Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India UNDER CONSTRUCTION | Annotated Tale

Notes to the Tales


Sir Buzz, p. 1.–In the vernacular Mîyân Bhûngâ, which is Pânjabî for Sir Beetle or Sir Bee. The word is clearly connected with the common Aryan roots frem, bhran, bhan, bhin, to buzz as a bee or beetle.

Tigress, p. 2.–Not otherwise described by the narrators than as a bhût, which is usually a malignant ghost, but here she is rather a benevolent fairy.

Span, p. 3, etc.–The word in the vernacular was hâth, the arm below the elbow, or conventionally half-a-yard, or 18 inches.

Hundredweight, p. 4, etc.–The word here is man, an Indian weight of about 80 lbs.

Princess Blossom, p. 6.–Bâdshâhzâdî Phûlî, Princess Flower, or Phûlâzâdî, Born-of-a-flower.

One-eyed Chief Constable, p. 9.–Kotwál is the word used in the original; he is a very familiar figure in all oriental tales of Musalmân origin, and must have been one in actual medieval oriental life, as he was the chief police (if such a term can be used with propriety) officer in all cities. The expression 'one-eyed' is introduced to show his evil nature, according to the well-known saying and universal belief–


Kânâ, kâchrâ, hoch-gardanâ: yeh tînon kamzât!
Jablag bas apnâ chale, to koî na pûchhe bat.

Wall-eyed, blear-eyed, wry-necked : these three are evil. 
While his own resources last none asketh them for help.

Vampire, p. 10, etc.–The word used was the Arabic ghûl (in English usually ghowl or ghoul), the vampire, man-devouring demon, which corresponds to the bhût and pret, the malignant ghosts of the Hindus. It may be noted here that the Persian ghol is the loup-garou of Europe, the man-devouring demon of the woods.

King Indar or Indra, p. 11.–Was originally the beneficent god of heaven, giver of rain, etc., but in the later Hindu mythology he took only second rank as ruler of the celestial beings who form the Court of Indra (Indar kâ akhârâ or Indrâsan Sabhâ ), synonymous with gaiety of life and licentiousness.


Pipkin, p. 14.–Gharâ the common round earthen pot of India, known to Anglo-Indians as 'chatty' (châtî )

Quarts of milk, p. 18.–The vernacular word was ser, a weight of 2 lbs.; natives always measure liquids by weight, not by capacity.

Wild plum-tree, p. 19.–Ber, several trees go by this name, but the species usually meant are (1) the Zizyphus jujuba, which is generally a garden tree bearing large plum-like fruit: this is the Pomum adami of Marco Polo; (2) the Zizyphus nummularia, often confounded with the camel-thorn, a valuable bush used for hedges, bearing a small edible fruit. The former is probably meant here.–See Stewart's Punjab Plants, pp. 43-44.

Millet, p. 20.–Pennisetum italicum, a very small grain.

Green plums I sell, etc., p. 20.–The words are–

Gaderî gader! Gaderî gader! 
Râjâ dî betî chûhâ le giâ gher.

Green fruit! green fruit!
The rat has encompassed the Râjâ's daughter.

Stool, p. 21.–Pîrhî, a small, low, square stool with a straight upright back, used by native women.

Stewpan-lid, p. 21.–Sarposh, usually the iron or copper cover used to cover degchîs or cooking-pots.


Bahrâmgor, p. 23.–This tale is a variant in a way of a popular story published in the Panjab in various forms in the vernacular, under the title of the Story of Bahrâmgor and the Fairy Hasan Bâno. The person meant is no doubt Bahrâmgor, the Sassanian King of Persia, known to the Greeks as Varanes V., who reigned 420-438 A.D. The modern stories, highly coloured with local folklore, represent the well-known tale in India–through the Persian–of Bahrâmgor and Dilârâm.Bahrâmgor was said to have been killed while hunting the wild ass (gor ), by jumping into a pool after it, when both quarry and huntsman disappeared for ever. He is said to be the father of Persian poetry.

Demons: Demonsland, p. 24 ff.–The words used are deo or dev and deostân; here the deo is a malicious spirit by nature.

Jasdrûl, p. 25.–It is difficult to say who this can be, unless the name be a corruption of Jasrat Râî, through Râwal (rûl ) = Râo = Râî; thus Jasrat Râî = Jasrat Râwal = Jasad Râwal = Jasadrûl. If this be the case, it stands for Dasaratha, the father of Râma Chandra, and so vicariously a great personage in Hindu story. It is obvious that in giving names to demons or fairies the name of any legendary or fabulous personage of fame will be brought under contribution.

Shâpasand, p. 25.–This is obviously a fancy name, like its prototype Dilârâm (Heart's Ease), and means King's Delight. The variant Hasan Bâno means the Lady of Beauty. In the Pushto version of probably the original story the name is Gulandâma = Rosa, a variant probably of the Flower Princess. See Plowden's Translation of the Kalîd-i-Afghânî, p. 209 ff.

Chief Constable, p. 28.–See note to Sir Buzzante.

Emerald Mountain, p. 29.–Koh-i-Zamurrad in the original. The whole story of Bahrâmgor is mixed up with the 'King of China,' and so it is possible that the legendary fame of the celebrated Green Mount in the Winter Palace at Pekin is referred to here (see Yule's Marco Polo, vol. i. pp. 326-327 and 330). It is much more probable, however, that the legends which are echoed here are local variants or memories of the tale of the Old Man of the Mountain and the Assassins, so famous in many a story in Europe and Asia in the Middle Ages, e.g. The Romans of Bauduin de Sebourg, where the lovely Ivorine is the heroine of the Red Mountain, and which has a general family likeness to this tale worth observing (see on this point generally Yule's Marco Polo, vol. i. pp. cxliv-cli and 132-140, and the notes to Ind. Ant. vol. xi. p. 285 ff.; which last, though treated as superseded here, may serve to throw light on the subject). It is evident that we are here treading on very interesting ground, alive with many memories of the East, which it would be well worth while to investigate.

Nânak Chand, p. 30.–Judging by the analogy of the name Nânaksâ (sic ) in Indian Fairy Tales, pp. 114 ff. and 276, where Nânaksâ, obviously Nânak Shâh or Bâbâ Nânak, the founder of the Sikh religion, ob. 1538 A.D., is turned into a wonder-working faqîr of the ordinary sort, it is a fair guess to say that this name is meant for him too.

Safed, p. 31.–On the whole it is worth while hazarding that this name is a corruption, or rather, an adaptation to a common word–safed, white–of the name Saifûr for the demon in the older legends of Bahrâmgor. If so, it occurs there in connection with the universal oriental name Faghfûr, for the Emperor of China. Yule, Marco Polo, vol. ii. pp. 110, points out that Faghfûr = Baghbûr = Bagh Pûr, a Persian translation of the Chinese title Tien-tse, Son of Heaven, just as the name or title Shâh Pûr = the Son of the King. Perhaps this Saifûr in the same way = Shâh Pûr. But see note in Ind. Ant. vol. xi. p. 288.

Antimony, p. 31.–Black sulphuret of antimony, used for pencilling the eyes and beautifying them. There are two preparations for darkening the eyes–surma and kâjal. Kâjal is fine lamp-black, but the difference between its use and that of surma is that the former is used for making a blot to avoid the evil eye (nazar ) and the latter merely as a beautifier.

