Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's Cat Story Day!- "Toontochaudhurioni and the Naughty Cat" by Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri (উপেন্দ্রকিশোর রায়চৌধুরী )

"Toontochaudhurioni and the Naughty Cat" by Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri (উপেন্দ্রকিশোর রায়চৌধুরী -1910, 4 pages, translated by Indrani Chakraborty)

A Cat Story from the Father of
Sukumar Ray and Grandfather of Satyajit Ray
A Great Bangladesh Author

Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri (1863 to 1915-Mymensingh, Bangladesh) is probably more known now for being the father of a famous writer, Sukunar Ray (who shortened his last name) and the grandfather of the very highly regarded film director and author, Satyajit Ray.   (I will, I hope, post on short stories by both of them soon.)  

Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri had a lot of accomplishments in his life.     Hid family was friends with the Tagore family and he worked with them to revitalise and preserve Bengali folklore.   He was an accomplished painter and musical composer. He was also an expert in land deeds and became very affluent through this expertise.  He helped people to establish title to their land in accord with old deeds and the rules of the British laws.   He greatly updated the printing process in South Asia.    He also wrote a number of short works of fictions and poems.    He is held in  esteem behind only Rabindranath Tagore as a Bengali Language poet.   He also wrote a very nice cat story!

"Toontochaudhurioni and the Naughty Cat" is very close to a parable.    A bird has built a nest that the household cat can see from the window.   It now has baby birds that look like a great lunch to the cat.    The cat hatched a plan.   For several days he would salute the mother bird in the most respectful fashion fitting an elder mother.   Here is what happens next:

"And then, Toontooni’s babies grew up a bit; they sported nice little wings. They didn’t keep their eyes shut anymore. So, Toontooni called out to them and said, ‘My little ones, can you fly?’ The chicks said, ‘Yes, mom, we can.’
Toontooni said, ‘Great, then why don’t you try and fly to the palm tree there?’ The little birds flew right away and sat on the branch of the palm tree. Toontooni smiled and said, ‘Now I know what to do with that horrible cat.’
And before long, the cat was there. She asked, ‘What’s up, O Toontooni?’
Toontooni put up her feet, threw a kick in the air and said, ‘Off you go, you mean, wretched Pussy!’ And then she took off in a jiffy and disappeared.
The naughty cat bared her teeth, climbed up the tree, but she could neither catch the toontooni nor eat her chicks. She got pricked by the thorns of the tree and came home bruised and battered."

This story is just a simple tale  about a mother protecting her children from a predator.   I enjoyed reading it and it could be a 2000 year old work.

It can be read HERE

Mel u

No comments: