TODAY -

Rani Hingchabi : The Demon Queen
- From a book by N. Bemni Singha -

James Oinam *

 An Illustration of  Rani Hingchabi
An Illustration of Rani Hingchabi by James Oinam



Once upon a time, there lived a king and a queen. The young queen died after giving birth to two princes. The king was heartbroken. When a demoness came to know about it, she decided to trap this king.

'He must be missing the queen. I must win his heart and become the queen myself,' she thought.

It was summer and the king regularly took bath in a pond that had many lotuses and water lilies in it. One day, the demoness took the form a beautiful damsel and swam among the lotuses as the king was about to come.

When the king came, he was struck by the beauty of the damsel. He declared, 'O Lady, are you human or are you a spirit? If human, I would take you to the palace to be my queen.'

'O King, I came from faraway village. I was so tired from my long walk, I was taking bath in this pond to cool myself. I will be honoured to be your queen,' replied the damsel.

They returned to the palace and were married.

In front of the king, the queen pretended to love the princes. But at heart she hated them and wanted to eat them.

'How I wish I could eat these princes but the king is always there protecting them. I know, I will take them to my mother and ask her to eat them instead. She is old and cannot go hunting,' the queen thought.

And so one day, she approached the king, 'O dear husband. It has been so long I have not seen my mother. I would like to take the princes with me to see her. She has never seen the princes.'

The king agreed happily and gave the queen a lot of gifts to take for her mother.

The queen came to a dense forest with the princes. In a small house they found the old demoness in human form. The demoness queen told her mother that she will leave the princes with her. Then can eat the princes at her pleasure.

The princes heard all this conversation secretly. As the blood of the fearless king ran in them, they took the news calmly. They decided to wait for the right opportunity.

'Dear children, I am leaving you two with your grandmother for some days. You will have a great time. Grandmother will show you the forest and tell you all about the magic trees,' the queen told the princes.

And so the queen left the princes alone with the old demoness.

The children tried their best to please the old demoness calling her 'dear grandmother' and massaging her body. The old demoness was so pleased she kept saying to herself, 'I will eat them tomorrow.' The days went by.

With time, the old demoness' patience was wearing thin. She could not go hunting because of her old age. All she could find was rotten and leftover meat in the forest. The children noticed it.

One day, the boys persuaded the old demoness to show the magic forest.

The old demoness took the children to the magic forest.

'What is this leaf?' asked the princes.

'O this is flood leaf. It can cause a flood,' answered the old demoness.

'What is that leaf?' they asked again.

'Oh those are leech leaves. If thrown at someone, the person will be covered with a swarm of leeches.'

The princes shivered at the thought.

'And that plant is fire plant. One single leaf can cause a huge fire,' pointed out the old demoness.

The younger prince was very clever. He plucked one leaf each of the plants while the old demoness was looking the other way.

They all came back from the tiring walk in the forest. So they immediately went to sleep like logs. Before the sunrise, the princes woke up and quietly left the house. Not long before, the old demoness came to know that the children had run away. She came after them.

First, the young prince threw the flood leaf. But the old demoness knew how to swim and came closer.

Now the prince threw the leech leaf. The old demoness was covered with leeches. While she was trying to pluck away the leeches, the prince threw the fire leaf at her.

The old demoness was burnt completely to ashes.

The princes returned triumphant to the palace. The queen was amazed to see them return. When the princes told the entire story to the king, the queen was filled with anger. She took the form of the demoness and attacked them. But the king's soldiers were quick and they cut her into pieces.

The king no longer thought of marrying again and lived with the princes happily.


Source Details:

Translated from 'Rani Hingchabi' story in the collected work Funga Wari, Vol. 3
Author: N. Bemni Singha
Book Illustrator: N. Nongdon Sana
Publisher: Naharol Khorjei Thaugallup Jaribon
Year of Publication: 1999




* 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 November 14, 2019.



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