Sometimes life catches you unawares and tickles you so hard you fall off your perch laughing. When it comes to comedy, real life at times far out scores the best Bollywood comedies. Let me narrate one such real life incident which happened in a remote hamlet in Champaran District of Bihar. I am not naming the place to protect the identities of the characters involved.
To enjoy the incident you must mentally transport yourself to the typical village setting of a Bihar village where caste system still thrives in its most ugly form. The Brahmins are still the divine link between man & God. The Rajputs are still the brave, blue blood, warrior class etc.
It so happened that an orphaned fawn was discovered by villagers in the forest near our hamlet. The villagers brought the fawn to the durbar of the local land lord who was a Rajput of substance. The Rajput was bewitched by the beauty and innocence of the little fawn and ordered his servants to take care of it. As the fawn grew it transformed into a beautiful, majestic stag and adorned the land lord’s royal dwelling. The stag had a hut for itself where it was normally kept tied to a post. The best greenery was brought by the servants from the forest and fed to the stag.
During the day the men folk got busy in agricultural activities and the stag was alone in its hut grazing on the succulent fodder and greens provided to it. But as fate had it, the happy settings suddenly had a ghastly end. On a summer day at noon a 'bidi' thrown by a careless villager caused a huge fire that soon engulfed the huts in the landlord’s front yard. The fire was discovered and alarm raised but by the time it could be brought under control several huts including the stag’s were burnt to the ground. The landlord found the charred remains of his stag in the ashes of the hut.
After the initial shock and sorrow, the extended family of the Rajput landlord hesitantly suggested that it would not be wise to throw away the deer meat (venison). They should cook it properly and consume it. So a party was organized and all the members of the extended family had venison to their heart’s content.
However, two days after the party some villagers reported they had seen a stag grazing near their paddy fields. A closer inspection revealed that it was indeed the landlord’s stag. This revelation left everyone wondering what they had eaten at the party. To complicate matters further, the hamlet’s washerman had lost his donkey and was frantically looking for it.
A simple 2+2 revealed the most ludicrous explanation which went thus: One day the donkey of the local washerman had wandered into the hut of the fawn and to its delight found a lot of delicious grazing there. They had shared their meal. The donkey had gone back very happy. In its donkey brain it had soon developed the logic that if it paid the stag a visit every day it could find a great meal there. So the donkey had become a regular visitor.
On the eventful day when the flames reached the hut, the fawn, with its lightening fast wild reflexes, had struggled and had managed to snap the restraining rope. It had bolted to the safety of the forests nearby. The donkey, being a donkey, had not realized the impending danger and had got roasted in the hut.
This meant that the royal Rajput clan had feasted on donkey meat!!! What a crying shame!!! A secret, emergency meeting was summoned where the social and religious repercussions of this highly unusual, shameful deed were discussed. It was agreed that this incident must be played down and none of the lower caste people should be permitted to even mention, leave alone laugh at, the incident. Then came the question of the religious repercussion. A pundit was summoned to assess the damage and suggest remedies.
The pundit, sensing the wealth of the victims involved, saw his lifetime opportunity and suggested a big yagya with lots of daans. The hapless Rajputs agreed worried where the donkey would take them after they departed on their eternal journey.
The story here took another turn when a village lad suddenly chimed that he had seen the pundit’s son Santosh feasting on the “venison”. Suddenly the pundit found that the tables had turned. Every eye was on him. The wily pundit did some quick thinking and declared “Terah Rajput aur ek Santosh, Gadaha khane me nahi koi dosh”. Every one heaved a sigh of relief.
The matter is over and done with. Only people like me mention it and salute the Terah Rajput, Punditji and Santosh for adding some fun to my life. If you enjoyed this real life incident, salute them.
Rajesh Chaubey, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com