Monday, January 26, 2009

Jaunsari Story-telling Series : 1 Soora ki Khoj - Yamraj The Inventor of Liquor

जौनसारी कथा - Jaunsari Katha : Story-telling : A Treasure-trove of Historical, Mythological and Fiction Stories Story-telling is not only an art but also reflects the nature, beliefs, traditions and the state of a society. In Jaunsar Bawar story-telling has been one of the very interesting and entertaining aspects of the life. A plenty of stories have been crossing over generations through the story-tellers. New ones are added as fresh events and experiences happen. It is also an art as the same story could be very interestingly told by one person as compared to the other, holding audience spell-bound.

But the art of story-telling and the occassions to do that are shrinking day-by day. Remember the times when people assembled after dinner for removing corn kernels from cobs. Specialists story-teller used to be a sought-after commodity on such occasions in Jaunsar Bawar. In today's mad-rush for material pursuits, this art is fast disappearing . Unless something done urgently, we may be on the verge of loosing a very important source of history and information about lives and times of our ancestors and the area.

This rich cultural heritage holds a host of stories, describes the area's historical evolution, mystical-mythological and supernatural beliefs, valour and bravery, real-life dare-devilry, romantic side of life, community rift & rivalry, spirit of sacrifice, excellence in various walks of life, etc.

To keep this art and unique feature of our Jaunsari community alive, this section has been added to the Blog with a view to provide a collection of stories either first person story- telling in video-rendering or in the textual form. The collection begins with a unique story on how the Yamraj was forced and is thus responsible to the invention of Liquor. A brief gist of the story is given below : 1. Jimraj (Yamaraj) The Liquor Inventor : by Sahaj Ram Joshi, Timra Here is a story by heard from a noble and veteran person Shri Sahaj Ram Joshi of Village Timra (near Koti- Ichhadi). I call this Nana Ki Katha as the gentleman is the Nana (maternal grand father) of my wife. People for generations back in history and also in epic ages have been described to savour this one of the moving liquid called liqour. It is difficult to say when exactly its use began. We have a theory and mythological aspect to the origin of this amazing substance. Shri Sahaj Ram Joshi perhaps is one of the very few who has some light to through on this. He tells us how liquor was invented by none other than the Lord Jimraj, a reference to Lord Yamraj, The God of Death in Jaunsar Bawar. Besides detailing the Jimraj’s compulson to experiment this new discovery, the story is also a indicates how developed & skillful the industry of carpentry may have been in the area. HERE GOES THE FIRST STORY IN ORIGINAL FORM OF STORY-TELLING, THROUGH THE STORY TELLER HIMSELF; HAPPY LISTENING… :


The story begins with a belief that there was era in human evolution in ancient times when human beings used to be physically to taken Heaven or Hell after death depending upon their deeds. The Jims, the messengers-soldiers of Lord Jimraj, would be directed to escort the specified person on a date and time he/ she is finished with period of stay on the Earth.

In one such case, when the turn of a highly skillful and smart carpenter came to bid adieu, the Lord sent two Jims to fetch the carpenter. But the clever carpenter lured them to have a glimpse of his masterpiece crafts-manship. On the pretext of allowing him to see his life-time creation for the last time, the carpenter fooled the two Jims and locked up them inside his very work in such a way that not only they both failed to do the task assigned but also could not free themselves and nobody could locate the Jims for a considerable time.

The carpenter had smartly made the Jims highly curious about his unheard of deftly carved out twenty-story house inside a Large tree-trunk. He told them how he had successfully achieved carving a house inside a tree over the years working tirelessly by sparing 8th day of his routine for this job. The Jims went with the carpenter. Overwhelmed by the amazing workmanship, they walked all the way up to the top storey, 20th floor at tree-top. Finding the Jims lost in appreciation of his superb work, the carpenter quetly bolted them inside there. He then shut all twenty doors one by one, making it impossible for the Jims to come out. The Jims thus went missing.

On finding his Jims missing and alarmed at the impact of the failure of his Jims in taking away a person from the Earth, Yamaraj ordered a thorough investigation. He found out that they infact went missing in their pursuit to take away the carpenter. Thus the carpenter emerged as the prime suspect. Yamaraj used all methods to elicit information from the carpenter. But the carpenter simply would not admit being the cause of the disappearance of the two Jims.

It was then that Yamraj had to look for ways to get whereabouts of his messengers from the carpenter. For this purpose he employed people to develop a substance consumption of which make a person bold, boastful and carefree. After a lot of research his team zeroed in on Liquor called Soor or Soora. Yamaraj secretly arranged a evening dinner for the entire village where the carpenter lived. The new and wonderful substance had caught the imagination of the village folks and liqour was served aplenty to have the desired effect.

This did the the trick as every-one started to boast of their acheivements in a variety of fields. People vyied for outshining each-other elaborating their deeds. And finally the boast-ful carpenter spoke about his amazing deed of locking up even the messengers-soldiers of death inside the tree-trunk house. As the carpenter dished out details the entire gathering was shocked at both the skillfulness and cleverness of the carpenter. But little did he realise that this hour of alround appreciation would prove to be his undoing. As soon as deatails were out, the secret gaurds of tthe Lord Yamaraj pounced on the carpenter and took him to free the locked up Jims as well as the carpenter.

Its since then, the Liquor became a happy pass-time for many into the times ahead. And rest is history as far as liquor is concerned.

How about thanking the Lord of Death, giving happy moments to those who relish a peg or two. Shouldn’t they begin with Cheers to the Lord Yam…. if this story is to be believed, even if fractionally.


50 word stories said...

Being a writer myself I can respect the time and dedication put into this...

Very moving.

Jim Stahl said...

Great to see this Jaunsari story and am looking forward to seeing others posted. It would be interesting to see if there are collections written of Jaunsari stories. Although a story told and a story written are very different, so it is great to see you have both here.

sanjay rana said...

Its amazing story which takes us near to our ancient time... nice...