Yech-cap, p. 31.–For a detailed account of the yech or yâch of Kashmîr see Ind. Ant. vol. xi. pp. 260-261 and footnotes. Shortly, it is a humorous though powerful sprite in the shape of an animal smaller than a cat, of a dark colour, with a white cap on its head. The feet are so small as to be almost invisible. When in this shape it has a peculiar cry–chot, chot, chû-û-ot, chot. All this probably refers to some night animal of the squirrel (? civet cat) tribe. It can assume any shape, and, if its white cap can be got possession of, it becomes the servant of the possessor. The cap renders the human wearer invisible. Mythologically speaking, the yech is the descendant of the classical Hindu yaksha, usually described as an inoffensive, harmless sprite, but also as a malignant imp.

The farther you climb the higher it grows, p. 32.–This is evidently borrowed from the common phenomenon of ridge beyond ridge, each in turn deceiving the climber into the belief that he has reached the top.


Khichrî, p. 36.–A dish of rice and pulse (dâl ).

The weights the bear carries.–These are palpable exaggerations; thus in India the regulation camel-load is under 3 cwts., but they will carry up to 5 cwts. A strong hill-man in the Himâlayas will carry 1/2 cwt., and on occasion almost a whole cwt. up the hill.


Lionheart, p. 42.–The full vernacular title of this Prince was Sherdil Shahryâr Shahrâbâd, Lionheart, the Friend and Restorer of the City. All these names are common titles of oriental monarchs.

Knifegrinder, Blacksmith, Carpenter, p. 43.–In the vernacular sânwâlâ, lohár, tarkhân. The first in the East, like his brother in the West, is an itinerant journeyman, who wanders about with a wheel for grinding.

Demon, p. 43.–Here bhût, a malignant ghost or vampire, but as his doings in the tale correspond more to those of a deo, demon, than of a bhût, the word has been translated by 'demon.'

Pîpal, p. 44.–Constantly occurring in folk-tales, is the Ficus religiosa of botanists, and a large fig-tree much valued for its shade. It is sacred to Hindus, and never cut by them. One reason perhaps may be that its shade is very valuable and its wood valueless. Its leaves are used in divination to find out witches, thieves, liars, etc., and it is the chosen haunt of ghosts and hobgoblins of all sorts–hence its frequent appearance in folk-lore.

Mannikin, p. 44.–The word used was the ordinary expression maddhrâ, Panjâbi for a dwarf or pigmy.

Ghost, p. 47.–Churel, properly the ghost of a woman who dies in childbirth. The belief in these malignant spirits is universal, and a source of much terror to natives by night. Their personal appearance is fairly described in the text: very ugly and black, breastless, protruding in stomach and navel, and feet turned back. This last is the real test of a churel, even in her beautiful transformation. A detailed account of the churel and beliefs in her and the methods of exorcism will be found in the Calcutta Review, No. cliii, p. 180 ff.

Jinn, p. 51.–A Muhammadan spirit, properly neither man, angel, nor devil, but superhuman. According to correct Muhammadan tradition, there are five classes of Jinns worth noting here for information–Jânn, Jinn, Shaitân, 'Ifrît, and Mârid. They are all mentioned in Musalmân folk-tales, and but seldom distinguished in annotations. In genuine Indian folk-tales, however, the character ascribed to the Jinn, as here, has been borrowed from the Râkshasa, which is Hindu in origin, and an ogre in every sense of the European word.

Smell of a man, p. 51.–The expression used is always in the vernacular mânushgandhi.e. man-smell. The direct Sanskrit descent of the compound is worthy of remark.

Starling, p. 52.–Mainâ: the Gracula religiosa, a talking bird, much valued, and held sacred. It very frequently appears in folk-tales, like the parrot, probably from being so often domesticated by people of means and position for its talking qualities.

Cup, p. 54.–Donâ, a cup made of leaves, used by the very poor as a receptacle for food.

Wise woman, p. 54.–Kutnî and paphe-kutnî were the words used, of which perhaps 'wise woman' is the best rendering. Kutnîis always a term of abuse and reproach, and is used in the sense of witch or wise woman, but the bearers do not seem to possess, as a rule, any supernatural powers. Hag, harridan, or any similar term will usually correctly render the word.

Flying palanquin, p. 59.–The words used for this were indifferently dolâ, a bridal palanquin, and burj, a common word for a balloon.


Lambikin, p. 61.–The words used were Panjâbî, lelâlerâlekrâ, and lelkarâ, a small or young lamb.

Lambikin's Songs, p. 61, 63.–Of the first the words were Punjâbî–

Nânî kol jâwângâ:
Motâ tâjâ âwângâ
Pher tûn main nûn khâwângâ.

Of the second song–

Wan piâ piâ lelkarâ: wan pî tû.
Chal dhamkiriâ! Dham! Kâ! Dhû!.

These the rhymes render exactly. The words dhamdhû, are pronounced sharply, so as to imitate the beats on a drum.

Drumikin, p. 62.–The dhamkîriâ or dhamkîrî in Panjâbî is a small drum made by stretching leather across a wide-mouthed earthen cup (piyâlâ ). The Jatts make it of a piece of hollow wood, 6 inches by 3 inches, with its ends covered with leather.


Bopolûchî, p. 65.–Means Trickster.

Uncle; uncle-in-law, p. 65.–The words used were mâmû, mother's brother, and patiauhrâ husband's (or father-in-law's) younger brother.

Pedlar, p. 65.–Wanjârâ or banjârâ (from wanaj or banaj, a bargain), a class of wandering pedlars who sell spices, etc.

Robber, p. 66.–The word used was thaglit. a deceiver. The Thags are a class but too well known in India as those who make their living by deceiving and strangling travellers. Meadows Taylor's somewhat sensational book, The Confessions of a Thug, has made their doings familiar enough, too, in England. In the Indian Penal Code a thag is defined as a person habitually associated with others for the purpose of committing robbery or child-stealing by means of murder.

Crow's, etc., verses, p. 66, 67.–The original words were–

Bopo Lûchî!
Aqlon ghuthî
Thag nâl thagî gaî.

Bopo Lûchî!
You have lost your wits,
And have been deceived by a thag.

Bridal scarlet, p. 68.–Every Panjâbî bride, however poor, wears a dress of scarlet and gold for six months, and if rich, for two years.


Princess Aubergine, p. 71.–The vernacular name for the story is Baingan Bâdshâhzâdi. The Bainganbaiganbegun, or bhântâ is the Solanum melongenai.e. the egg-plant, or aubergine. Europeans in India know it by the name of brinjâl; it is a very common and popular vegetable in the rains.

Exchanging veils, p. 73.–To exchange veils among women, and to exchange turbans among men, is a common way of swearing friendship among Panjâbîs. The women also drink milk out of the same cup on such occasions.

Nine-lakh necklace, p. 75.–The introduction of the Nau-lakkhâ hâr, or nine-lâkh necklace, is a favourite incident in Indian folk-tales. Nau-lakkhâ means worth nine lâkhs, or nine hundred thousand rupees. Frequently magic powers are ascribed to this necklace, but the term nau-lakkhâ has come also to be often used conventionally for 'very valuable,' and so is applied to gardens, palaces, etc. Probably all rich Râjâs have a hankering to really possess such a necklace, and the last Mahârâjâ of Patiâlâ, about fifteen years ago, bought a real one of huge diamonds, including the Sansy, for Rupees 900,000. It is on show always at the palace in the fort at Patiâlâ.


