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Water That Turns Everyone Into A Tiger :: Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing
Fungawari Singbul by B. Jayantakumar Sharma

Translation by Bidyarani Thingujam *

Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing
An illustration of Folk tale 'Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing' by Sibananda Thokchom



Once upon a time, over the mountains, in a little village, there lived a couple who loved each other very much. They lived happily with their children in their little village without any worries. The couple alone cut a large area of forest over the mountain top and turn it into an agricultural land. They make their living by growing crops there.

On a bright, sunny day the man and his wife were working very hard at their farm. That time, the wife was getting very thirsty but not a drop of water was at sight in and around the area.

The wife said to her husband, "Dear, let me go a little farther and search for water. I'm unable to control my thirst". Husband replied, "No wife, this area is dangerous to go alone. Control for some time, and we'll go home. There is a pit a little far from this area but some elders said not to drink water from the pit. Whoever drank water from that pit, suddenly turn into a tiger".

But his wife was becoming more and more thirsty and promising his husband that she'll not drink water from the pit, she went in search of water. As the woman wandered from place to place in search of water, she did not find any water other than the water pit which turns whoever into a tiger after drinking water from it.

The woman control herself very hard not to drink water from it. After seeing the clear water of the forbidden water pit, the woman couldn't control her thirst anymore. And heartily drank from it.

Then she returned and resumed her work. She did not tell her husband that she drank water from the forbidden pit. She was scared to tell him the truth. But some time later, she did crazy things.

She began to show the traits of a tiger. And seeing these, the man came to know that his wife drank water from the pit. Meanwhile, the woman regret about having done the forbidden thing.

She quickly told her husband about the incident and asked to forgive her. The husband thought what is done so done and the two of them left the place after completing their work.

When they reached home, the children were waiting for them. The mother cook food for them and after dinner, all went to sleep. But the mother, in the middle of the night, came out the house and turns into a tiger and went into the forest to seek her prey.

From that day onwards, the wife remained as human at daytime but as soon as night approach, she turns into a tiger and went out to hunt her prey. For the love of her husband and children, she was spent her life in the forest. So for some time, the routine continue like this.

Suddenly one day, when the villagers came through a human carcass at the backyard of the woman's house, all are very scared and they were suspicious of the woman. It was the remains of a human prey the tiger-woman brought for her husband and children. The animalistic behaviour of the woman was increasing day by day and the villagers decided one day to cast out the woman from the village.

Then the woman turned into a tiger and made the forest her home. But unable to forget her husband and children, she used to come out of the forest and stand beside their house. But the villagers came to know about this and they chased away the woman. In order to prevent the villagers from entering the area where the forbidden water pit is located and for the welfare of the coming generation, all the villager work together and cover the pit. A strict fence was put up around the pit and ordered everyone not to enter there.

It is better for us not to do things which are forbidden. The woman who didn't listened to her husband, spend the rest of her life as a tiger in the forest.


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


* Bidyarani Thingujam is a regular contributor to e-pao.net
This article was posted on April 28 2017



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