ललका पाग: THE RED HEADWEAR Translation of a Maithli Novel by Rajkamal Choudhary

ललका पाग:  THE  RED   HEADWEAR  (Collection of Stories by Rajkamal  Choudhary)
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There can be no confusion  in identifying a Maithil woman. They  are quite different from the womenfolk of other  provinces  and their attire…  During the   Maghi Purnima fair held  on the bank of Ganga at  Simaria ,Pahleja or Mahadeopur ghaat  a Maithil woman can be distinguished with a worn out clothen  bundle on their head and in a pitched   rhythmical voice   calling their companions with their typical names such as –    ‘O Munia’s Mother’ ,O Bisanpattiwali, or Hey Bahina,  Hey Paan,  Hey  Chaanan ,O   Mother  etc’
A  Maithil woman  chirning wheat in ‘Jaanta’, thrashing rice in ‘Dheki’ , making flattened rice (Chuda) in Ukhari, making  paste  of  rice on  ‘Silout’,and  singing  some new or old lyrics traditionally sung on these   occasions  .A  maithil woman  smearing the basil stand with cow-dung;  a Maithil woman  painting blood-red and white coloured leaves and flowers  with vermillion and rice-paste on Aripan …. And  Maithil woman  playing hide and sick, sama-Chakewa,and   Jatt—Jattin.
And Tripura  or  Tripur  alias Tiru  was a typical Maithil girl of this class.
Even before she had reached  the age of playing with the broad ‘shikha’ of  her  father, the learned  Pundit  left for the heavenly abode  and then , only three persons were left in the family— Tiru’s  weak and helpless mother, her elder brother  Jhingur Nath  and Tiru herself  along  with the  Koshi flood,  rampant Malaria ,  complaints  of the neighbors and many  other  things.
Within a few years, Tiru with a protruded belly caused by jaundice,with  lots of wounds and carbuncles on the body, eyes full of dirt and  filth,
wiping  her nostrils with  worn –out frock , wandering  from this orchard to that orchard,went under a sea-change and was metamorphosed into a soft ,fair-complexioned ,beautiful heroine of  Baanbhatta.,the great  Sanskrit poet.
When  Jhingurnath returned home , nearly eleven or ten years
after his father’s sad  demise, it was pitch-dark   evening.. Shyingly he asked a young girl drawing water from the well just close to his house, “ Is my mother there in the courtyard?”
“ Who are you?” inquired the girl drawing water from the well
 
“I’m  Jhingurnath ,son of late Pundit Tek Nath Jha.”,replied Jhingur Nath .The girl threw a look at him  and fixed her eyes on his face for a little while and then leaving her pitcher on the well  rushed to her courtyard—“ O mother, Bhaiji has come. He is there  at the well….”
Holding a big  leather suitcase under his left arm ,  Jhingurnath  slowly followed her towards  the courtyard.
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