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 35 - Vikram and Khapro

In Ujjain there was the rule of the Valiant king Vikram, all needs of people of Ujjain were always fulfilled. Once upon a time in Ujjain, burglary was rampant. King Vikram patrolled in Manek Chowk during night. At midnight, a man named Khapro came out to burgle a house. King Vikram asked Khapro, ‘where are you going? Are you wandering aimlessly or going with aim.’ ‘Great King I never go aimlessly. Today I want to break your safe’. Vikram said, ‘Go happily and break the safe and take two bags full of money and take it to your home.’ Khapro said, ‘No King! I will take according to my requirement. Excess does not suit me.’

Meanwhile as Vikram and Khapro were talking; four women passed. Their anklets were jingling rumjhum rumjhum.

‘Oh! Khapra! Who are these women?’

‘This is a new urban area. God knows who they might be.’ As they came close, all the four women were recognised.

“Oh! One is queen Bhanvatiji, second is the princess of a minister of Badhsagra. The third one is Bhamni and the fourth is contemptuous widow Gangli. Where these laundi have been going early morning? I will hit them with arrow.’

‘Yes… yes…. Yes…. Great King: Be careful, before making some mischief does not forget that along with them there is Gangli! She will uselessly make uproar.’

Do you know how Gangli is?—

Addhik hath nu kanthu,
Pakal jambuda rokho van
Manjariyu ankhiyu
Odiya thi unchha babarka char char tasu pagni naliyu
Char char to pag ni naliyu
Chothiya va pag
Pinjra na gharno jane golito.
Khambhe sadlo.
Abha mandal na chandarda hethe ramade evi!

Wrist is of two and half size.
Dark complexion like a withered and distasteful black berry,
Grey Eyes.
Four feet high the shin bone
Quadruped legs of one-fourth size
Looked like round lump of carder
Sari on shoulder
She is a deceitful woman.

Gangli was walking ahead, the rest of them were following her. All the four women went out of the town.

Vikram and khapro followed women by taking support of a precipice of a small stream.

After going out of city, Gangli dug a pit under the banyan tree. She sprinkled adad in the sky and soon the sound gharar; gharar erupted and Moniyo came down from the sky:

Moniyo was an expert musician of kingdom of Indra.

‘Yes Moniya! Continue the play of Tinger!’ What is Tinger Natya arrambh?—It is…

Khambhe dudhna pyala
Mathe bar gagar nu bedu
Etla vana layne-
Dashe anagaliye chhakar farva
Jibhe moti parovta java,
Katar ni dhar mathe pagla mandva.

There are glasses of milk on shoulder,
There is a row of 12 earthen water pots on a head.
By taking all these things, move round with ten fingers,
string beads with tongue,
and make a print on head with the sharp edge of a sword.

On seeing wonderful type of Natya, arambh Bhammati enjoyed a lot.

‘Take this Moniya; this is my, Nav sero har!

She said, ‘Jo moj maru to magarmacch sarju.’

Gangli said ‘After three days there is Swayamvar. We shall go to see the Swayamvar’.

Bhanmati said, ‘I can’t come. After three days at night King Vikram will visit my palace.’

Gangly said; ‘What is in that you can’t come?’ “When King Vikram goes to sleep, sprinkle mantrel udad Na dana on his chest. Under the effect of necromancy he will fall a sleep. He will remain asleep for the twelve years. I will wake him up, when we will come back after the twelve years”

‘How shall we go to Ajabet?’

‘We shall go by this flying saddh vadla.’ Vikram trembled on hearing such talk.

Khapra says ‘Great King! Do not worry. Let us return. We will find some way.’

In the evening Khapro went at Gangana suthar’s house. Gangana laid the Khatlo. If he does not make an arrangement of khatli for kaka, then someone else would from patal and lift him away.

“Gangana Suthar! Make a hole in the siddh vadla in such a way that not a single chip of wood falls on the ground; and two persons along with their weapons and smoking pipe get space to accomodate inside the carved hole.” Gangana Suthar carved hole into the wooden tree as per the instructions.

On the third day, Raja Vikram went at the palace of Rani Bhanmati. He pretended to be asleep.

Rani Bhanmati soon sprinkled udad na dana on chest of Raja Vikram and chanted a mohni mantra.

