Timeless Tales from Marwar gives a new lease of life to his folk tales. It is a hand-picked compilation from the much-celebrated Baton ri Phulwari -'Garden of Tales'-a fourteen-volume collection written over a span of nearly fifty years.
Retold in Detha's magical narrative style complete with imagery, this selection offers some of the oldest and most popular fables from the Thar Desert region. Discover tales of handsome rajkanwars, evil witches, exploitative thakars, miserly seths, clever insects, benevolent snakes and more. Vishes Kothari's vivid English translation introduces one of the most venerated figures in Rajasthani folk culture to a wider audience.
I came to the villages in Rajasthan in 1975 and was
surrounded by storytellers. I was delighted. Their stories
are in the 'oral tradition: not written down but narrated.
Every retelling adds textures, from one generation to the
next for hundreds of years. I heard them with great interest
but could not remember them all. There was no book I
could refer to, till I came across Batan ri Phulwari.
Bijji almost stepped out of his stories. He wore a dhoti
and a batari (a cross buttoned kurta), a pair of beautiful
elegant joothis that adorned his feet, had two pens in his
breast pocket, one green and one red. He was one of the
wittiest and fun people I have ever met. He made me laugh
and learn together.
His retelling of folk stories is simple but layered. They
talk of different castes, the poor, of people who live in havelis,
bastis, jhopris, across different time periods. He speaks
through the sun, the stars, the clouds, the peacock and the
raindrops during 'monsoon. The superiority of the tiger is
cleverly undermined by the jackal, and the arrogance of the
bad man is turned on its head by the poor man's intelligence.
We hear birds speak, while people have conversations with
ghosts. Big ideas like poverty, untouchability and greed for
wealth become simple. His style is witty. He uses satire,
laughter and humor. 'Bijji makes the tale come alive-an
attribute of a great writer. Although the stories are of days
gone by, the messages are important for us even today. They
are universal and for all time.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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