TODAY -

Moldhin Chan: A Thado-Kuki Folktale : Part 2
- From a book by Kh Ibeton Devi -

James Oinam *

Cover of  'Bharatki Khang-gatlaba Funga Wari-shing', authored by Kh Ibeton Devi
Cover of 'Bharatki Khang-gatlaba Funga Wari-shing', authored by Kh Ibeton Devi



Source:
Translated from the story 'Moldhin Chan (Phajabagi Mang-ngalna Ching Ngalhanba Nupi)' (loose translation: Moldhin Chan (A Girl Who Brightened the Hills with Her Beauty)) in the collection Bharatki Khangatlaba Funga Waarishing (Selected Folktales of India) (A Collection of Twenty Folk Tales in Manipuri) authored by Kh. Ibeton Devi, published by Writers' Club Manipur Nambol, in September 2007.


As the evil god could travel at night, he reached where Yangchan and Moldhin were resting. The gods had a discussion among themselves.

'Let us save the god. He is family,' said one.

'The humans pray to us. Even though the evil god is our relative because of his evil deeds he has brought shame upon us all. Let us save the humans,' said another.

And at last, they decided to save the humans. The gods whispered into the ears of Moldhin to cut the grass growing near her with the sword Yangchan had brought. She did as she was told. The grass turned out to be the evil god in disguise. In this way, the evil god was killed.

The next morning, they resumed their journey. On the way they found the cave in which Purul was hiding. When Yangchan took out Purul from the cave, to his dismay, he found Purul was unable to speak. He kept pointing his fingers into the cave. The gods of the underworld had taken his tongue and he had become mute.

Yangchan decided to go down to the underworld to take back his brother's tongue. He threw down one end of a long vine into the cave. Then he climbed down into the deep underworld. On reaching the underworld, he found the gods were quarrelling with each other over the tongue.

'Why did you take my brother's tongue? Give it back to me or else I will take revenge upon you all,' he thundered in anger.

Some of them wanted to give it back and others did not. Yangchan grabbed one of them who was refusing and threw him so far away with such force that he was no longer visible to anyone. This terrified everyone there and they handed him the tongue. Yangchan threw up the tongue to his brother. The brother was now able to speak again.

But instead of feeling gratitude, an evil thought came to his mind. If they returned together, then the beautiful Moldhin would be married to his brother as reward because he rescued her from the evil god.

When Yangchan asked his brother to pull up the vine so that he could come up, he pretended he did not hear him properly.

'Do you want me to cut the vine?' he asked.

'No, pull up the vine. Have you become deaf?' shouted his brother.

But the younger brother cut the vine and the elder brother was unable to climb up from the deep underworld. So he wandered about in the underworld. He came across a beautiful girl weaving a cloth. Both of them fell in love and got married. They had a boy and girl child. But Yangchan could not forget the injustice done to him by his own brother. So he made a plan to go back to his village.

He grew a creeper plant. He watered it every day. It grew stronger and stronger and higher and higher, until it reached the surface of the earth. Then he decided to climb to the surface of the earth. But the cunning wife knew his plan so she made their children guard him. Whenever he started climbing the tree, the children rocked stem of the tree and he fell down. An old widow advised him to take a bag full of ground rice with him.

Taking the powdered rice with him in a bag, he started climbing the tree again. Again his children started rocking the stem of the tree.

'My dear children, I'm only trying to catch some birds for you. Look at the grains,' he said. Then he dropped the grains over them. The grains got into their eyes and they could not see anything. Taking this opportunity he climbed to the surface of the earth.

Although he came to his village, it had changed so much that he could not find his house. As he was lost in his thoughts, he found a man called Tokpa eating a chicken secretly.

'Where did you get that chicken,' he asked.

'I stole it from the house of Purul. He has enough chicken and will not notice,' replied Tokpa.

'Then steal another one,' he ordered.

Tokpa readily agreed to that. Following Tokpa, he reached the house of his younger brother. He was not at home and his children were playing in the courtyard. He asked them to call his father.

'Father, a man has come to see you. When he put down the load he was carrying our house shook as if there was an earthquake,' told the children to their father. Purul knew his brother was back and there was no use trying to run away.

The brother beat him up severely as punishment but he did not take his life. He made him look after the field. Then he married Moldhin Chan and took care of the children as his own.




(Concluded )




* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 10, 2018.



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