Hatheli e hanumant
Bhaliye bhairav
Chalne chal bandhu
Bolne ki jibh bandhu
Mo bandhu
Bandhu nagar sara
Gam dhaniku thad besaru
Mohne nam hamara
Mol betha raja tedavu
Kamru desh, Kamsa devi
Tya vase asmal jogi
Asmal jogi ye vadi vavi
Raja moyo parja moi
Moya nagar sara
Vachha chuke ubho suko
Pade dhup ke kandma
Jai khadi massan ma
Chalo mantro phatkat chuva

Hanumant is in palm.
Bhairav is on a forehead.
I will hypnotise your movement.
I will hypnotise your tongue.
I will hypnotise your mouth.
I will hypnotise your city.
I can create city with the power of hypnotism.
I can bring here the king sitting in a palace.
Asmal Jogi resides at Kamru desh‘; where goddess Kamsa Devi is worshipped.
Asmal Jogi planted farm
The king was fascinated; the people were attracted,
The whole city attracted.
May his communicative power get paralysed
Ash of incense may fall in the altar; and may its particles, reach to crematorium.
Let this formula of black magic may work.

Soon as an effect of this evil formula of hypnotism: the body of the king Vikram stuck to the cot in such a way as if four female hooded serpents had attacked him. Bhanmati went away on leaving the king.

The king called an intelligent Vetal but he said, “I have no power to remove the effect of these charmed beans casted on king Vikram’s body. Only the goddess Kalika who has power on the four worlds can undo the effect of this evil spell.”

Vikram could get up from the bed only after he summoned the goddess Kali.

Vikram and Khapro quickly reached the siddh banyan tree and sat inside the hole made into the tree by Gangana. They carried their smoking pipe and their weapons with them and the door was shut, as it was earlier.

All the four women climbed up the banyan tree.

Gangli said, ‘Ladies, tie hem of your sari with banyan tree! Banyan tree will fly over the sea.’

‘Yes Gangli masi!’ said the three-women and tied the knot with the hem of their sari.

Gangli chanted mantra

Lilli ghodi, Lila palan,
Jai kare mavel virku Salam
Mera veri mera bhakra
Uth po”r, Uth ghadi
Lidha vina Pacchi fare
Chostha Jogni Bali ne bhasma kare

Green horse, green saddle,
Go and salute the brave
My enemy is my victim
Get up in the afternoon; get up at particular moment,
It can return without bringing them
It has power to burn sixty-four goddesses.

Gangli made the banyan tree fly which sounded as gharar! gharar! gharar! Within two seconds, they reached Ajabet. The banyan tree came down. All the four women went into the palace.

Gangli said, ‘Women, we will sing such wonderful marriage songs that may all kings gape with wonder.’

Vikram and Khapro came from the backside. They went to potter woman’s house.

There was Swayamvar at the King’s palace.

Thousands of masal threw light with particular force. Thousand of Saheliyu as powerful as she elephants started to sing marriage songs together.

She elephant was brought. Ambadi was of pure gold. An elephant rider who was sitting on an elephant kept warning elephant loudly, Oh! Ganeshrup!

Raj joje, pat joje,
Gam joje, garas joje,
Jat joje, bhat joje,
Nam joje, tham joje.

View kingdom.
Think over the capital of the kingdom,
Evaluate the village,
Contemplate on the caste; think on the creed,
Examine name and fame.

She elephant started moving by keeping kalash in her trunk. She observed each king but she was not satisfied. Later on, she walked towards a dunghill. Who was standing there? King Vikram and Khapro were standing there. The elephant poured auspicious water from pot on the King Vikram. The elephant lifted Vikram up by her trunk and made him sit on Ambadi; it returned and Khapro followed Vikram by holding the elephant’s tail, otherwise who would allow him to enter into palace?

Vikram was in disguise. Who could recognise him? Brahman said; ‘Mention your name!’

Soon Khapra himself twisted Brahmin’s hand and Brahmin understood the name as well as situations.

Panditji made Vikram wear Troda, Tupiya, Mohan mala and Mandil. Vikram decked him up with all traditional as well as necessary ritual accessories so he looked like Indra.

King Vikram came for the ceremony of pokhnu.

Panditji: ‘Who will go to observe the ceremony of pokhnu?

Bidadar moved among the crowd and announced “whether anybody could accept the challenge to observe the ceremony of pokhnu

Who will accept the challenge?

Ultimately, queen Bhanmati accepted the bidu.

Queen Bhanmati observed the ceremony of welcoming the bridegroom King Vikram.

She went by taking Moti Ni Thali.

After fulfilling four Mangal Fera; the king Vikram went on the upper storey.

