By Tony K. Stewart
The mythic determine Satya Pir has a large following between Hindus and Muslims alike within the Bangla-speaking areas of South Asia. Believed to be an avatara of krsna, or a Sufi saint, or someway either, he's worshiped for his skill to carry wealth and luxury to a family members. on the center of this worship is the straightforward proposition that human dignity and morality are based upon a formal livelihood-without wealth, humans can't be anticipated to dwell ethical lives. males have a distinct accountability to create that balance, yet occasionally fail miserably, making ill-advised judgements that compromise the ladies who're established upon them. At those threatening junctures, girls needs to take issues into their very own palms, and so they name on Satya Pir to aid them correct the wrongs performed via their husbands or fathers. during this booklet, Tony okay. Stewart provides energetic translations of 8 heavily comparable 18th- and 19th-century Bengali people stories founded on Satya Pir and the folks he is helping. To extricate her husband and different kinfolk from those predicaments, one heroine clothes in drag, dons armor to struggle cutthroats, slays a raging rhino and hacks off its horn, and takes the prize of the king's daughter, to the consternation of all. In one other story, one woman's husband is magically remodeled right into a ram and saved via a witch as breeding inventory, and another's is remodeled right into a popinjay parrot, the higher to elude her jealous father, reason on keeping his reliable daughter's advantage. In each one case the boys are rescued and restored to basic by way of inventive ladies. whereas the worship of Satya Pir is the ostensible motivation for the stories, they're quite demonstrations of the Pir's incredible powers, which authenticate him as a sound item of worship. The stories also are wickedly humorous, parodying Brahmins and yogis and kings and sepoys. those mind-blowing and interesting tales fly within the face of traditional knowledge in regards to the separation of Muslims and Hindus. in addition, the tales fortunately stand on my own, talking with an simply famous if no longer common voice of exasperation and amazement at what existence throws at us.
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Extra resources for Fabulous Females and Peerless Pirs: Tales of Mad Adventure in Old Bengal
And saying that, the prince rode on ahead . . but he had blundered and was nowhere near the road to A¯jama. As it dawned on him, the prince grew worried and pulled up to a stop. “I don’t understand. ” cried the prince to La¯lmon. “Hear me! ” La¯l parried this august son of the emperor, “Listen, lord of my life. ” And with this short, somewhat pointed exchange, the two pressed forward, when they suddenly found themselves unwittingly at the house of some pha¯sara¯s, particularly bloodthirsty highwaymen, a merciless brand of brigands.
For instance, in those texts published by Nihar Press, the authors or perhaps the editors seem to have “padded” the text with numerous cross-references to classical mythology, in itself not unusual, but in a repetitive manner, with the same anecdotes referenced in the same way by different authors in different tales, clearly the work of a redactor. This is arguably a case of Sanskritization or some other form of legitimation extraneous to the tale—and uniformly those tales are Hindu in orientation, even though the same tale often exists in other orientations, as has been pointed out in the introduction.
It was only then that La¯l realized what the old crone had been up to. She had feigned affection when she had spoken to La¯lmon, with an obvious bounce in her step as she stole occasional glances at the young and healthy La¯lmon. When the old crone lavished just a bit too much attention on La¯l—but tricked her with the delaying tactic of the leaky pot and wet wood—it was then and only then that La¯l realized they had stumbled onto the homestead of a band of pha¯sara¯s. Carrying on and fussing about, the old woman ﬁnally went inside, and just as suddenly as she had disappeared a very young girl—the pha¯sara¯ household’s newest bride—was standing there.