Valiant Vicky, the Brave Weaver, p. 80, 81.–In the original the title is 'Fatteh Khân, the valiant weaver.' Victor Prince is a very fair translation of the name Fatteh Khân. The original says his nickname or familiar name was Fattû, which would answer exactly to Vicky for Victor. Fattû is a familiar (diminutive form) of the full name Fatteh Khân. See Proper Names of Panjâbîs, passim, for the explanation of this.


For a long and interesting variant of this tale, see Indian Antiquary, vol. x. p. 151 ff.

Fakîr, p. 89.–Properly faqîr, is a Muhammadan devotee, but in modern India the term is used for any kind of holy man, whatever be his religion. For instance, the 'Salvation Army' were styled at Lahore, at a meeting of natives, by a Sikh gentleman of standing, as Vilâyatî fuqrâ, European faqîrs. The power of granting children to barren women is ascribed in story to all saints and holy personages of fame.

Witch, p. 94.–The word used was dâyan. In the Panjâb a woman with the evil eye (which by the way is not necessarily in India possessed by the wicked only, see Panjab Notes and Queries, 1883-84, passim ), who knows the dâyan kâ mantar, or charm for destroying life by taking out the heart. The word in its various modern forms is derived from the classical dâkinî, the female demon attendant upon Kâlî, the goddess of destruction.

Jôgi's wonderful cow, p. 96.–The jôgi is a Hindu ascetic, but like the word faqîrjôgi is often used for any kind of holy man, as here. Supernatural powers are very commonly ascribed to them, as well as the universal attribute of granting sons. Classically the yôgi is the devotee seeking yoga, the union of the living with the sublime soul. The wonderful cow is the modern fabulously productive cow Kâmdhain, representing the classical Kâmdhenu the cow of Indra that granted all desires. Hence, probably, the dragging in here of Indra for the master of the jôgi of the tale. Kâmdhain and Kâmdhenu are both common terms to the present day for cows that give a large quantity of milk.

Eighteen thousand demons, p. 96.–No doubt the modern representatives–the specific number given being, as is often the case, merely conventionally–of the guards of Indra, who were in ancient days the Maruts or Winds, and are in modern times his Court. See note on p. 300 ante.


The Song, p. 102 ff.–The form of words in the original is important. The following gives the variants and the strict translation–

Tû Chhappar Dâs,
Main Kâng Dâs, 
Deo paneriyâ, 
Dhoven chucheriyâ, 
Khâwen khijeriyâ, 
Dekh chiriyâ kâ chûchlâ, 
Main kâng sapariyâ.

You are Mr. Tank, 
I am Mr. Crow, 
Give me water, 
That I may wash my beak, 
And eat my khichrî
See the bird's playfulness, 
I am a clean crow.

Tû Lohâr Dâs,
Main Kâng Dâs, 
Tû deo pharwâ, 
Main khodûn ghasarwâ, 
Khilâwen bhainsarwâ, 
Chowen dûdharwâ, 
Pilâwen hirnarwâ, 
Toren singarwâ, 
Khôden chalarwâ, 
Nikâlen panarwâ, 
Dhoven chunjarwâ, 
Khâwen khijarwâ, 
Dekh chiriyâ kâ chûchlâ, 
Main kâng saparwâ.

You are Mr. Blacksmith, 
I am Mr. Crow, 
You give me a spade, 
And I will dig the grass, 
That I may give it to the buffalo to eat, 
And take her milk, 
And give it to the deer to drink, 
And break his horn, 
And dig the hole, 
And take out the water, 
And wash my beak, 
And eat my khichrî
See the bird's playfulness, 
I am a clean crow.


The Tiger, the Brâhman, and the Jackal, p. 107 ff.–A very common and popular Indian tale. Under various forms it is to be found in most collections. Variants exist in the Bhâgavata Purâna and the Gul Bakâolî, and in the Amvâr-i-Suhelî. A variant is also given in the Indian Antiquary, vol. xii. p. 177.

Buffalo's complaint, p. 108.–The work of the buffalo in the oil-press is the synonym all India over–and with good reason–for hard and thankless toil for another's benefit.

As miserable as a fish out of water, p. 109.–In the original the allusion is to a well-known proverb–mandâ hâl wâng Jatt jhari de –as miserable as a Jatt in a shower. Any one who has seen the appearance of the Panjâbî cultivator attempting to go to his fields on a wet, bleak February morning, with his scant clothing sticking to his limp and shivering figure, while the biting wind blows through him, will well understand the force of the proverb.


King of the Crocodiles, p. 111.–In the original the title is Bâdshâh Ghariâl.

Lying amid the crops, p. 111.–It is commonly said in the Panjâb that crocodiles do so.

Demons of crocodiles, p. 112.–The word used for demon here was jinn, which is remarkable in this connection.

Henna, p. 113.–Mehndî or hinâ is the Lawsonia alba, used for staining the finger and toe nails of the bride red. The ceremony of sanchit, or conveying the henna to the bride by a party of the bride's friends, is the one alluded to.


Little Anklebone, p. 118 ff.–This tale appears to be unique among Indian folk-tales, and is comparable with Grimm's Singing Bone. It is current in the Bâr or wilds of the Gujrânwâlâ District, among the cattle-drover's children. Wolves are very common there, and the story seems to point to a belief in some invisible shepherd, a sort of Spirit of the Bâr, whose pipe may be heard. The word used for 'Little Anklebone' was Gîrî, a diminutive form of the common word gittâ. In the course of the story in the original, Little Anklebone calls himself Gitetâ Râm, an interesting instance of the process of the formation of Panjâbî proper names.

Auntie, p. 118.–Mâsî, maternal aunt.

Tree that weeps over yonder pond, p. 119.–Bani.e. Salvadora oleoides, a common tree of the Panjâb forests.

Jackal howled, p. 119.–A common evil omen.

Marble basins, p. 120.–The word used was daurâ, a wide-mouthed earthen vessel, and also in palaces a marble drinking-trough for animals.

The verses, p. 122.–The original and literal translation are as follows–

Kyûn garjâe badalâ garkanâe? 
    Gaj karak sâre des; 
Ohnân hirnîân de than pasmâe: 
    Gitetâ Râm gîâ pardes!

Why echo, O thundering clouds?
Roar and echo through all the land; 
The teats of the does yonder are full of milk: 
Gitetâ Râm has gone abroad!


Providence, p. 123.–Khudâ and Allah were the words for Providence or God in this tale, it being a Muhammadan one.

Kabâbs, p. 124.–Small pieces of meat roasted or fried on skewers with onions and eggs: a favourite Muhammadan dish throughout the East.

His own jackal, p. 127.–From time immemorial the tiger has been supposed to be accompanied by a jackal who shows him his game and gets the leavings as his wages. Hence the Sanskrit title of vyâghranâyaka or tiger-leader for the jackal.

