Folk Tales of Gujarat (and Jhaverchand Meghani)

by Vandana P. Soni | 2014 | 98,532 words

This study represents an English translation of the Gujarat Folk tales composed by Gujarati poet Jhaverchand Meghani (1896-1947). Meghani was born in Chotila and left an important landmark on the history of Saurashtra and Gujarat folklore, Indian poetry, journalism and other literary sciences....

Chapter 9 - Jikaliyo (Story of Purshotam Mas)

There was a king and a queen. The queen was observing rituals of holy Purshotam month by taking bath very early. Everyday one female monkey spoiled water by taking bath before the queen. She was coming very very early to take bath. What does she speak while taking bath?

She was singing the following song while taking bath.

Adhi bhini adhi kori
Mare chhe raja ni chori
Mare ek putter
mara puterne ek so ne anth puter

“Half wet, half dry
I come here secretly! Stealthily
I have one son
My son has one hundred and eight sons.‖

After saying so, female monkey used to climb up on the banyan tree. Women of the village wondered every day on finding the bank of the river wet.

‘Oh who comes here before us and makes bank of the river wet.’

Hey, is there any body?

On one command not only one, but twenty one watchmen rushed to the spot.

‘Watchmen all you of you will remain alert! Keep an eye, how could monkey by remaining awake whole night come here early before us and could spoil still water?’ The king set a vigiliance on every leaf and on every branch of the tree.

In the dawn a female monkey was caught red handed by the king. He brought her home.

‘Hey, female monkey, why do you spoil still water before everyone?’

The female monkey said, ‘King King! I am observing one ritual. I have been promised that I will get one son.’

‘Ok, then keep a female monkey in the palace.’

One morning, the king was brushing his teeth in the balcony, he spat phlegm out of the balcony; a female monkey caught phlegm suspending in the air and the female monkey conceived.

Two months, four months, five months passed. The king had to go out of station. He went out of station after giving instruction that ‘please don’ t let the female monkey eat sour and stale food!‘

Queens said, ‘Ok king.’

In the nineth month the female monkey delivered a baby boy. A baby boy was dumped into mine of clay. On coming back the king asked: ‘What did queen monkey deliver?’

‘She delivered broom and rags.’

One potter in the village was childless. He started digging the clay mine. What did he see in the clay mine?

Heth balotiyu Pambhari odhadeli
Mahi rame chhokro

A piece of cloth was kept under a suckling
A blanket was covered on the upper side In the center the child was playing.

Shree Puroshotamdasji has given us a son.‘The potter brought a child to his home. He named him Jikaliyo. Jikaliyo started to make horses of clay. He carried horses of clay at the well and said ‘tro tro…!’

The maid servant of the king was fetching water: she gaped with wonder on seeing this.

‘O boys, do ever horses of clay drink water?’

‘Then sister does any lady deliver broom and rags?’

On being taunted the maid told everything to queens. The potter was called in the palace. The queen ordered, ‘Go, I banish you from the city.’

The potter left the city with bag and baggage. Jikaliyo was also there with the potter. The sun set when they reached very far. Overnight the villa came into existence...

Aliya Jaliya!
Katch na kamadiya!

Fence and ventilator with frame of bars, Doors of glass!

Surprisingly, his upperstoreyed house was one and a quarter times bigger than his father’s upperstorey. There were one hundred and eight rooms: there was a lake of Jikaliyo: thus overnight everything came into existence.

In the morning, virgins went to take bath in the lake. Amazingly whoever took bath in the lake became expectant. Thus one hundred and eight unmarried girls conceived.When mother came to knew after four or five months that her daughters were expecting; she drove away all the one hundred and eight daughters and said, ‘Go, Jikaliyo will keep you.’

Jikaliyo took care of all the one hundred and eight spinsters: after the nine months one hundred and eight sons were delivered.

The day broke. The king was brushing his teeth and he watched from the balcony that on the border there were one hundred and eight warriors. ‘Oh, oh, who have come to take away my kingdom?’

Jikaliya, Jikaliya, the king is calling you.”

Jikaliya went and saluted his father.

The king said ‘welcome!’

Jikaliyo said: ‘Yes, father!’

‘Why do you address me as a father?’

‘King King! Please call your fifteen favorites queens and also call the sixteenth one a female monkey queen: make them all seat here in front. I would be declared as a son of that queen from whose breast milk will flow on seeing me.’

She monkey’s breast brimmed with milk. Drops of her milk touched moustache of Jikaliyo. She monkey became the queen of the king.

‘Oh, Lord Purshotam as you maintained her reputation; similarly you please maintain every one’ s reputation!‘

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