Gadaba Tales - II

Dr. Biyotkesh Tripathy

Ms Sukri Bhumia

[F: NR. Tribe: Gadaba. Village: Butiguda, Kudumuluguma, Malkangiri. Date. Mar. 10, l998. Cassette No. 40, Side A. Interviewer: E. Raja Rao. Transcriber: Fani Bhusan Puthal. O. Tr. Pp.2633-2645. F.N. KPT-MLK etc., p.46. Status: As told (Minor editing; editorial explanations & additions in brackets). Type: Tale]

Translator: E. Raja Rao

    There was a king in a country. He had seven brothers. (In course of time,) the old king and the old queen died again. After their death, the people of the country again brought a virgin and treated her as Mother (Queen). As they treated her as Mother, that virgin, that round-cheeked virgin, was given all things. She grew up into a lady of grace and power. She became so powerful that she (one day) said to her six daughters-in-law again, "Why don’t you do the cooking for the wives of your brothers-in-law?" She said, "O.K." She again cooked. She made the hay into small pieces, and she set the matches to the hay of small pieces. She took the burning hay and (with the help of it) did the cooking. Again, she took the person who tasted the food. The person she brought ate rice and curry again.

    ‘Who cooked the curry today?’ (asked the person).

    "No, no, it is I who have cooked."

    "O, Ho! It tastes very sweet," said he again. Then the brothers-in-law said to her again, "Listen, daughter, we are going for hunting. Please watch this tree." They said this to her again.

    She said, "Yes."

    She again kept a watch of the tree. And (she) watched it. She watched the tree again. These men went for hunting. On their return, they gave a good beating to the virgin lady. They beat her so much that she died.

    "O, Ho! She’s died," said they.

    "It is our younger brother who killed her. Hence, give a lion’s share of her meat to him," said one.

    He (the younger brother) got drunk, and said, "O, Ho! You are going to eat the flesh of your sister." Hence, he went out, and brought fish and crabs again. He brought these again, and fried the fish and crab. After getting these fried, he removed these (to a different bowl). He minced the meat of the virgin (and cooked it separately). Then, he asked all the men (brothers) to take their seats, and gave them their share (of meat). He did the distribution of the shares, but the younger brother remained glum. He put (his share of) the meat in a bowl.

    As he did it, the six brothers said again, "No, no, he won’t eat (this meat), he won’t."

    "And he will tell the villagers about us again." (Hence) they gave him a good beating, and killed him. They again threw him into the jungle. (They also threw the meat of the virgin.)

    The flesh of the virgin grew into a tree of ‘Kanak Champa’. The teen-aged gardener approached the tree. (As he came to the tree), the tree became tall. Hence, her mother-in-law and father-in-law approached the tree. They thus came to see the virgin. They came to see the tree, but the tree again (became tall). (The in-laws said,) "O, Ho! How beautiful are the flowers on the tree? But then how to get the flower?" she said. (When they reached out) she went further away. The flower said:

    ‘Kanaka Champa calls O Brother

    Who’s there under the Flower?’ said she.

    Then he said,

    Your brother calls sweet sister

    (I am) under the Flower.

    Then she ("atta" or sister) said, "How come, this Flower has started talking." Then Mammu said, ‘hush,’ and himself proceeded to pluck the flower. Thus, Mammu rushed (to the Flower). Then, again the Flower said,

    Oh my mummy’s darling, my sweet brother

    Tell me who’s there under the Flower.

    Then, again (said the Brother),

    Kanak Champa, O, my sweet sister

    Mammu is there under the Flower.

    (Then the Flower said),

    Pluck it well my dear Mammu

    To wear it on your locks

    Pluck it well my dear Mammu

    To wear it on your knots.

    The virgin again said to Mammu, ‘The thorn (of the flower) has as much poison as the dagger.’

    ‘Then, I won’t go to the Flower again, I won’t pluck this Flower. We shall check it at home whether our daughter is there or not.’ Then, they returned home. They found that she was not there.

    (They cried), ‘O my God! Whither did our daughter go?’

    ‘Oh, no, no help (from any corner),’ they said. ‘No, no, we saw one of her kind on the way,’ they said. Again they called a host of people (to accompany them). As they accompanied them, the young man who was the brother of the virgin proceeded to pick up the Flower. The Flower said again,

    Your sister calls O dear Brother,

    Who’s there under the Flower?

    (He replied):

    Brother calls O! Kanak Champa (hear, O! hear),

    I am the sinner who is under the Flower.

    (Then, she said,)

    Pluck the Flower well O sinner,

    Tuck it into your hair.

    Pluck the Flower well O sinner,

    Wear it in your tousled hair.

    ‘Look, how I got trapped into this,’ said he. Then, his wife proceeded to pluck the Flower. The Flower again said,

    Sweet gardener O dear brother,

    Who is there under the Flower?

    (The brother’s wife said,)

    O Sweet sister Kanak Champa

    Your Bohu (sister-in-law) is under the Flower.

    (Then, the Flower said,)

    Pluck it well O! Bohu,

    Tuck it into your hair.

    Pluck it well O! Bohu,

Wear it into your tousled hair.

    He said to himself, ‘How could I be converted into Bohu?’ He then decided that he would take that virgin with him. Then he said, ‘No, no! Let all of you leave the place; I shall stay here all alone.’(In fact), he drove away all of them. And then he beat Bhramar Mali, and dragged him to the place. He then began to strike at the Kanak Champa tree. He then left. Again he came, and cried again. He cried (a lot). (At this moment) Iswar and Parbati were playing a game of dice. The young man could hear this. Oh, no, no, this must be Iswar and Parbati who have come to the man’s world. ‘What a (beautiful) sound, let me go,’ said the young man.

    ‘Oh! Queen,’ (said Iswar), ‘you never set your mind, nor pay a (heeding) ear while playing.’

    ‘Yes, I never pay attention to all quarters,’ said Parbati. ‘O, Oh, if you decide to go somewhere, I shall (of course) give you company. Now, let us go.’

    The young man now descended (from the tree). They asked the boy (about him). As they questioned him, the young man again said, ‘No, no! I suffered much sorrow.’

    God said, ‘if you suffer from sorrow, we can alleviate your sorrow.’ God then gave a Kalia (a mound of earth) to him. He went to wash something and constructed a Linga (a robust piece of stone). He also made some dolls. (Iswar) gave them the boon of life. Because of God and Goddess, the two birds who were the brother and the sister got back their life. Thus, the young man got the virgin again.


  1. Whence did you hear this story?
  1. Our children had told me.
  1. What is your level of education?
  1. Not much.
  1. Had you read this story from a storybook?
  1. No. Our children had told me (this story).


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