Pigtail, p. 127.–The Kashmîrî woman's hair is drawn to the back of the head and finely braided. The braids are then gathered together and, being mixed with coarse woollen thread, are worked into a very long plait terminated by a thick tassel, which reaches almost down to the ankles. It is highly suggestive of the Chinese pigtail, but it is far more graceful.


Barley meal instead of wheaten cakes, p. 129.–Jau kî roti, barley bread, is the poor man's food, as opposed to gihûn kî rotî, wheaten bread, the rich man's food. Barley bread is apt to produce flatulence.

With empty stomachs, etc., p. 130.–The saying is well known and runs thus–

Kahîn mat jâo khâlî pet. 
Hove mâgh yâ hove jeth.

Go nowhere on an empty stomach,
Be it winter or be it summer.

Very necessary and salutary advice in a feverish country like India.

If any man eats me, etc., p. 130.–Apparent allusion to the saying rendered in the following verse–

Jo nar totâ mârkar khâve per ke heth, 
Kuchh sansâ man na dhare, woh hogâ râjâ jeth. 
Jo mainâ ko mâr khâ, man men rakhe dhîr; 
Kuchh chintâ man na kare, woh sadâ rahegâ wazîr.

Who kills a parrot and eats him under a tree, 
Should have no doubt in his mind, he will be a great king. 
Who kills and eats a starling, let him be patient: 
Let him not be troubled in his mind, he will be minister for life.

Snake-demon, p. 131.–The word was isdâr, which represents the Persian izhdahâizhdâr, or izhdar, a large serpent, python.

Sacred elephant, p. 131.–The reference here is to the legend of the safed hâthî or dhaulâ gaj, the white elephant. He is the elephant-headed God Ganesa, and as such is, or rather was formerly, kept by Râjâs as a pet, and fed to surfeit every Tuesday (Mangalwâr ) with sweet cakes (chûrîs ). After which he was taught to go down on his knees to the Râjâ and swing his trunk to and fro, and this was taken as a sign that he acknowledged his royalty. He was never ridden except occasionally by the Râjâ himself. Two sayings, common to the present day, illustrate these ideas–'Woh to Mahârâjâ hai, dhaule gaj par sowâr: he is indeed king, for he rides the white elephant.' And 'Mahârâjâ dhaulâ gajpati ki dohâî: (I claim the) protection of the great king, the lord of the white elephant.' The idea appears to be a very old one, for Ælian (Hist. Anim. vol. iii. p. 46) quoting Megasthenes, mentions the white elephant. See M'Crindle, India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian, pp. 118, 119; Indian Antiquary, vol. vi. p. 333 and footnote.

Brass drinking bowl, p. 133.–The lotâ, universal throughout India.

Ogre, p. 135 ff.–In the original râkhas = the Sanskrit râkshasa, translated ogre advisedly for the following reasons:–The râkshasa (râkshas, an injury) is universal in Hindu mythology as a superhuman malignant fiend inimical to man, on whom he preys, and that is his character, too, throughout Indian folk-tales. He is elaborately described in many an orthodox Indian legend, but very little reading between the lines in these shows him to have been an alien enemy on the borders of Aryan tribes. The really human character of the râkshasa is abundantly evident from the stories about him and his doings. He occupies almost exactly the position in Indian tales that the ogre does in European story, and for the same reason, as he represents the memory of the savage tribes along the old Aryan borders. The ogre, no doubt, is the Uighur Tâtar magnified by fear into a malignant demon. For the râkshasa see the Dictionaries of Dowson, Garrett, and Monier Williams, in verbo;Muir's Sanskrit Texts, vol. ii., p. 420, etc.: and for the ogre see Panjab Notes and Queries, vol. i., in verbo.

Goat, p. 135.–The ogre's eating a goat is curious: cf. the Sanskrit name ajagara, goat-eater, for the python (nowadays ajgar ), which corresponds to the izhdahâ or serpent-demon on p. 131.


The verses, p. 144 ff.–In the original they are–

Chândî dâ merâ chauntrâ, koî sonâ lipâî! 
Kâne men merâ gûkrû, shâhzâdâ baithâ hai!

My platform is of silver, plastered with gold! 
Jewels are in my ears, I sit here a prince!

The verses, p. 146.–In the original they are–

Hadî dâ terâ chauntrâ, koî gobar lipaî! 
Kâne men terî jûtî; koî gîdar baithâ hai!

Thy platform is of bones, plastered with cow-dung! 
Shoes are in thy ears; some jackal sits there!


Verses, p. 149.–In the original these are–

Saukan rangan men charhî, 
Main bhî rangan men parî,

My co-wife got dyed, 
I too fell into the vat.

Verses, p. 150.–In the original–

Ik sarî, ik balî; 
Ik hinak mode charhî,

One is vexed and one grieved; 
And one is carried laughing on the shoulder.

The allusion here is to a common tale. The story goes that a man who had two wives wanted to cross a river. Both wives wanted to go across first with him, so in the end, leaving the elder to walk, he took the younger on his shoulder, who mocked the elder with the words–

Ik sarî, dûî balî; 
Dûî jâî mûnde charhî.

First she was vexed, next she grieved; 
While the other went across on the shoulder.

Hence the sting of the old sparrow's taunt.

Verses, p. 157.–In the original–

Ik chamkhat hûî; 
Chirî rangan charhî;
Chirâ bedan karî;
Pîpal patte jharî;
Mahîn sing jharî;
Naîn bahí khârî;
Koïl hûî kânî;
Bhagtû dîwânî; 
Bandî padnî;
Rânî nâchnî;
Putr dholkî bajânî;
Râjâ sargî bajânî;

One hen painted,
And the other was dyed,
And the cock loved her,
So the pîpal shed its leaves,
And the buffalo her horns,
So the river became salt,
And the cuckoo lost an eye,
So Bhagtû went mad,
And the maid took to swearing,
So the Queen took to dancing,
And the Prince took to drumming,
And the King took to thrumming.


Princess Pepperina, p. 159.–In the original Shâhzâdî Mirchâ or Filfil Shâhzâdî: mirch is the Capsicum annuum or common chilli, green and red.

Sheldrakes, p. 165–The chakwâ, male, and chakwî, female, is the ruddy goose or sheldrake, known to Europeans as the Brâhmanî duck, Anas casarca or Casarca rutila. It is found all over India in the winter, and its plaintive night cry has given rise to a very pretty legend. Two lovers are said to have been for some indiscretion turned into Brâhmanî ducks, and condemned to pass the night apart from each other, on the opposite sides of a river. All night long each asks the other in turn if it shall join its mate, and the answer is always 'no.' The words supposed to be said are


Chakwâ main âwân ? Nâ, Chakwî!
Chakwî, main âwân ? Nâ, Chakwâ!

Chakwâ, shall I come? No, Chakwî!
Chakwî, shall I come? No, Chakwâ!


Peasie and Beansie, p. 167.–In the original Motho and Mûngo. Motho is a vetch Phaseolus aconitifolius; and mûng is a variety of pulse, Phaseolus mungo. Peasie and Beansie are very fair translations of the above.

Plum-tree, p. 167.–Ber, Zizyphus jujuba.


King 'Ali Mardân, p. 178.–'Ali Mardân Khân belongs to modern history, having been Governor (not King, as the tale has it) of Kashmîr, under the Emperor Shâh Jahân, about A.D. 1650, and very famous in India in many ways. He was one of the most magnificent governors Kashmîr ever had, and is now the best-remembered.

