Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM

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Programme in Development Management

Amma’s Story… — Bada Kala

Transcribed and translated by Shweta Hegde

An interesting part of all of our field segments is getting to interact and learn from communities. There is often a wealth of undocumented culture, including songs, dances, beliefs, and stories. During my first DPS, I got a chance to hear many interesting stories. Here is one such story:

Yes… we are having tea. Amma started to tell story…

There was once a big man in the jungle who used to come to the village to take food. After he took food, he would go back to the jungle and sleep. He never did any work. When he entered the village, the children were very frightened. He was very big and black, with curly hair, and big long strong arms and legs. The children were so afraid, that if they ever did anythign wronog, their parents would say that Bada Kala (big black) would come to eat them. The chidren would immediately become silent.

One day, what happened? Normally, every day, the village households took turns giving food to Bada Kala. But, in one large poor household, since there were so many family members, they did not have any food to give him. If they did not give food to Bada Kala, they knew he would destroy their house. They were very worried about what would happen when Bada Kala came and they had nothing to offer.

One of the children in the family, Chandu, said, “Mother, we should leave the village for some days. And, again, whenever our turn will come, at that time, we will go somewhere else, because we cannot feed him. We aren’t even able to feed ourselves properly every day.”

The mother agreed. After all, since her husband had died, it was now just her and five children. So, on the day that it was their turn to feed Bada Kala, they got up early in the morning to run away. However, no matter where they decided to go, they would still have to go through the jungle.

And, unfortunately, as they were creeping through the jungle, they ran into Bada Kala! Oh! What were they to do?

Suddenly, Chandu came up with a plan.

“Kind Sir. We have actually prepared food for you, but we thought that if we add something more, it would be very tasty for you. We are going to town right now, and we will bring it for you. You just wait here.”

The greedy Bada Kala said, “OK. I will wait here, but you must be back within one hour.”

Chandu agreed, but the boy’s mother was worried. “Chandu, how will you be able to go back to him in an hour? When we don’t return, he will surely destroy our house!”

Chandu said, “Ma, don’t worry. I have a plan.”

Chandu went to a river flowing through the jungle and caught a few fish. He prepared something with the fish, mixing it this and that from the jungle. The, he returned to Bada Kala and gave him the meal.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I went to the shop, but they didn’t have the item I wanted to purchase for you, so I have prepared this food for you instead. It was made by killing by small two-month-old brother. I used his meat to prepare this meal.”

Suddenly, Bada Kala sat down with a shocked look on his face. “What did you do?!” he exclaimed. “Don’t you know that I will not eat the meat of a human being? Go and get me some other food.”

At this point, Chandu’s mother came forward and said, “We are very poor and we do not have any money to give you any other food. Please take this food. Otherwise, we do not have anything to offer you.”

Bada Kala sat quietly for a minute, and suddenly realized that because of him, the villagers were taking so much trouble. He began to feel ashamed and guilty for taking advantage of the villagers.

From that day on, he stopped exploiting the villagers…

… and, young Chandu became the Gram Pradhan (village head)!

Moral: “Hoshiyari se kam karo, taliff ko hatado.” (Do your work with intelligence and avoid difficulties.)

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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, DPS 1, Non-Academic, PDM 12, ,

One Response

  1. Shanti Gupta says:

    This is an interesting story which reminds me my childhood. Well done Shweta for bringing such a traditional story.

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