Monday, 7 October 2013

The Palak Tipa........ the enchanting lake.




Hi,

In the series of enchanting lakes, I present folktale of another interesting Lake, the Palak Tipa (Dil), surrounded by hills and dense forests, located in south Mizoram, India. When I walked passed it, I found an eerie silence in the air. There's something about this lake that draws you towards it.




*    Where the Palak Lake exists now, there was a huge village of about 300 houses. The village was known as the ‘Palak Tipa’. It was a thriving and prosperous village. No other village could be found within miles close by. The life was peaceful and happy. The villagers prided themselves for the brotherhood and bonhomie prevalent amongst themselves. 

*      The villagers were sentimental about their beliefs and superstitions. The social life was governed by the norms laid down by the elders, passed down from one generation to the next. Observance of these norms was strict and no deviations were accepted. 

*       In the middle of the village was a huge stone under which lay a cave, where a large snake lived. Every night the snake came out of the cave, seized one child from the village and ate it. Unable to suffer the atrocities committed by the snake, the villagers one day decided to kill it. They made a strong hook and tied it on to a rope and impaled a dog on the hook. Then they threw the dog into the cave.

*       The snake swallowed the dog and the hook. The villagers tried to pull out the snake, but without any success. Then they went around the stone to get the leverage and they went around it five times. Tired, when they could not pull the snake further, they cut the part of the snake that they had pulled out. The snake’s tail and rest of the part fell back into the deep cave with a loud and fearful noise. 

*       The villagers satisfied with their efforts planned to celebrate killing of the snake. Immediately one boy was rushed to the village to announce their catch and requested the elders to prepare for a big feast. All the villagers sprang into action. The preparation got under way without wasting time. Everyone got busy in doing something or the other.

*       The part of the snake killed was wrapped and taken to the village. By now some more men had fetched up to the lake to help in carrying the huge snake. Almost the entire village had gathered at the entrance to see it. They could not believe what they saw. 

*      Never in their lives had they seen such a huge snake. It was something unthinkable. Something mythical. The children and the elderly women got scared and left the place hurriedly. The young ones chided them. The boys who had caught it were being facilitated like heroes. They smiled and narrated how they had caught it painstakingly to whoever cared to listen to them. Many villagers were hearing their tale of heroism with rapt attention and they did not disappoint the boys.

*       Some men were seen piling a huge sack of firewood in the centre. The village wore a festive look. The fire was lit. The entire area was lighted up with bamboos soaked in oil. Rice beer was being served lavishly. They had reason to celebrate the occasion. The young boys and girls broke into instant dance. Soon children and some elderly people joined them.

*       It was frenzy. Never ever witnessed in the village. They were celebrating as if there would be no tomorrow. The frenzy continued till wee hours of the next day. Then they all had food, relished the delicacy and went off to sleep. The entire village barring one old woman was in deep slumber. 

*       It was well past midnight. Suddenly the water started gushing out of the hole in which snake lived. The water kept pouring out of the hole all night long with fury. It gushed through the village and swept the entire huts in the rage. Within no time the entire village got submerged into the water. The unsuspecting and sleeping villagers-men, women, boys, girls, children, young and old -- alike were consumed by the fury and rage of the rising water.

*       Within moments the village was gone. As if it never existed. In its place a huge lake was formed, which came to be called as the Palak Tipa. The  Lakhers, the local tribe, believe that the Palak Tipa is the abode of spirits and they don't bathe in it lest they get caught by them.
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