Snake-Woman, p. 178.–In the original Lamiâ, said in Kashmîr to be a snake 200 years old, and to possess the power of becoming a woman. In India, especially in the hill districts, it is called Yahawwâ. In this tale the Lamiâ is described as being a Wâsdeo, a mythical serpent. Wâsdeo is the same as Vâsudeva, a descendant of Vasudeva. Vasudeva was the earthly father of Krishna and of his elder brother Balarâma, so Balarâma was a Vâsudeva. Balarâma in the classics is constantly mixed up with Sêsha (now Sesh Nâg), a king of serpents, and with Vâsuki (Bâsak Nâg), also a king of serpents; while Ananta, the infinite, the serpent whose legend combines that of Vâsuki and Sêsha, is mixed not only with Balarâma, but also with Krishna. Hence the name Wâsdeo for a serpent. The Lamiâ is not only known in India from ancient times to the present day, but also in Tibet and Central Asia generally, and in Europe from ancient to mediæval times, and always as a malignant supernatural being. For discussions on her, see notes to the above in the India Antiquary, vol. xi. pp. 230-232, and the discussion following, entitled 'Lamiâ or  ,' pp. 232-235. Also Comparetti's Researches into the Book of Sindibâd, Folklore Society's ed., passim.

Dal Lake, p. 178.–The celebrated lake at Srinigar in Kashmîr.

Emperor of China's Handmaiden, p. 178.–A common way of explaining the origin of unknown girls in Musalmân tales. Kashmîr is essentially a Musalmân country.

Shâlimâr gardens, p. 178.–At Srinagar, made by the Emperor Jahângîr, who preceded 'Ali Mardân Khân by a generation, for Nûr Mahal. Moore, Lalla Rookh, transcribes in describing them the well-known Persian verses in the Dîwân-i-Khâs (Hall of Private Audience) at Delhi and elsewhere–

'And oh! if there be an Elysium on earth, 
It is this, it is this.'

The verses run really thus–

Agar firdûs ba rû-e-zamîn ast, 
Hamîn ast o hamîn ast o hamîn ast!

If there be an Elysium on the face of the earth, 
It is here, and it is here, and it is here!

Shâh Jahân built the Shâlimâr gardens at Lahor, in imitation of those at Srinagar, and afterwards Ranjît Singh restored them. They are on the Amritsar Road.

Gangâbal, p. 179.–A holy lake on the top of Mount Harâmukh, 16,905 feet, in the north of Kashmîr. It is one of the sources of the Jhelam River, and the scene of an annual fair about 20th August.

Khichrî, p. 181.–Sweet khichrî consists of rice, sugar, cocoa-nut, raisins, cardamoms, and aniseed; salt khichrî of pulse and rice.

The stone in the ashes, p. 184.–The pâras, in Sanskrit sparsamani, the stone that turns what it touches into gold.

Attock, p. 184.–In the original it is the Atak River (the Indus) near Hoti Mardân, which place is near Atak or Attock. The similarity in the names 'Ali Mardân and Hotî Mardân probably gave rise to this statement.. They have no connection whatever.


The Wonderful Ring, p. 185.–In the vernacular 'ajab mundrâ: a variant of the inexhaustible box.

Holy place, p. 188.–Chaunkâ, a square place plastered with cow-dung, used by Hindus when cooking or worshipping. The cow-dung sanctifies and purifies it.

Aunt, p. 191.–Mâsî, maternal aunt.


Plums, p. 195.–BerZyziphus jujuba.


The verses, p. 201.–In the original they were–

Phir gîâ billî ke pâs, 
'Billî, rî billî, mûsâ khâogî? 
Khâtî khûnd pâr nâ! 
Khûnd chanâ de nâ! 
Râjâ khâtî dande nâ! 
Râjâ rânî russe nâ! 
Sapnâ rânî dase nâ! 
Lâthî sapnâ mâre nâ! 
Âg lâthî jalâve nâ! 
Samundar âg bujhâve nâ! 
Hâthî samundar sukhe nâ! 
Nâre hâthî bandhe nâ! 
Mûsâ nâre kâte nâ! 
Lûngâ phir chorûn nâ!'

He then went to the cat (saying), 
'Cat, cat, eat mouse, 
Woodman won't cut tree! 
Tree won't give peas! 
King won't beat woodman! 
Queen won't storm at king! 
Snake won't bite queen! 
Stick won't beat snake! 
Fire won't burn stick! 
Sea won't quench fire! 
Elephant won't drink up sea! 
Thong won't bind elephant! 
Mouse won't nip thong! 
I'll take (the pea) yet, I won't let it go!'

It will be seen that in the text the order has been transposed for obvious literary convenience.

Verses, p. 202.–In the original these are–

Usne kahâ, 'Lap, lap, khâûngî!' 
Phir gîâ mûsâ ke pâs, 'Mûsâ, re mûsâ, ab khâ jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî nâre katenge.' 
Phir gîâ nâre ke pâs, 'Nâre, re nâre, ab kâte jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî hâthî bandhenge.' 
Phir gîâ hâthî ke pâs, 'Hâthî, re hâthî, ab bandhe jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî samundar sûkhenge.' 
Phir gîâ samundar ke pâs, 'Samundar, re samundar, ab sukhe jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî âg bujhâenge.' 
Phir gîâ âg ke pâs, 'Âg, rî âg, ab bujhâî jâogî ?' 'Ham bhî lâthî jalâvenge.' 
Phir gîâ lâthî ke pâs, 'Lâthî, re lâthî, ab jal jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî sâmp mârenge.' 
Phir gîâ sâmp ke pâs, 'Sâmp, re sâmp, ab mâre jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî rânî dasenge.' 
Phir gîâ rânî ke pâs, 'Rânî, rî rânî, ab dasî jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî râjâ rusenge.' 
Phir gîâ râjâ ke pâs, 'Râjâ, re râjâ, ab rânî rus jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî khâtî dândenge.' 
Phir gîâ khâtî ke pâs, 'Khâtî, re khâtî, ab dande jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî khund kâtenge.' 
Phir gîâ khund ke pâs, 'Khund, re khund, ab khâte jâoge ?' 'Ham bhî chanâ denge.' 
Phir woh chanâ lekar chalâ gîâ?

The cat said, 'I will eat him up at once!' 
(So) he went to the mouse, 'Mouse, mouse, will you be eaten?' 'I will gnaw the thong.' 
He went to the thong, 'Thong, thong, will you be gnawed?' 'I will bind the elephant.' 
He went to the elephant, 'Elephant, elephant, will you be bound?' 'I will drink up the ocean.' 
He went to the ocean, 'Ocean, ocean, will you be drunk up?' 'I will quench the fire.' 
He went to the fire, 'Fire, fire, will you be quenched?' 'I will burn the stick.' 
He went to the stick, 'Stick, stick, will you be burnt?' 'I will beat the snake.' 
He went to the snake, 'Snake, snake, will you be beaten?' 'I will bite the queen.' 
He went to the queen, 'Queen, queen, will you be bitten?' 'I will storm at the king.' 
He went to the king, 'King, king, will you be stormed at by the queen?' 'I will beat the woodman.' 
He went to the woodman, 'Woodman, woodman, will you be beaten?' 'I will cut down the trunk.' 
He went to the trunk, 'Trunk, trunk, will you be cut down?' 'I will give you the pea.' 
So he got the pea and went away.


