Gems of ‘Gaadha Saptshati’ (3)

Village has its own ways of talkativeness.  The intimate way of their addressing each other with terms that denote relationships, passing lighthearted remarks at each other and the retorts with equally jocular remarks is the way in which the village has accustomed itself to talk.

Village women talk very less in public.  Persons unknown to them are out of their arena of things and they never appear to consider the intruder’s presence at all.  The generally flirtatious nature of a village woman’s heart keeps all its enthusiasm shut and patiently waits until the arrival of the right time to open up.  Once they realize that the intruder is firmly placed in the grip of their scheme of things, they unleash the torment of their words with unscrupulous ease and unmatched eloquence. The following ‘gaadha’ stands as a testimony to this:

‘Eththa Nimajjae atta,/ eththa aham,/ eththa pariyaNo sahalo,/
PanthiA,/ raththee andhaA,/ maa maha saA Ne Nimajjihisi.’                   (7-67)

‘Here sleeps my mother-in-law, here I sleep,
Here the full servant group,
Visitor, mark it well, during night it is full darkness,
You may falter and fall on my bed.’

After hearing this, how much sleep this poor visitor would have managed to get is anybody’s guess.

This particular ‘gaadha’ is very dear to the Telugu speaking people of Andhra, since the word ‘atta’ , which means ‘aunt’ and ‘mother-in-law’,  is a Telugu word. Elders say that the presence of this word in this ‘Prakrit gaadha’, with out any change in its basic form, proves that though ‘Prakrit’ was the language patronized by the kings of ‘Satavahana dynasty’ Telugu had already developed into an independent language so much so that it could influence ‘Prakrit’ to borrow words from it.


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