TODAY -

The Boon of the Doll :: Laiphadibigi Bor
Fungawari Singbul by B. Jayantakumar Sharma

Translation by Akham Gautam Singh *

 Laiphadibigi Bor
An illustration of Folk tale 'Laiphadibigi Bor' by Akham Gautam Singh



Long time ago, there ruled a king. He had only one son and decided to get him married to the daughter of one of the nobles of the court. The day before the marriage, the bride-to-be sat down with the doll with which she had played since childhood and cried together for they would soon be separated.

The doll said, “Dear friend, you will be married tomorrow and go and live in another home. I have been with you for so long, I do not know with whom I will stay after you are gone. Anyway, let me grant you two boons before you part. The first boon is that you can know what people are saying and can understand the call of birds and animals. The second boon is that you can see everything what humans cannot see.”

The daughter of the nobleman got married to the prince and went to live in the palace. After some time, the king died. The funeral of a king is like a festival. Everyone attended the ceremony, from nobles to relatives.

As the body of the king was burning on the funeral pyre, his daughter-in-law watched the pyre and started laughing while others were crying and expressing their grief.

Seeing the new princess laugh like this at a funeral, those who had come to attend the funeral started whispering in twos and threes. The prince also saw what his wife was doing. But without speaking out aloud, he thought to himself, “What is she doing?” And like this, the funeral got over.

After some time, the prime minister of the country also died. At his funeral too, the important people of the kingdom, relatives and nobles of the court came to attend the ceremony. Seeing the body burn on the pyre, she started crying profusely. Seeing this, the prince started suspecting something.

After a few days, the prince brought the princess to her father’s house and handed her over to her father saying, “Your daughter is immoral and ill-behaved. She giggled at my own father’s funeral and cried copious tears at the prime minister’s funeral. I cannot live with her; she is not a woman of pure heart.”

The nobleman was red with shame hearing this. When he asked his daughter if what the prince had said was true, she replied, “Father! I have done nothing wrong. When the king died and was being cremated, his five spirits were kicking his body and saying, “You evil man! It was intolerable to reside in your body. You oppressed your subjects. You are a miser! You did not love your wife! A body full of sins, goodbye and good riddance!”

When I saw the little spirits kicking the body repeatedly, I could not control my laughter. Where is my fault in that?

And when the prime minister was being cremated, his five spirits were crying at the parting, “O you kind soul!” Seeing this, I also felt like crying.”

And thus, she narrated the story about the boon given to her by her beloved doll and friend, that she could see what humans could not see, and that she could understand what the birds and animals are saying.

But the prince still had some suspicions even after hearing all this. Meanwhile, a crow called from a branch of a tree. The princess then told everyone, “The crow is saying, “ There is a dead body floating down the river.

There is a magical ring on his ring finger. If you take the ring and give it to the king, it will be good for the people and the king.” The king then sent his servants to see if it was true and it turned out to be so. The king now believed what his wife had said. He took her back to the palace and lived happily ever after.

It is in human nature to doubt when anything unbelievable happens. The princess was about to suffer because of her magical powers but once the truth was revealed, she lived happily ever after.


** From Manipur folk tale Book called "Fungawari Singbul" by B. Jayantakumar Sharma


* Akham Gautam Singh is a regular contributor to e-pao.net
This article was posted on February 11 2018



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