Money-lender, p. 203.–Lîdâ, a disreputable tradesman, a sharp practitioner.

Râm, p. 203.–Râma Chandra, now 'God' par excellence.

Conch, p. 204.–Sankh, the shell used in Hindu worship for blowing upon.


Lord of Death, p. 207.–Maliku'l-maut is the Muhammadan form of the name, Kâl is the Hindu form. The belief is that every living being has attached to him a 'Lord of Death.' He is represented in the 'passion plays' so common at the Dasahrâ and other festivals by a hunchbacked dwarf, quite black, with scarlet lips, fastened to a 'keeper' by a black chain and twirling about a black wand. The idea is that until this chain is loosened or broken the life which he is to kill is safe. The notion is probably of Hindu origin. For a note on the subject see Indian Antiquary, vol. x. pp. 289, 290.


The Wrestlers, p. 211.–The story seems to be common all over India. In the Indian Antiquary, vol. x. p. 230, it is suggested that it represents some aboriginal account of the creation.

Ten thousand pounds weight, p. 211.–In the original 160 mans, which weigh over 13,000 lbs.


Gwâshbrârî, etc., p. 216 ff.–The Westarwân range is the longest spur into the valley of Kashmîr. The remarkably clear tilt of the strata probably suggested this fanciful and poetical legend. All the mountains mentioned in the tale are prominent peaks in Kashmîr, and belong to what Cunningham (Ladâk, 1854, ch. iii.) calls the Pîr Panjâl and Mid-Himâlayan Range. Nangâ Parbat, 26,829 ft., is to the N. W.; Harâ Mukh, 16,905 ft., to the N.; Gwâshbrârî or Kolahoî, 17,839 ft., to the N. E. Westarwân is a long ridge running N. W. to S. E., between Khrû and Sotûr, right into the Kashmîr valley. Khrû is not far from Srinagar, to the S. E.

Lay at Gwâshbrârî's feet, his head upon her heart, p. 219.–As a matter of fact, Westarwân does not lay his head anywhere near Gwâshbrârî's feet, though he would appear to do so from Khrû, at which place the legend probably arose. An excellent account of the country between Khrû and Sesh Nâg, traversing most of that lying between Westarwân and Gwâshbrârî, by the late Colonel Cuppage, is to be found at pp. 206-221 of Ince's Kashmîr Handbook, 3rd ed., 1876.


Hornets' nest, p. 224.–Properly speaking, bees. This species makes a so-called nest, i.e. a honey-comb hanging from the branch of a tree, usually a pîpal, over which the insects crawl and jostle each other in myriads in the open air. When roused, and any accident may do this, they become dangerous enemies, and will attack and sting to death any animal near. They form a real danger in the Central Indian jungles, and authentic cases in which they have killed horses and men, even Europeans, are numerous.

Fairy, p. 228.–Parî, fairy, peri: the story indicates a very common notion.


Verses, p. 233.–In the original they are–

Gâdar, ghar kyâ lâyâ? 
Kyâ chîz kamâyâ? 
Ki merâ khâtir pâyâ.

Jackal, what has thou brought home? 
What thing hast thou earned? 
That I may obtain my wants.

The story has a parallel in most Indian collections, and two in Uncle Remus, in the stories of 'The Rabbit and the Wolf' and of 'The Terrapin and the Rabbit.'


Râjâ Rasâlû, p. 234.–The chief legendary hero of the Panjâb, and probably a Scythian or non-Aryan king of great mark who fought both the Aryans to the east and the invading tribes (? Arabs) to the west. Popularly he is the son of the great Scythian hero Sâlivâhana, who established the Sâka or Scythian era in 78 A.D. Really he, however, probably lived much later, and his date should be looked for at any period between A.D. 300 and A.D. 900. He most probably represented the typical Indian kings known to the Arab historians as flourishing between 697 and 870 A.D. by the synonymous names Zentil, Zenbil, Zenbyl, Zambil, Zantíl, Ranbal, Ratbyl, Reteil, Retpeil, Rantal, Ratpíl, Ratteil, Ratbal, Ratbil, Rútsal, Rúsal, Rasal, Rásil. These are all meant for the same word, having arisen from the uncertainty of the Arabic character and the ignorance of transcribers. The particular king meant is most likely the opponent of Hajjâj and Muhammad Qâsim between 697 and 713 A.D. The whole subject is involved in the greatest obscurity, and in the Panjâb his story is almost hopelessly involved in pure folklore. It has often been discussed in learned journals. See Indian Antiquary, vol. xi. pp. 299 ff. 346-349, vol. xii. p. 303 ff., vol. xiii. p. 155 ff.; Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal for 1854, pp. 123-163, etc.; Elliot's History of India, vol. i. pp. 167, 168, vol. ii. pp. 178, 403-427.

Lonân, p. 234.–For a story of Lonân, see Indian Antiquary, vol. ix. p. 290.

Thrown into a deep well, p. 234.–Still shown on the road between Siâlkot and Kallowâl.

Gurû Gorakhnâth, p. 234.–The ordinary deux ex machinâ of modern folk-tales. He is now supposed to be the reliever of all troubles, and possessed of most miraculous powers, especially over snakes. In life he seems to have been the Brâhmanical opponent of the mediæval reformers of the fifteenth century A.D. By any computation Pûran Bhagat must have lived centuries before him.

Pûran Bhagat, p. 235.–Is in story Râjâ Rasâlû's elder brother. There are numerous poems written about his story, which is essentially that of Potiphar's wife. The parallel between the tales of Râjâ Rasâlû and Pûran Bhagat and those of the Southern Aryan conqueror Vikramâditya and his (in legend) elder brother Bhatrihari, the saint and philosopher, is worthy of remark.


Bhaunr Irâqî, p. 238.–The name of Rasâlû's horse; but the name probably should be Bhaunrî Râkhî, kept in the underground cellar. 'Irâqî means Arabian.

Verses, p. 240.–In the original these are–

Main âiâ thâ salâm nûn, tûn baithâ pîth maror!
Main nahîn terâ râj wandânundâ; main nûn nahîn râj te lor.

I came to salute thee, and thou hast turned thy back on me!
I have no wish to share thy kingdom! I have no desire for empire.

Mahlân de vich baithîe, tûn ro ro na sunâ!
Je tûn merî mâtâ hain, koî mat batlâ!
Matte dendî hai mân tain nûn, putar: gin gin jholî ghat! 
Châre Khûntân tûn râj kare, par changâ rakhîn sat!

O sitting in the palace, let me not hear thee weeping! 
If thou be my mother give me some advice!
Thy mother doth advise thee, son: stow it carefully away in thy wallet! 
Thou wilt reign in the Four Quarters, but keep thyself good and pure.

Verses, p. 241.–In the original these are–

Thorâ thorâ, betâ, tûn disîn, aur bahotî disî dhûr: 
Putr jinân de tur chale, aur mâwân chiknâ chûr.

It is little I see of thee, my son, but I see much dust.
The mother, whose son goes away on a journey, becomes as a powder (reduced to great misery).


