STORY OF 10 BUSINESSMEN AND 3 THIEVES (Post No.4673)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 28 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 19-11

 

Post No. 4673

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

 

 

This is a folk tale from Tamil Nadu. There were ten Chettiars in a town. Chettiars belong to the caste of businessmen like Patels, Banias and other business communities. The Chettiars in a town used to buy sarees, towels and dhotis from a nearby village famous for woven goods. They knew all the days of weekly markets in the nearby towns. They used to go in a group to those markets and come back home in the group. This is the way the business guilds acted in the olden days to ensure their personal safety.

 

One day after selling their goods in a nearby city, they came back through a forest. Unfortunately, three thieves waylaid them. They threatened them with swords and seized all the money from them. The Chettiars, like Indian businessmen, tie the money, jewels and gems in their waist cloth. Knowing this the thieves forced them to undress except for the small loin cloth. They had to do it to save their lives.

 

When the Chettiars became half naked, the thieves wanted more fun and forced them to dance. First they told the thieves they didn’t know any dance. But when the thieves threatened them, one Chettiar began to dance and other nine joined them. the thieves were happy and spent their time in drinking and gambling games.

 

The business community in Tamil Nadu have their own jargon and some technical words for pricing. Just to hide the prices from the customers, they use this language when the customers are present. The customers wouldn’t know because they are mostly single words.

 

Out of the ten Chettiars one clever man found out a way to pass a secret message to his colleagues. So while he was dancing and singing he used them with the usual refrain/ rhyme.

Picture of Chettiar Dolls

 

Thom Thom Thathiginom (refrain)

Brothers ‘thiru’ persons

Younger brothers ‘puli’ persons

Thathingina Thathingina Thathinginathom

‘Savanam Savanam’ persons

‘Thiruvar Thiruvar’ round up

Thatheem Thatheem Thathinginathom

‘Savanam’ is the reminder

handcuff Savanam hadcuff

Thom Thom Thathinginathom

Stop-da, Come-da, Go-da

Thatheem Thatheem Thathinginathom.

 

The refrain ‘’thom thathinginathom’ of Chettiars attracted the thieves and then they started repeating the slogan and drank more and more.

 

The message conveyed through this song was, “Look! we are ten people; they are only three; if three of us can round up one thief each, all the three thieves would be arrested. The tenth man can run and bring the police. The above song has numbers I, 3 and 10 (Savanam, Thiru, Puli)

When the thieves were half asleep, the nine chettiars divided themselves according to the plan and then grabbed one  each. The tenth Chettiar  brought the police. The Chettiars got back their money and returned to their home town.

Even today Chettiar community use the coded words for prices for sarees and other textiles.

 

–subham–

 

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