Malgudi Days

Lost in wilderness, a small village locked in the serenity of nature, had one of the best tales to narrate. Malgudi, a village located in rural India, was one of the most acknowledged villages’ back in the Doordarshan days. Kavita, a young girl belonging to a local tribe of the Zilla, inquired about how everyone keeps smiling despite the difficult times in the village among all the riots, and uproars happening at regular intervals. Her Dadi (grandmother) would narrate stories to her about how she grew up and accommodated herself by being thankful for the little they’ve got, despite the upheaval.
“Dadi, how do you have a gleam in your eyes despite seeing Papa and Mummy struggle with cattle, and Maasi and Mama with very little to deliver” asked Kavita anxiously while they halted their travel that evening. Savita Kaki responded in sheer laughter, “Kavita Beti, Dadi has always been this way, all thanks to the Goddess who once cast a spell on the village”. ”What Goddess and what spell? Please tell me Dadi” amused Kavita enquired.
“Well, long time ago there was once a pretty girl in out tribe. She was a resourceful woman and possessed the utmost knowledge on everything. Her name was Beiji and we addressed her as Her Majesty with respect. She lived in a small hut besides the lake and would be seen strolling around every evening humming tune which seemed like she was teaching the winds to dance” narrated Dadi, as everyone around her listened patiently. Kavita’s attention was drawn to admiration of this Goddess with every word she grasped.  “Then what had happened Dadi?” she eagerly asked.
“Her Majesty bestowed upon our tribe, a royal peacock feather, to symbolize peaceful living to each person in this Zilla, as a token of her goodwill towards us for saving her life. She had always seen our struggle in the rural part of the globe and tried hard not to embellish herself on us. Once she was attacked by a fierce lion in the woods, and was wounded; my Dadaji, helped her and healed her with his natural Jadibooti medicines for days. In return of this favor to him, she offered her goodwill to this village and entrusted us with her joys until one day her forefathers found her and took her away. The royal peacock feather contained magic that she had now given us. It is a simple story with no miracle. This gleam in my eyes is because I have that happiness in the form of you and your parents; there’s nothing more I seek”. Gleefully Kavita chanted a prayer taught to her by Dadi; then asking about Beiji’s whereabouts. “My Mummy had said that she’s a star that twinkles bright every night, like a promise she fulfills while she watches us and we feel secure in her presence. Some people consider it a myth, while some know that, it is her”.
Overwhelmed, Kavita looked up to see a bright star and whispered, “Her Majesty, if this is you, please permeate Dadi with gleam always”.
-Adelene Coelho
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