Verses, p. 242.–Originals are–

Agge sowen lef nihâlîân, ajj sutâ suthrâ ghâs! 
Sukh wasse yeh des, jâhan âeajj dî rât!

Before thou didst sleep on quilts, to-day thou hast slept on clean grass! 
Mayest thou live happy in this land whither thou has come this night!

Snake, p. 242.–Most probably represents a man of the 'Serpent Race,' a Nâga, Taka, or Takshak.

Unspeakable horror, p. 243.–The undefined word âfat, horror, terror, was used throughout.

Verses, p. 244.–Originals are–

Sadâ na phûlan torîân, nafrâ: sadâ na Sâwan hoe: 
Sadâ na joban thir rahe: sadâ na jîve koe: 
Sadâ na râjiân hâkimî: sadâ râjiân des: 
Sadâ na hove ghar apnâ, nafrâ, bhath piâ pardes.

Tcrîs (a mustard plant) do not always flower, my servant: it is not always the rainy season (time of joy).
Youth does not always last: no one lives for ever: 
Kings are not always rulers: kings have not always lands: 
They have not always homes, my servant: they fall into great troubles in strange lands.

These verses of rustic philosophy are universal favourites, and have been thus rendered in the Calcutta Review, No. clvi. pp. 281, 282–

Youth will not always stay with us: 
  We shall not always live: 
Rain doth not always fall for us: 
  Nor flowers blossom give.

Great kings not always rulers are: 
  They have not always lands: 
Nor have they always homes, but know 
  Sharp grief at strangers' hands.


Giants, p. 245.–Râkshasa, for which see previous notes.

Nîlâ city, p. 245.–Most probably Bâgh Nîlâb on the Indus to the south of Atak.

Verses, p. 246.–In the original these are–

Na ro, mata bholîe: na aswân dhalkâe: 
Tere bete ki 'îvaz main sir desân châe. 
Nîle-ghorewâliâ Râjâ, munh dhârî, sir pag, 
Woh jo dekhte âunde, jin khâiâ sârâ jag.

Weep not, foolish mother, drop no tears: 
I will give my head for thy son. 
Gray-horsed Râjâ: bearded face and turban on head, 
He whom you see coming is he who has destroyed my life!

Verses, p. 247, 248.–In original–

Nasso, bhajo, bhâîo! Dekho koî galî! 
Tehrî agg dhonkdî, so sir te ân balî! 
Sûjhanhârî sûjh gae; hun laihndî charhdî jâe! 
Jithe sânûn sûkh mile, so jhatpat kare upâe!

Fly, fly brethren! look out for some road! 
Such a fire is burning that it will come and burn our heads! 
Our fate has come, we shall now be destroyed! 
Make some plan at once for our relief.

Gandgari Mountains, p. 248.–Gandgarh Hills, to the north of Atak: for a detailed account of this legend see Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal for 1854, p. 150 ff.


Hodînagarî, p. 250.–A veritable will-o'-the-wisp in the ancient Panjâb geography: Hodînagarî, Udenagar, Udaynagar, is the name of innumerable ruins all over the northern Panjâb, from Siâlkot to Jalâlâbâd in Afghânistân beyond the Khaibar Pass. Here it is more than probably some place in the Rawâl Pindi or Hazârâ Districts along the Indus.

Rânî Sundrân, p. 250.–The daughter of Hari Chand.

Alakh, p. 251 ff.–'In the Imperishable Name,' the cry of religious mendicants when begging.

Verses, p. 252.–In original–

Jâe bûhe te kilkiâ: lîa nâm Khudâ:
Dûron chalke, Rânî Sundrân, terâ nâ:
Je, Rânî, tû sakhî hain, kharî faqîrân pâ:

Coming to the threshold I called out: I took the name of God:
Coming from afar, Rânî Sundrân, on account of thy name.
If thou art generous, Rânî, the beggar will obtain alms.

The Musalmân word Khudâ, God, here is noticeable, as Rasâlû was personating a Hindû jogî.

Verses, p. 252.–

Kab kî pâî mundran? Kab kâ hûâ faqîr? 
Kis ghatâ mânion? Kis kâ lâgâ tîr! 
Kete mâen mangiâ? Mere ghar kî mangî bhîkh? 
Kal kî pâî mundrân! Kal kâ hûâ faqîr! 
Na ghat mâîân mâniân: kal kâ lagâ tîr! 
Kuchh nahîn munh mangî: Kewal tere ghar ke bhîkh. 

When didst thou get thy earring? When wast thou made a faqîr ?
What is thy pretence? Whose arrow of love hath struck thee? 
From how many women hast thou begged? What alms dost thou beg from me? 
Yesterday I got my earring; yesterday I became a faqîr
I make no pretence, mother: yesterday the arrow struck me. 
I begged nothing: only from thy house do I beg.

Verses, p. 253.–In original–

Tarqas jariâ tîr motîân; lâlân jarî kumân; 
Pinde bhasham lagâiâ: yeh mainân aur rang;
Jis bhikhiâ kâ lâbhî hain, tû wohî bhikhiâ mang. 
Tarqas jariâ merâ motîân: lâlân jarî kumân. 
Lâl na jânâ bechke, motî be-wattî. 
Motî apne phir lai; sânûn pakkâ tâm diwâ

Thy quiver is full of pearly arrows: thy bow is set with rubies:
Thy body is covered with ashes: thy eyes and thy colour thus: 
Ask for the alms thou dost desire. 
My quiver is set with pearls: my bow is set with rubies. 
I know not how to sell pearls and rubies without loss.
Take back thy pearls: give me some cooked food.

Verses, p. 253.–In original–

Kahân tumhârî nagarî? kahân tumhârâ thâon? 
Kis râjâ kâ betrâ jogî? kyâ tumhârâ nâon? 
Siâlkot hamârî nagarî; wohi hamârâ thâon. 
Râjâ Sâlivâhan kâ main betrâ: Lonâ parî merâ mâon. 
Pinde bhasam lagâe, dekhan terî jâon.
Tainûn dekhke chaliâ: Râjâ Rasâlû merâ nâon.

Where is thy city? Where is thy home? 
What king's son art thou, jôgi? What is thy name? 
Siâlkot is my city: that is my home. 
I am Râjâ Sâlivâhan's son: the fairy Lonâ is my mother. 
Ashes are on my body: (my desire was) to see thy abode. 
Having seen thee I go away: Râjâ Rasâlû is my name.

Sati, p. 254.–The rite by which widows burn themselves with their husbands.


Râjâ Sarkap, p. 255.–Lit. King Beheader is a universal hero of fable, who has left many places behind him connected with his memory, but who he was has not yet been ascertained.

Verses, p. 255.–In original–

Bâre andar piâ karanglâ, na is sâs, na pâs. 
Je Maullâ is nûn zindâ kare, do bâtân kare hamâre sâth. 
Laihndion charhî badalî, hâthân pâiâ zor: 
Kehe 'amal kamâio, je jhaldi nahîn ghor?

The corpse has fallen under the hedge, no breath in him, nor any one near. 
If God grant him life he may talk a little with me. 
The clouds rose in the west and the storm was very fierce; 
What hast thou done that the grave doth not hold thee?

