Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kashmiri Folktale: Junky and the Dead Crow

In response to my previous post about short diminutive old Kashmiri women, Man Mohan Munshi Ji recalled an old Kashmiri folktale/song told to him as a kid by his grandmother and mother.

The story goes like this: A crow and a Shod [marijuana addict] were friends and they planned a picnic, got some mutton and cooked it in a lej [Kashmiri pot] on the bank of a stream. Shoda asked the crow to keep watch till he returned after having a wash.The crow out of curiosity lifted the lid [anuit] of the lej but unfortunately fell inside the cooking pot with the lid closed on him. When the Shoda returned he thought that the crow has consumed the mutton and run away. But, when he lifted the lid he saw the dead crow floating along with mutton pieces in the gravy. He was grief-stricken at the loss of his friend and as a sign of mourning shaved off his beard. The stream learning the reason for Shoda's missing beard dried its water. A deer who came to take water dropped one of its antlers in sympathy. A tree under which the deer used to feed also dropped its branch. A calf also used to come to feed under the tree and after hearing the tragic death of the crow, dropped its tail. The cow after hearing the story from the calf, dried her udder. The milkman in sympathy for the crow cut his finger. His wife after hearing the tragic story, started crying and cut her arm. Then, a camel passed by and after hearing the complete story said, "Both Shoda as well as the crow got what they deserved. Rest of you are fools. What did you gain by doing silly things?"

Here are the Kashmiri lyrics and a translation.


Shoda legeji kaw gow

Crow fell in Shoda’s lej

Shodan dar kas

Shoda shaved his beard

Pokri poin chumrov

Stream dried its water

Hanglan haing trov

Deer dropped its horn

Bran Kuil lang trow

Tree dropped its branch

Vatsth harith lot trov

Calf dropped its tail

Gav maji bab gai kain

Cow dried its udder

Gure chat kis

Milkman cut his little finger

Gure Baie chat nar

Milkmaid cut her arm

Wontan dupnak toi chew fatir

Camel said you are all fools

Toi kiaze karew baif kufi

What did you do silly things?

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