Oraons: The SARHUL Festival (Part-II)

There is a very important fable related to the celebration of the Sarhul.


Once upon a time, a family of seven brothers used to reside happily in an Oraon village.  All of them were married and they used to live together like a joint-family. The family was well-off and their house was well stocked with the food-items and it was full of material wealth.

One day, the seven brothers decided to recognize the true ‘woman’ / ‘wife’ responsible for their family well-being and happy state of affair in their home; they wanted to thank her profusely for everything. So after a brief discussion, they reached a conclusion that meant testing each of the ‘women’ / ‘wife’, giving them an opportunity to run their house one-by-one, in the coming future.

As per their understanding, the first opportunity was given to the wife of the Eldest Brother; she was asked to run their house on her own. She would take care of expenses and the other six wives would assist her like a house-maid. But in the reign of the wife of the eldest brother, the family started losing their economic standing in the society. The shortage of the food-items started staring them on their face.
Concerned about the declining financial standing of their family; the brothers decided to hand over the rein of house-hold affairs to the wife of the Second Brother.  But their family’s conditions did not really improve.  They kept on handling the charge of house-hold affairs to the next wife in line, as their financial condition continued to deteriorate; until they reached the wife of the Sixth Brother.  But even she could not stop the slide and they reached the nadir; the poverty started residing in their house.
Finally, they handed over the charge to the wife of the Seventh Brother. Then their family’s fortune started improving. Their house was again started to getting filled with the food-items; slowly and steadily they started climbing the ladder of economic prosperity and taking definitive steps towards regaining their lost social and financial status.
The Seven Brothers were happy with the ‘Chotti-Bahu’ (Youngest-Daughter-in-law) and her contribution was duly recognized and appreciated by them. But not everyone was happy with the ‘Chotti-Bahu’; the other six wives were very unhappy and jealous with the prevailing house-hold arrangement.  The cartel of six wives started resenting the fact that all the income was being handled by the ‘Chotti-Bahu’. They believed that ‘Chotti-Bahu’ was some kind of magician and she is practising some kind of mumbo-jumbo to manage the house; unable to do anything to change the exalted status of the ‘Chotti-Bahu’, they hatched a sinister plan to hurt her and remove her from their family. Soon, the wives managed to convince their husbands to become their active accomplice in their immoral plans. Thus the innocent plan of Seven Brother started taking their toll on the lives of entire family and set them towards a path of self-destruct.

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