TODAY -

The Brave Friend : Thaunaphaba Marup
- From a book by N. Bemni Singha -

James Oinam *

Thaunaphaba Marupi - Illustration by James Oinam
Thaunaphaba Marup :: An Illustration by James Oinam



Once upon a time, there lived two close friends. They visited each other's house and drank tea. One day, as usual, one friend came over and stayed late at his friend's house.

While they were having food, their discussion went something like this:

Guest: 'Friend, tomorrow let's go for fishing before dawn.'

Host: 'OK, whoever rises early will go to the other's house and wake him up.'

Unknown to them, a ghost was listening to their conversation in the backyard. The ghost was grinning, because a plan had come to his mind to trap one of them.

When the guest left for his house after the meal, the ghost followed him to his house and waited. When it was late in the middle of the night, he knocked at the door.

'Who is it? Friend, is it you?' asked a voice from inside the house.

'Yes, it is me. Come, let's go fishing,' replied the ghost, pretending to be the young man's friend.

The young man took his fishing equipment and came out rubbing his eyes.

They went to the village rivulet. There they made two barrages along the stream.

With the help of buckets they drained the water caught between the two barrages. All the fish were now exposed in the dried up portion of the rivulet.

The young man caught them and put them in the fishing basket. But his friend was eating the raw fish. The young man became suspicious that he might be an evil spirit disguised as his friend.

He said, 'Friend, I want to go the toilet.'

The ghost became suspicious. He took out a rope and said, 'Tie one end of the rope around your waist. I will hold the other end to be sure that you are safe.'

The young man tied one end of rope around his waist and went into a nearby bush. But as soon as he was sure he was out of sight, he untied it and stealthily headed for his home.

A long time past, but the young man did not come out of the bush. The ghost wondered why the young man was taking so long.

He pulled the rope to see if the young man was still there, but there was no response. So he came looking for the man.

Seeing the other end of the rope lying there unfastened, he became very angry and ran after the young man because he knew the young man must be heading for his home.

The young man was only halfway to his house. He saw the ghost coming after him and knew he cannot outrun an evil spirit. He decided to face him like a man.

The two wrestled with one another. Sometimes the ghost was above and sometimes, the young man was above.

The young man was getting tired but he did not give up. Time passed in this way, and the dawn came at last.

As the sunlight filled the sky, the ghost became weaker. The young man called for help.

Meanwhile, his friend, finding his friend's door was locked, came in the direction of the river.

At a distance he saw the two wrestling. He came running along with the villagers, who had heard his cry for help, and caught the ghost.

They chained the ghost and burned him alive. All the villagers were proud of the brave young man.

The two friends came back home.

From that day, they decided never to go fishing before dawn.


Source Details:

Translated from 'Thaunaphaba Marup' 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 June 26, 2018.



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