THE TAMING OF THE INDIAN SHREW (Post No.4892)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 7 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  18- 36 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4892

 

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Most of you know the story of the comedy- THE TAMING OF THE SHREW- written by William Shakespeare. Here is a story about an Indian shrew from the folk tales of India.

 

There was a king in India who had no issues. But after lot of penance and marrying many women he had some good news. One of the queens had become pregnant. He was expecting a male child so that he can appoint him as his ward in course of time. He waited for ten months and the news  came that the queen had given birth to a baby girl.

 

The king felt happy thinking that at least god was kind to give him a daughter. After sometime he called the royal astrologers and asked them to cast her horoscope. They did it and came out of the queen’s room with a sad face. The King asked them to give some prediction about the future of the girl. They told the king that she would be alright until she comes of age but later she would be a bad girl.

The king thought that he could mend her ways by teaching her all the good things in the world. As the years went by, she showed the signs of a bad woman. The king thought if he could get her a good husband he could change her. So he announced that he would give his kingdom to the prince who marries her. But knowing her background no-one came forward. At last a farmer came forward to marry her and promised the king that he knew the ways to change a shrew. The king knew no other way to solve the problem and so yielded to the request of the farmer.

 

The marriage was celebrated on a grand scale . He told the king he did not want the kingdom until she became a virtuous woman. The honey moon was arranged in a remote village at the request of the farmer. When she was ready in the bed

room, the farmer told her to come into the room properly dressed. She asked him to explain it.  He told her that it was the custom to come into the room with black charcoal paste on her face and turmeric smear all over the body and wear a garland of margosa (neem) leaves. She did it as she was instructed. This became a daily routine. Now the farmer wanted to check her whether she became a virtuous woman.

 

He told her that he was going to next village and would return in a few days’ time. He asked her to keep indoors. The farmer never went out of the village but himself in the barn and watched her. As soon he disappeared. she came to the gate and was watching passers-by. She asked one of them to come into the house and give her company. When the night came she told him that she would come to the bed room properly dressed. The stranger was waiting eagerly. She followed her custom as taught by her husband. She smeared black char coal paste on her face, wore a neem leaf garland and smeared turmeric all over her body. The stranger saw her and started shivering and shaking. He ran out of the house crying ‘Ghost, Ghost. it is trying to kill me’.

 

A big crowd gathered in front of the house inquiring what happened. All of them got the message that the woman in the house becomes a werewolf in the night and sucks the blood of the strangers. From that day, no one dared to walk that street in the night time.

 

The farmer who was hiding in the barn came out next day saying that his job had finished earlier than expected. He pretended as if he did not know anything. When the night arrived, she came to the bed room as usual, ‘dressed properly’. Both of them were happy. She became a mother in course of time. Slowly all the bad qualities in her disappeared. The king was very happy to hear that and the farmer’s son was appointed as the new king.

This is the Indian way of taming a shrew!

 

–subham–

 

 

 

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