Medic ma to jaga jyot lagi chhe.
Bilori kacch na naliya,
Agar chandan na adsar,
Parvaliyu na vada-Dhamkar thai rahiyo chhe,
Rajkunvari to-Moth vani, elchi vani,
Khal khalte pani e nai
Ghat premade ariso mand
Vale vale mataval thansi,
Thal lai medi e chadi chhe
Hale to kanku–kesar na pagla pade
Bole to batris pankhdi na ful jare,
Prem na bandhiya bhamra gunjarav kare
Ham kam lochna
Trathi mrugli na jeva nel
Bhukhi sihan na jevo kediya no lank
Ugto ambo
Raniya no kolambo
Bharvatiya ni barchhi
Holi ni jal
Poonam no chandrama,
Juni vadiya no bhadko
Ne bhadarvano tadko
Eva rup lai ne, thal pirsine transe ne santh pagathiya Chhadi.
Maru chali mol par, Deepak jagadiye,
Haliyo, lanka lagadiye
Maru chali mol par, chhuta meliya kesh,
Jane chhatrapat chaliyo, ko’k namavva desh.
Maru chali mol par, chhodiye kalri laj,
Ariyara gadh uppre, dhadhkariyo gajraj.
Maru theth palang chhadi, kachva meliya dur,
Chakva re man anad bhayo,
Jane uga sur

An upper storey shined brightly.
The roof tiles, which were fitted, were made of crystal glass.
Horizontal beam under the top of a roof was made of-
-perfumed sandalwood,
Supporting beam of a roof was made of coral.
Everywhere humming sound echoed.
Queen took bath with hot water
She put the mirror in front of her
She pinned up pearls in her hair
She went upstairs by holding a large plate
When she walked, her footprints made impression of kumkum and kesar
When she spoke, her thirty-two teeth looked as delicate as buds of flower.
Wasps made humming sound as if they were bound by love.
She was very passionate and jazzy, eyes looked like an antelope

Her twist of waist looked like a voluptuous lioness, a growing mango tree, sharp as outlaw’ s spear and her whole figure dazzled like a flame of ceremonial bonfires ignited during the Holi festival.

She looked beautiful as the full -moon day, she seemed as the big blaze of old hedge and simmered like the sunlight of Bhadarva.

By emdoding, all these natural features of beauty she climbed up 360 steps by carrying the plate of food,

Let us light a lamp; let us evoke the fire of passion
She went upstairs and kept her hair loose,
She walked gorgeously like a determined king going to stoop someone
A charming woman climbed up, by casting off shyness of a girl.
She climbed up as if she was going to stamp her victory on fort of her ancestors

She went on bed: throwing the cloak of shyness aside, and they zoomed up with such a joy like birds who feel electrified on sensuing the joy of rising rays of the sunrise.

She went on bed and she lovingly murmured, ‘Come close!’ she warmly welcomed him thrice. King Vikram relished his food. As the Swan of Mansarovar graze pearls with the same graciousness, he ate three handful morsels.

Thambh kadhke medi hanse, Khelen lagi khant
So sajna bhale aviya jeni jota vat
Vat buvara ne gan chana, diyole diva less
Je desh thi avshe Munjo Navlo, e desh na dhandhal less
Uncho naliyar ordo, madro sisho hath
Lathdti pyala liye, ne chomasa ni rat

Pillars trembled, upper storey smiled; amorous play went on bed,
Beloved it is good that you came; I had been waiting since long
I made sweet, by mixing flour and jaggery and in spite of lamps, ambience is dark due to thin whick of burning lamps.
There will be less possibility of commotion when my king, my husband will come from any country.
In high roofing tiled room, bottle of wine were in hand
Stumbling glass of wine was in hand and it was a rainy night,

King Vikram got amorous but Khapra had already warned him in advance not to strengthen relationship. Khapra had told King Vikram that if attachment would increase then it will make them reach Ujjani after six months and meanwhile conspiracy against them might work.‘

Vikram became aware of the fact; he soon got up and became ready. He came out from the city and reached where Khapra was waiting for him.

Khapra wiped tilak, which was on the forehead of the king , and he removed mindhal that was tied around the wrist of Vikram.

They sat in the cave like hallow carved in the trunk of the tree. Later on all the four women came. Gangly chanted the mantra to make the banyan tree fly. The banyan tree flew away and reached the Ujjani. Women got down and walked away whereas Vikram and Khapro also rushed to the palace.

Night was not over; Khapra made king Vikram sleep and put the small heap of uddad on his chest in the same position as it was put earlier. Khapra went away.

Bhanmati came back. She saw King Khapra was sleeping. Bhanmati was doubtful since she performed the ceremony of pokhnu. As she was suspicious, she checked Vikram’s hand, she checked his forehead but as it was night, she could not find any sign, which could confirm that the man of whom she did pokhnu was no one but King Vikram himself. While observing his hair bun she traced one morsel of rice coloured with kumkum! ‘Yes! It is this! This is the same morsel of kumkum coloured rice; with which I made tilak on his forehead!’

