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Sonay’che topee August 9, 2009

Posted by globejam in Childhood, Folktales, Marathi.
2 comments
Sonay’che topee
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Once upon a time, many many years ago, in a far off village somewhere in Maharashtra lived a much married poor deshastha man. Though he and his wife were very fond of children, they did not have any of their own.  In the absence of IVF and other fertility treatments, the man and his wife began to repose their entire faith on the munificence of their family God.  They prayed every day to their God to grant them a son or daughter to have and to hold and to cherish.  They travelled to far off temples and did all kinds of poojas and tied pieces of cloth on assorted temple trees – all to no avail.  Finally, in desperation, despite having no way to fulfill his promise, the man promised his God a Sonay’che topee ( Sona being Gold and topee being cap or crown), in return for a child.
And lo and behold, nine months later, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy.  The man and his wife were overjoyed.  The next few days passed off in a euphoric blaze as the pair reveled in every new move and sound made by the little one.  However, the man’s joy was far from unalloyed, for he knew he had a promise to keep.  He had to find the means to get hold of a Sonay’che topee for his God, and he knew he did not have the financial wherewithal to buy one – not now, not ever.  He also knew that the God’s retribution would be swift if he reneged on his promise.
One day, as he lay on his veranda wondering what to do, his wife rushed to him and said “Maja sonay’che pillu amma mantla” (My golden boy said Amma).  It was like somebody had switched on an incandescent bulb on top of his head.  He immediately knew exactly what to do.  Post-haste, he arranged for the naming ceremony for the child and under the direct gaze of all the elders of the family and their assorted deities, named his son Sona.
The next day, with a spring in his step, he went to the market, bought a small cap for his little son.  He then came home, made his son wear the cap for a while and then promptly took it to the temple and offered it to the God saying “Deva, as promised, here is your Sonay’che topee.  Thank you for everything.”!
And they lived happily ever after.
This story was told to me by my uncle when I was not yet ten!  Having grown up on a diet of Amar Chitra Katha where Gods cheated each other and mere mortals using word play and small print, I was overjoyed to hear of a God getting his/her/its comeuppance.
For those readers who don’t understand Marathi, Sonay’che topee can mean golden crown as well as Gold’s crown.

Once upon a time, many many years ago, in a far off village somewhere in Maharashtra lived a much married poor deshastha man. Though he and his wife were very fond of children, they did not have any of their own.  In the absence of IVF and other fertility treatments, the man and his wife began to repose their entire faith on the munificence of their family God.  They prayed every day to their God to grant them a son or daughter to have and to hold and to cherish.  They travelled to far off temples and did all kinds of poojas and tied pieces of cloth on assorted temple trees – all to no avail.  Finally, in desperation, despite having no way to fulfill his promise, the man promised his God a Sonay’che topee ( Sona being gold and topee being cap or crown), in return for a child.

And lo and behold, nine months later, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy.  The man and his wife were overjoyed.  The next few days passed off in a euphoric blaze as the pair reveled in every new move and sound made by the little one.  However, the man’s joy was far from unalloyed, for he knew he had a promise to keep.  He had to find the means to get hold of a Sonay’che topee for his God, and he knew he did not have the financial wherewithal to buy one – not then, not ever.  He also knew that the God’s retribution would be swift if he reneged on his promise.

One day, as he lay on his veranda wondering what to do, his wife rushed to him and said “Maja sonay’che pillu amma mantla” (My golden boy said Amma).  It was like somebody had switched on an incandescent bulb on top of his head.  He immediately knew exactly what to do.  Post-haste, he arranged for the naming ceremony for the child and under the direct gaze of all the elders of the family and their assorted deities, named his son Sona.

The next day, with a spring in his step, he went to the market, bought a small cap for his little son.  He then came home, made his son wear the cap for a while and then promptly took it to the temple and offered it to the God saying “Deva, as promised, here is your Sonay’che topee.  Thank you for everything.”!

And they lived happily ever after.

This story was told to me by my uncle when I was not yet ten.  Having grown up on a diet of Amar Chitra Katha where Gods cheated each other and mere mortals using word play and small print, I was overjoyed to hear of a God getting his/her/its comeuppance.

For those readers who don’t understand Marathi, Sonay’che topee can mean golden crown or Gold’s crown.