Gamra comes back to her Mother’s Place ! (UT)

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Friends, the whole of Uttarakhand is not only very much rich
in its flora and fauna, but also in the legendary sagas and folklore’s prevalent
there. Today we will go into the most famous legendary saga,or say the famous saga
(Gatha) of Gamra and Maishar, the rural form of Goddess Gaura and Lord
Maheshwar in the high hills of Uttarakhand. This gatha is sung and played
during the occasion of
Satun-Athon (
सातों-आठों) an eight-day long festival
of fanfare. The legend of Gamra & Maishar, in nutshell, goes like this
.

In the high hills of Uttarakhand, there was a cowherd owner,
whose daughter was Gamra. On the hill top of Kailas, there also was a shepherd
with the name of Maishar. While grazing their tamed animals-Cows and Sheep,
they once happened to see one another and fell in love. Later, Maishar in the
form of a sanyasi, met Gamra’s mother and begged the hand of her daughter in
marriage. They ultimately got married. Gamra went to the hilltop of
Kailas with her husband Maishar. But after some time she remembered her mother
and decided to proceed alone to her mother’s place, but in the almost
inaccessible snow clad hilly terrain she forgot the right path to reach her
native place. As she proceeded ahead she sought the assistance of the fauna and
flora to extend their helping hand in pointing to her the appropriate way
leading to her mother’s place.  First of all she requested the lemon tree
to tell her right path to her mother’s village-


O lemon tree of the way–please
tell me the path leading to my mother’s place.
(
बाटा की निमुवां डाली, म्यर मैत
जान्या बाटो
कां हो
?). 
The lemon tree was kind enough to tell her like this–
“The right side pathway goes to Kedar and the left one to your mother’s place.
(
दैण बाटो जालो
केदार को
, बों बाटो त्यर मैत जालो.) Pleased very much over that helpful guidance,
Gamra bestowed upon the lemon tree her good wishes– “Always flower in the
white colour and the fruits get ripe in the yellowish red. May your fruits be
always eaten up by mankind
. (
धौला रंग फूलिए डाली, राता रंग पाके, तेरा फल नीमुवां डाली, मनुसिया रे खाला.) While proceeding ahead she once again forgets
the appropriate pathway and asks the Orange tree to tell her the right way– “O
Orange tree of the way, tell me as to which of the paths goes to my mother’s
place ?”
(
बाटा में की
नारिंग डाली
,म्यर मैत जानी बाटो कां हो ?). In response to it the
Orange tree is kind enough to tell her, like this– “The right side path goes
to Tirjugi, and the left one goes straight to your mother’s place”
(
दैनू बाटो तिरजुगी
जालो
, बों बाटो त्यर मैत जालो.”) Feeling very much grateful, she also wishes
the Orange tree in these words–  “May you flower in the blue colour and
your fruits ripe in the yellow ones.”
(
निलारंगन फूलिएडाली, पीला रंग पाके.”).
then again, she happens to meet the Ghingaroo plant (Pyrecantha crenulata)) and
repeats her query– “O, Ghingaroo plant of the way, tell me as to what is the
appropriate pathway to my mother’s home?” (
बाटा में की घिंगारू डाली, म्यर मैंत जान्या
बाटो कां हो
?”) The Ghingaroo plant tells her like this– “The left side
way goes to Badrinath, and the right one to your mother’s home.” (
बों बाटो जालो
बद्रीनाथ
, दैनबाटो त्यर मैत जालो.”)  Pleased very much on that response,
Gamra, as a rule, wishes her best in these words– “ May you flower in the
white colour and may your fruits ripe in red, and be picked up by birds.” (
धौला रंग फूलिए
डाली, राता रंग पाके. तेरा
फल घिंगारू डाली पंछी लोग रे खाला.
”) She proceeds ahead with the help of the
flora and next comes up the Kilmora plant ( barberis arista), Hisaalu climber
(rubus ellipticus), Deodar  (Cedrus Deodara) and Pine trees. Almost all
the plants, climbers and trees cooperate with her, but the Pine tree does not
extend its helping hand towards her. Gamra as a rule asks– “ O Pine tree of
the hilltop, tell me as to which of the ways leads to my mother’s home ?’’ The
Pine tree tells her in an indifferent and arrogant manner like this- “I myself,
am always busy in my hissing sounds of fury and tell me how I know the path to
your mother’s place ?’’ (
आपनै रूंराट अपनै फूंफाट, कि जाणों त्यर मैत बाटो ?”) displeased over that arrogance of the Pine
tree she curses it like this– “May you flower in the green, but your fruits
ripe in the dried ones. Your fruits will drop in the dry land.” (
हरियां
वरन फूलेसूखा
वरन पाके
, तेरा फल सूखी धरती झड़ाला.”. 
Anyway, however, Gamra is successful in
reaching her native place in the high Himalyas. She happens to reach there by
the month of Bhadau, falling from mid-August to mid-September, when almost all
the cereals and pulses get exhausted in the high hills. Her mother was very
much pleased to see her lovely daughter back, but at the same time was very
much perturbed to see as to what will she eat there in those all pervaded
famine conditions. The saga of Gamra & Maishar, besides being a melodious
folklore, also gives a very vivid account the flora and fauna of the
present Nandadevi Abhayaranya in the Himalyan territory of Kumaon and Garhwal.

Article : Shri Uday Tamta 


(Retired Senior Class-I Officer, Government of India)


Photo Credit : Mr. Mannu Dafali



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साक्षी और महेंद्र सिंह धोनी पहुंचे अपने पैतृक गांव उत्तराखंड। शिवलिंग पूजा – क्या आप जानते हैं कहाँ से शुरू हुई लिंग पूजा ? नॉनवेज से भी ज्यादा ताकत देती है ये सब्जी ! दो रात में असर।