Tale katha forms a major par of Bengali prose literature and is sub Devided into many genres including Rupakatha bratakatha and Upakatha. Rupakathas are usually about an anonymous king of an unnamed land. Once upon a time there was a king je chhilo raja is there typical beginning. Except the hero and the heroine the other characters are usually referred to in accordance with their social standing or professions. This Rupakatha collection is one of the first and the finest attempts to compile these treasures from jbengali folk literature. The book carries thirty two beautiful illustrations, done be Warwick goble, which really liven up the text.
Rev. Lal behari day (1824-1894) had his early education in the village pathshala and came to Kolkata in 1834 for acquiring and English one he converted to Christianity in 1843 and began his career as a catechist in the new church founded by duff. On his appointment as a head master berhampur collegiate school in 1867 he severed his association he pursued his literary pursued his literary pursuit with vigour. Bengal peasant life (1874) earned him and honorable position among Indian writers in English.
In my peasant life in Bengal I make the peasant by govinda spend some every
evening in listing in listening to stories told by an old Woman, who was called
sambhu’s mother and who was the best story – teller in the village, on reading
that passage, captain R. C. Temple of the Bengal staff corpa, son of the distinguished
Indian admisis trator sir Richard temple, wrote to me to say how interesting
it would be to get a collection of those unwritten stories which old women in
India recite to little children in the evenings in India recite to little childr
en in the evenings and to ask whether I could not make such a collection. As
I was no stranger to the Norse tales so admirably told by dissent to arnason’s
Icelandic stories translated by Powell, to the highland stories done into English
by Campbell, and to the fairy stories collected by other writers? And as I believed
that the collection suggested would be a contribution, however slight, to that
daily increasing literature of flk- lore and comparative my theology which,
like comparative philosophy, proves that the swarthy and half-cousin albeit
of the ganges is a cousin albeit of the hundredth remove, to the banks of the
thames,j I readily caught up the idea and cast about for materials, but where
was an old story- telling woman, to be got I had myself, when a little boy,
heard hundreds- of fairy tales from that same old woman, smash’s if fairy tales
from that same old women ,sambhu’s mother for she was no fictitious person she
actually lived in the flesh and bore that name but I had nearly for confused
in my head the tail of one story being joined to the tail of a fourth how I
wished that poor sambhu’s another had been alive but she had gone long, long
ago to that Bourne from which no traveler returns and her son sambhu, Too, had
followed her thither. After a great deal of search I found my gamer Gretel-though
not half so old as the frau viehmannin of hesse- cassel- in the person of a
Bengali Christian woman, who when a little girl and living in her heathen home
had heard many stories form her old grandmother.
She was a good story-teller, but her stock was not large ; and after I had heard ten from her I had to look about for fresh sources barber three an ok servant of mine told me two and the rest I heard from another old Brahman none of my authorities knew English they all told the stories in Bengali, and I translated in the follow in pages ‘ but I rejected a great many, as they appeared to me to contain spurious additions to the original stories witch I had heard when a boy . I have reason to believe that the stories given in this book and a genuine sample of the old stories told by old Bengali women from age to age through a hundred generations sambhu’s mother used always to end every none of her stories and every orthodox Bengali story.
Teller does the same –with repeating the following formula:-Thus my story ended, the natty-thorn withered. Why, o natty-thorn does wither?”Why does thy cow on me browse? “Why, o cow, dose thou browse?”Why does thy neat-herd not tend me? Why, o neat-herd does not tend the cow?”Why does thy daughter-in law not give me rice?”Why, o daughter –in law, dost not give rice?”Why does my child cry?”Why, o child, dost thou cry?”Why does the ant bite me?”Why, o ant, dost thou bite?”Koot, koot, koot What these lines mean, why they are repeated at the end of every story, and what the connection is of the several parts to one Another, I do not know. Perhaps the whole is a string of nonsense purposely put together to amuse little children.
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