translation from Khowar literature:The Watermill Back To Main Page

In the Watermill

Translation from Khowar Folk Literature by Sams Uddin

A silly person was chopping a tree branch settling on the bough being cut off when a passer-by noticed and worriedly said: “Aye! Aye! Be a little bit careful, you are going to fall down”. “How did you predict like this? Are you a seer or else? Huh!” He sarcastically exclaimed. The wayfarer replied: “I, certainly, do not have spiritual property around me, but at least I can safely foretell the toppling of somebody who cuts tree branch whilst sitting on it”.

“Enough is enough! It is none of your business, please go on” the silly man angrily mumbled. The passer-by chuckled and went away. Some while later, the branch came off along with the man, who fell on the ground with a thudding sound. Quite embarrassed, he instantly scanned the surrounding to ascertain if anybody noticed him falling; dusted his clothes and went after the stranger.

“You are a great sage with enormous spiritual power of accurate prediction” the silly man implored “please do pardon me the insult, I have done you” he added. The wayfarer repeatedly dispelled the attribution of divinity, the silly man was desperately going to impose upon him. “Be sure, I, in no way, am a spiritual person the way you believe” he vociferously denounced at last.

The silly man, nonetheless, didn’t stop pestering him with repeated requests to make further prediction about his future: “please tell me when, and in what circumstances, I will die?” After deliberating for a while, the wayfarer decided to poke fun: “you’ll die the day you’ll step inside a watermill or else when you’ll share with others the matter I tell you”. The stranger went away whilst the empty-headed guy headed for his home greatly confused and tense.

For few days, he concentrated on what the “spiritual man” had told him. He firmly resolved not enter the watermill for the rest of his life. However things took unmanageable turn when flour supply ran out in the house and his wife made it a point of controversy every day, pressuring him to grind the corn in the watermill. This put the silly man on the horns of dilemma. He could neither go to the watermill, nor tell the reason for refusing to do so. Disgusted over his wife’s daily crying and mishandling, he concluded: “Comes what may, let me go to watermill, as it would be better dying than to encounter wife’s daily rancor.”

چترالی لوک کہانی

پن چکی میں۔۔۔

اسے ممتاز حسین نے کھوار لوک ادب سے تلاش کرکے اردو میں ترجمہ کیا ۔ انگریزی ترجمہ اسی اردو ترجمے پر مبنی ہے۔ ایک بے وقوف شخص درخت کی شاخ پر بیٹھا، اسی شاخ کو نیچے سے کلہاڑی سے کاٹ رہا تھا۔۔۔۔۔۔ آگے پڑھیے...................

He burdened his donkey with sacks of grain, balanced it on either side and set forth for the watermill that located at a considerable distance across the stream. He unloaded the beast outside; carried the sags inside and fixed the grinding stone. He felt asleep as it was time for afternoon siesta and he was quite tired also. Now he harked back to the spiritual man’s prediction and the circumstances that that was specified for his death had almost been fulfilled. He prepared himself to die, arranged his body in a proper way, and waited for his soul to depart.

In the meantime, the donkey gate-crashed into the watermill and started eating the flour immoderately, as the silly man noticed with eyes half opened. Addressing the donkey he remarked: “Eat the flour to your fill; there is none to stop you, as I have already died.”

The donkey made it for home without his master after englotting the flour. There was hue and cry in the house. In order to trace her husband, the wife proceeded for the watermill and found him lying as senseless as timber. She returned tearful and shocked to tell the villagers that her husband had died in the watermill. Villagers went there along with a cot to pick the “dead body”. On return, there were loud arguments on where to ford the stream. It took long time to decide the matter. As the silly man was listening to the heated debate, he craned his head and told the people: “when I was alive, I used to cross the river over there” he pointed his finger towards the shallow part of the stream. The villagers could hardly suppress their laughter and asked him to jump down immediately. They inquired as to what had actually happened. He told them the entire story and they carried him back home greatly amused and delighted.

shams ud din chitral

The Translator

Shams ud Din is a Chitral based writer,educationist, trecker and Sitar Player. He knows alot about the Chitrali Music.
A Website on the Culture, History and Languages of Chitral.