Pather Banda-Pather is a form of local drama of Kashimir entertained the party throughout the welcome moonlit night studded with scintillating stars. Breakfast, lunch, dinner became a routine matter and moonlight merriments too as expected.

While Suriya and Prakash remained busy with their own business and local strolls, the two adolescents Pruznaw and Dina went down and up to the other plateau to their maize fields. There they busied themselves in picking up apples and walnuts, gorging out the Kernels from the latter and ate them with relish with self baked maize from the fields.

Sitting at ease and enjoying eating the fruits of their hard work. Pruznaw and Dina scanned the various aspects of scenic beauty of the terrain that surrounded them each according to his own appreciative capacity. While doing so they were attracted by the sight of silver crown rising like that of the colorful crest over a heoposh's head and shining like the spread out feather's of a peacock amongst the crimson blue background of giant rocks walled below by needle green pine woods that guarded the riot of colors of the waving flowers tossing their heads in the pleasant breeze blowing from the whistling woods over velvety glens of emerald green, The charming panorama that used diffused its perfumed fragrance all around.

As the fragrant air entered the nostrils of the robust youths, they were charmed and bewitched. They felt as if they were beckoned on for a welcome visit and adventure. They couldn't resist the temptation and prepared to respond positively the next day.

The collegian Praznaw collected some walnuts and ruddy cheeked white apples to be presented to his old school teacher and Principal en route at Gogji Pather  where he and his father had gone on summer holiday to live in two single storey simple huts on one side of Nilnag facing the woods across the lake.

Soon after breakfast and lunch early the very next morning they set on to their trekking journey for purposes of exploration in the hither to unknown terrain for them.

On reaching Nilnag, Praznaw entered the compound keeping Dina outside with the said load of fruits till he could obtain his old teachers consent to accept the respectful present. There he saw his old teacher and his wife sitting on the verandah of a small single story hut engaged in pleasantries.

Praznaw walked around and took his first step to enter without seeking permission according to the British custom and style of etiquette. No sooner did he so than he was harshly shouted out.

Praznaw was stunned and remained immovable for a few moments.

Regaining his wits, Praznaw retraced his steps and came out crest fallen still ruminating over what had happened. On his way out in the compound, he encountered the Principal Father and son occupying two humble huts, one behind the other on the slope of the plateau overlooking the lake and pine forest across on the opposite side-as said above. The principal affectionately reciprocated Praznaw's shaky greetings and asked how he happened to pass that way.

"Hello my boy! How do you do? What brings you here this way?

Praznaw in an uncertain low tone, replied.

"Sir, How do you do? My cousin and I had planned a trek this way from our land, a few miles away. I had thought of paying my respects to my old teacher, Mr. Eric and make, a regardful present of sweet apples and walnuts to him.. ... "

C.E. Tyndale Biscoe was happy to know this and jokingly asked.

"Where is your cousin?"

Praznaw, "Sir, he is waiting outside with the load of the said present."

"And, is there nothing for me?" retorted the Principal jokingly.

Already perturbed and puzzled, Praznaw stood mum like a statue. He fumbled and failed to respond to the kind query saying goodbye quite curtly he departed out still emanating over the surprisingly wild behavior of liberal teacher.

"Has the seclusion in the wilderness of the wild disturbed his mind? Has the darkness of the forest darkened his vision? Or has he lost his power of recognition or has loneliness given rise to suspicious mind in him?"

Praznaw's return back continued lurking in his mind and haunting him on the return trek.

What a clash of psyches and conflicting attitudes!



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