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 2

Daddy's Distress

Raja Hakim was a renowned Aurvedic-cum-unani physician of the time, about six decades ago. He had established his flourishing business in a big clinic in the ground floor of his residential house. Raja Hakim was a handsome, well built, young man of catching courtesy and winning demeanour. The fame of his quick healing methods of treatment, of all sorts of ailments, spread far and wide in no time. And soon, his clinic became a beehive of suppliant patients. Naturally, he remained always busy all the time. So, he was left with only brief breaks for meals in between.

As a result, he could spare but little time to spend with his family, comprising a good number of children that he had. The brunt of upbringing well educated offspring fell to the care of his spouse, Rani Hakim, who proved to be a versatile lady. Rani Hakim husbanded his earnings well. She saw to it that all their children grew up to the mark and were well settled in life. High ambitions took the promising children to far off places to settle there on good jobs and business as per their own leanings. Only the eldest son, Ravinder remained with his parents at home. He was employed in the same city at a high post.

In the meanwhile Ravinder had his own children. His mother, Rani Hakim had now to take the double charge of her overworked husband, children and grand children. Her daughter-in-law, Reeta herself was in service and could only partially help her mother in-law in their family affairs. Indomitable spirit and dedication to domestic matters kept Rani Hakim going smoothly with the ordeals facing her from time to time. An atmosphere of perfect harmony and peace prevailed all through. Old customs, rituals and festivals as well as oriental, Kashmiri-type relationship were imperceptibly adjusted according to the semi-modern concepts of civilizations. The family unit improved its image and established its place of honor in the developing Kashmiri Pandit society. Slowly and steadily the ongoing rush of work in the clinic started to tell upon Raja Hakim's own health. He began showing signs of tiresomeness. He began to complain of fatigue.

"To hell with all this strenuous work; din and noise that pesters me all along," would automatically pour out of his mouth.

"But no, how can I give up this lucrative business? How can I maintain my family? what will sustain me and my wife's life?" he will mutter within himself off and on. Every time he rose bravely to the occasion, girdled up his loins and resumed his work at the clinic.

And as Raja and Rani Hakim grow older and weaker month after month and year after year, deep wrinkles are drawn across their, otherwise, plane ruddy cheeks. Their hair changed color from jet black to gray. The wrinkles on their cheeks sink deeper and deeper into groove-like furrows.

"O, for a brief period of relaxation, at least after lunch!” he whispers to Rani Hakim off and on. "Yes dear, I too feel tired and tardy now. But, I am concerned at your plight. I simply can't bear seeing you so exhausted after clinical work". She replies. But, the family chores and the clinical work continue going side by side with groaning whispers of helplessness in the matter. "O what is that thing called, 'rest' which we shall never enjoy?” they now begin to think aloud every moment they meet each other. And yet they carry on and on.

Ravinder Hakim and Reeta Hakim often over hear these loud thoughts of restlessness both individually as well as collectively. They simply meet and discuss, meet and discuss. But every time they don't come to any concrete conclusion.

The hither to welcome mobility and tumult of brisk public dealings lose their vigour fell. The domestic expenditure increases with the increase in family strength and, increasing demands of higher education of growing grand children.

Ravinder Hakim and Reeta Hakim reach the age of superannuating. They are about to retire soon. Dreadful shadows of darkness and gloom spread over the otherwise prosperous family. They are enveloped in an atmosphere of helplessness.

Worried about the future of their children, Ravinder Hakim and Reeta Hakim meet in their bed room at night and ruminate over and, discuss the situation calmly once again.

"I have enough leisure time before and after my official duties. What do you think, if I lend a helping hand to my dear father in my spare time? After all the whole income from the clinic goes to replenish our domestic expenditure. This goes a long way to feed and maintain not only my age in parents but also us and our children", Ravinder Hakim argues with his wife, Reeta Hakim.

"Yes, my dearest, you are perfectly right. But, will your daddy agree to it? How are we going to convince him of our earnest desire and ability to render him all possible help. We have not retired yet." asked Reeta.

"Dear Reetaji, don't we both hear them complaining aloud about their tiresome feelings resulting from over work and aging?", replies Ravinder Hakim.

"Yes Swani, let us go to them together to offer our services and full cooperation both in domestic and clinical. work." suggests Reetaji.

With the cooperation of Rani Hakim, they are able to convince Raja Hakim and obtain his agreement in the matter.

Ravinder Hakim resumes dispensing work along with the permanent incumbent and learned the art of dispensing work. Besides himself being a senior accountant in Government service, he becomes an adept in maintaining the accounts of the clinic, side by side managing to sit by his father picking up a thorough knowledge of diagnosis of diseases and their treatment from him. In course of time he proves to be an asset to his father who now gets more spare time to spend in the Company of Rani Hakim, both freely chatting and relaxing together. But, deteriorating health seeps Rani Hakim's health and compels her retain only financial control while transferring the management of household affairs to Reeta Hakim, her daughter-in-law. The arrangement continues working smoothly till Rani Hakim's depressing ailment compels her to hand over the financial control too to Rita Hakim's care.

Raja Hakim's relaxation time is now channeled towards nursing his ailing wife. The few left over grand children keep the old couple company in the mornings and evenings while they remain away at school during day time. And, by and by, in due course, alas! the hands that had always remained downwards with their palms facing the earth, were destined to turn upside down with their palms now facing the skies.

Raja Hakim and Rani Hakim who, all through their life-span, so far were in the habit of spending enough money to meet household expenditure, on education of their children and grand children and maintenance of high status and standard of living in a cultured society. They were also lavishly offering financial assistance to social organizations and the poor. They had now, slowly and steadily begun to feel the pinch of need awaiting to receive something or the other from somewhere from their off-springs. This served as a portent to have to await facing the wrath of misfortune steeping like running floods, from underneath bushes and heaps of bran.



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