Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scarier than the ghost!

Dear Divya,

Hearty congratulations on completing 3 years of One story a day. Thought, I will write about a story which I have told Abhay few times now and he still demands for it :-) I think I have read this long back in Dinakkondu Kathe series from Dr. Anupama Niranjana or some place else and keep spicing it up for Abhay.

 There was a village adjacent to a forest. There was a city on the other side of the forest. The main source of livelihood for the villagers was to take what they grew to the city and sell it. However there were two problems. One, they had to cross the forest and it was believed that there were scary ghosts in the forest. Second, they had to pass through a check post at the city entrance where a notorious tax collector would torment them with harsh questions and demand for heavy taxes for their goods. He would pierce their sack with a sharp big needle, called "Dabbana" in Kannada. So villagers have named him "Dabbanadindorda"! (I somehow remember to have read it sounding like this). In this village there was a chap called Ranga who was poor and had nothing but a tamarind tree in front of his house. He thought he will pluck all the Tamarind from the tree and sell it in the city. Now he also has to face the two problems.

As Ranga walked through the forest and was passing through a big banyan tree, he starts hearing a whistling sound and someone tickling him. Ranga got scared and started asking "Who is it" and yes, you guessed it right. It was a scary Ghost. Now this is where the story stretches a bit  with me enacting a bit of this encounter and Abhay keeps laughing and asking it to be continued for more :-). Now Ranga knew one thing. The Ghosts scare you more if you show that you are scared. So he started laughing to the annoyance of the Ghost! The Ghost wanted to know why he was laughing to which Ranga said there is a bigger and scarier ghost in the city and he is more fearsome. The ghost wanted to meet this bigger and scarier ghost to find out. Ranga asks the ghost to get inside his sack for he doesn't want the bigger ghost to seem him with another ghost and get angry. The ghost agreed and they proceeded.

As Ranga entered the city check post, the "Dabbanadindorda" commanded Ranga in a booming voice to tell him what he was carrying. Ranga in a trembling voice said, it was Tamarind. As was his routine, the tax collector pierced the sack with his needle and the ghost inside was in great pain but could not scream out. This is the second stretch of the story where I find Abhay to be enjoying with me having to enact the pain of the ghost. Finally the ordeal is over with the tax collector demanding ten rupees as tax and Ranga requests that he will pay it on the way back after selling the tamarind. Once they pass the check post Ranga opens the sack near a tree and out jumps the ghost with a great relief. Smart Ranga extracts a promise from the ghost that it will never trouble him again.

So who is the scarier ghost? Of course we all are scared of the Income Tax department :-)

Happy Birthday One story a day!

1 comment:

  1. This was a surprise post indeed! :-) Thanks Raja! Awesome write up! Its not just Abhay, but we all enjoy your impersonations of Dabbadindorda! :-)