Verses, p. 256.–In original–

Asîn bhî kadîn duniyân te inhân the; 
Râjâ nal degrîân pagân banhde, 
  Turde pabbân bhâr. 
Âunde tara, nachâunde tara, 
  Hânke sawâr. 
Zara na mitthî jhaldî Râjâ; 
  Hun sau manân dâ bhâr.

I, too, was once on the earth thus; 
Fastening my turban like a king, 
  Walking erect. 
Coming proudly, taunting proudly, 
  I drove off the horsemen. 
The grave does not hold me at all, Râjâ: 
  Now I am a great sinner.

Chaupur, p. 256.–Chaupur is a game played by two players with 8 men each on a board in the shape of a cross, 4 men to each cross covered with squares. The moves of the men are decided by the throws of a long form of dice. The object of the game is to see which of the players can move all his men into the black centre square of the cross first. A detailed description of the game is given in The Legends of the Panjâb, vol. i. pp. 243, 245.


The daughters of Râjâ Sarkap, p. 257.–The scene of this and the following legend is probably meant to be Kot Bithaur on the Indus near Atak.

Verses, p. 258.–In original–

Nîle-ghorewâliâ Râjâ, niven neze âh! 
Agge Râjâ Sarkap hai, sir laisî ulâh! 
Bhalâ châhen jo apnâ, tân pichhe hî mur jâh! 
Dûron bîrâ chukiâ ithe pahutâ âh: 
Sarkap dâ sir katke tote kassân châr. 
Tainûn banâsân wohtrî, main bansân mihrâj!

Grey-horsed Râjâ, come with lowered lance! 
Before thee is Râjâ Sarkap, he will take thy head! 
If thou seek thy own good, then turn thee back! 
I have come from afar under a vow of victory: 
I will cut off Sarkap's head and cut it into four pieces. 
I will make thee my little bride, and will become thy bridegroom!

Hundredweight, p. 258.–Man in the original, or a little over 80 lbs.

Verses, p. 260.–In original–

Ik jo âiâ Rajpût katdâ mâromâr, 
Paske lârhân kapiân sittîâ sîne bhâr. 
Dharîn dharin bheren bhanîân aur bhane ghariâl! 
Taîn nûn, Râjâ, marsî ate sânûn kharsî hâl.

A prince has come and is making havoc; 
He cut the long strings and threw us out headlong. 
The drums placed are broken and broken are the gongs. 
He will kill thee, Râjâ, and take me with him!

Verses, p. 260.–In original–

Chotî nagarî dâ waskîn, Rânî wadî karî pukâr. 
Jân main niklân bâhar, tân merî tan nachâve dhâl. 
Fajre rotî tân khâsân, sir laisân utâr.

Princess, thou has brought a great complaint about a dweller in a small city. 
When I come out his shield will dance for fear of my valour. 
In the morning I will eat my bread and cut off their heads.


Dhol Râjâ, p. 263.–It is not known why the rat was so called. The hero of a well-known popular love-tale bears the same name. Dhol or Dhaul (from Sanskrit dhavala, white) is in popular story the cow that supports the earth on its horns.

Verses, p. 263.–In original–

Sakhî samundar jamiân, Râjâ lîo rud gar thâe: 
Âo to charho merî pîth te, kot tudh kharân tarpâe. 
Urde pankhî main na desân, jo dauran lakh karor. 
Je tudh, Râjâ, pârâ khelsiâ, jeb hâth to pâe.

O my beloved, I was born in the ocean, and the Râjâ bought me with much gold. 
Come and jump on my back and I will take thee off with thousands of bounds. 
Wings of birds shall not catch me, though they go thousands of miles. 
If thou wouldst gamble, Râjâ, keep thy hand on thy pocket.

Verses, p. 264.–In original–

Na ro, Râjiâ bholiâ; nâ main charsân ghâh, 
Na main tursân râh. 
Dahnâ dast uthâeke jeb de vich pâh!

Weep not, foolish Râjâ, I shall not eat their grass, 
Nor shall I go away.
Take thy right hand and put it in thy pocket!!

Verses, p. 265.–In original–

Dhal, we pâsâ dhalwîn ithe basante lok! 
Sarân dharân han bâziân, jehrî Sarkap kare so ho! 
Dhal, we pâsâ dhalwen ithe basantâ lok! 
Sarân dharân te bâziân! Jehrî Allah kare so ho!

O molded pieces, favour me: a man is here! 
Heads and bodies are at stake! as Sarkap does so let it be. 
O moulded pieces, favour me: a man is here! 
Heads and bodies are at stake! as God does so let it be!

Verses, p. 266.–In original–

Hor râje murghâbîân, tu râjâ shâhbâz! 
Bandî bânân âe band khalâs kar! umar terî drâz.

Other kings are wild-fowl, thou art a royal hawk! 
Unbind the chains of the chain-bound and live for ever!

Mûrtî Hills, p. 266.–Near Râwal Pindî to the south-west.

Kokilân, p. 266.–Means 'a darling': she was unfaithful and most dreadfully punished by being made to eat her lover's heart.


The king who was fried, p. 267.–The story is told of the hill temple (marhî ) on the top of Pindî Point at the Murree (Marhî ) Hill Sanitarium. Full details of the surroundings are given in the Calcutta Review, No. cl. p. 270 ff.

King Karan, p. 267.–This is for Karna, the half-brother of Pându, and a great hero in the Mahâbhârata legends. Usually he appears in the very different character of a typical tyrant, like Herod among Christians, and for the same reason, viz. the slaughter of innocents.

Hundredweight, p. 268.–A man and a quarter in the original, or about 100 lbs.

Mânsarobar Lake, p. 269.–The Mânasasarovara Lake (= Tsho-Mâphan) in the Kailâsa Range of the Himâlayas, for ages a centre of Indian fable. For descriptions see Cunningham's Ladâk, pp. 128-136.

Swan, p. 270.–Hansa in the original: a fabulous bird that lives on pearls only. Swan translates it better than any other word.

King Bikramâjît, p. 270.–The great Vikramâditya of Ujjayinî, popularly the founder of the present Samvat era in B. C. 57. Bikrû is a legitimately-formed diminutive of the name. Vikramâditya figures constantly in folklore as Bikram, Vikram, and Vichram, and also by a false analogy as Bik Râm and Vich Râm. He also goes by the name of Bîr Bikramâjît or Vîr Vikram, i.e. Vikramâditya, the warrior. In some tales, probably by the error of the translator, he then becomes two brothers, Vir and Vikram. See Postans' Cutch, p. 18 ff.


Half-a-son, p. 275.–Adhiâ in the original form; âdhâ, a half. The natives, however, give the tale the title of 'Sat Bachiân diân Mâwân,' i.e. the Mothers of Seven Sons.


Broken-down old bed, p. 275.–This, with scratching the ground with the fore-finger, is a recognised form of expressing grief in the Panjâb. The object is to attract faqîrs to help the sufferer.


Prince Ruby, p. 289.–La'ljî, Mr. Ruby, a common name; it can also mean 'beloved son' or 'cherished son.'

Snake-stone, p. 290.–Mani, the fabulous jewel in the cobra's hood, according to folklore all over India. See Panjâb Notes and Queries, vol. i. for 1883-84.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Notes to the Tales
Tale Author/Editor:
Book Title: Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Book Author/Editor: Steel, Flora Annie Webster
Publisher: Macmillan and Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1917
Country of Origin:

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