| The cover of Bharbitan Bhojpuri Lokkatha Sangrah. Picture by Rakesh K. Singh |
For many, who grew up either surfing the Internet or watching TV as forms of entertainment, Bhojpuri folk tales, hitherto heard from elders, would now be available as a book.
A retired principal has taken it upon himself to document and write down the ancient tales to motivate and inspire the young generation.
The retired principal of Jagdam College, Krishna Kumar Dwivedi, has penned around 45 such stories, which have been carried down verbally through ages.
The book titled Bharbittan Bhojpuri Lokkatha Sangrah would soon be released at a function in Patna and Chhapra by eminent literary figures. The name suggests that the book would serve a greater cause for Bhojpuri, a language spoken by more than 40 crore people globally.
Talking to The Telegraph at his residence at Dahiyawan Mohalla, Dwivedi said it took him four years to complete the book, perhaps the first of its kind, accommodating stories on the verge of extinction owing to lack of written form. He said during his childhood he heard many such stories from seniors of the family.
He added: “Children should be exposed to folk stories such as Khunti me mor dal ba, Rangua siyar, Bhuali puta, Man change ta kathauti me Ganga, Gaaya aur sherni, Bhav ke bhuklhal Bhagwan, Bharbittan, Siyar pandit and others. All these stories have strong positive messages.”
The title of the book, Bharbittan means the size of the palm. It is like the mythological Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to the Bhagavad Purana, Vamana stepped from heaven to earth with the first step and from earth to the netherworld with the second. Raja Bali then offered his head for the third step.
This way, the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu shattered Bali’s pride of being the greatest daani (giver) of the world.
The tale suggests that even the small are capable of doing wonders and so must be respected, said the retired principal.