As soon as Vikram got up from his bed, Bhanmati called Gangly. Gangly chanted necromantic hymn and Vikram was metamorphosed into a parrot.

Vikram who became parrot spoke in human language: ‘oh, you did not forgive even my one crime!’

Bhanmati twisted the situation so meanly that the life of Vikram in form of parrot reached to the state of limbo.

Everyday Khapra waited for the king Vikram. He was waiting for Vikram’s arrival from home. Unfortunately, Vikram did not even turn out for hunting or for arranging any meeting.

Khapra doubted,’sure, King Vikram must be in severe turmoil due to servant Gangly.’

Days passed, years passed! Khapro went Ajabet He went to king: ‘I have come to carry my mataji.’ He reached near the woman. Lady said, ‘oh Khapra! Your King married me and forgot me!’

Tears ran down over Khapra’s cheek,

Aunshu Ve” apar, nele arjan narpati,
Vir, Na Kari var, Ayo karan andar thi.
Roi sak to ro, monkaniyu meli Kari,
Kise bandhavu pal, sayar fatiyo sankhda!
Dungar upper DAV jale, khan khan jare Ingar
Janki hedi hal gay, vanka bura hval.
Ane bhai! Dilna dukh to je chtur nar hoi
ENE j hoi chhe Na! Murakh ne shu?
Chatur nar ki lat bhali, kya murakh ki bat
Chaturanki late sakh upje murukh Ni vate ghar jjat
Chatur narku bot dukh, murukh ku sakh raj;
Vidhi ghat jane nahi jene pet bharvanu kaj

Tears incessantly flowed: they ruled the eyes
The brave, never delay any action, motivation comes from within
If you can cry then cry, do catharsis
How can I control it?
The suppressed sea of pain has burst out and it is uncontrollable
On a small mountain, the firewood burns quickly and ashes fall down by making a rattling sound.
The condition is pitiable.
Too much attachment among friends of similar age group brings affliction in return.
Only wise feel pangs of conscience’s agony
Fool does not feel any regret or pain
Kick of an intelligent is better than talk of fool
The kick of an intelligent ignites the sparks of suspicion whereas advice of fool ruins home.

The wise has to bear severe pangs and has to face many problems whereas the fool remains happy in their fool’s paradise.

Goddess of Destiny does not know the mind of fool that they simply believe in the theory of drink, eat, be merry and to remain self-oriented; without scaling them on the ground of merits, goddess lavishly bless fools.

‘Oh! Khapra: what is the matter?’ Khapra gave details of the whole matter.

The woman took Galabgodiyo in pehramani. Galabgodiyo went with woman by carrying a flower plant.

They reached at the seacoast and discovered that all the ships had sailed away.

What to be done then?

Galabgodia spread his own long piece of cloth on the water of Sea and told his mistress and Khapra, ‘Please sit on a piece of cloth and hold the end of the sheet tightly! This is a dangerous sport.’

The cloth started drifting on water. They reached the next shore. There was one tree.

Galabgodiya kicked the tree and the tree turned into a horse carriage. They all reached Ujjain by horse carriage. They directly went at Khapra’s Takiyo. A mace of 520 kg was lying against the wall. He hold mace close then threw it away. Inside, the room dazzled with light of diamonds and pearls like incessant flame of lamp.

‘Oh! Khapra, what is this?’

‘Brother, my game is always underground.’

Khapra asked the woman to stay in basement and went to palace. At the palace there were two drums named ‘Ashad” and ‗ Bhadarvo’. Khapra started playing on drums.

Galabgodiya started playing games as soon as assembly gathered. He disguised himself as an old man. He created a garden. He planted mango tree and grew mangoes on it with his power.

Soon Gangli rushed to the spot and said; ‘Oh! Khapariya: who gave you this power?’

Khapro said, ‘Masi ba I am doing all these to expose your true colour to the public.

Please wait, do not hurry!’

‘Oh! What will your Godiyo do? I will draw a circle, and in it I will put my charmed round skein of thread. Galab Godiya, if you have power then you can take it. Galab

Godiya chanted necromantic hymn of Gayatri’–

Ami me Kalash
Kalash me Unkar
Unkar ma narakar
Narakar ma Narijan
Narijan me pancch tatva

Nectar in Pot
In pot, there is painful sound
In pain, there is negation
In negation there is omniscient
In omniscient, there are five elements.

By chanting such hymn, he picked up skein of thread charmed by Gangli. He hanged Gangly with her head down. Her witchery qualities were exposed in the market. Cut her into pieces.

Then he liberated King Vikram from the physique of parrot and transformed him into a human being by using some mystic power. Bhanmati’s head was shorn entirely. They expelled her; by making her sit reverse on donkey and carried out her skimmington.

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