Andher Nagri, Chaupat Raja

Does any one remember the old poem “Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja, Takke Ser Bhaaji, Takke Ser Khaja”

The net tells me that the first line roughly translates as “Dark is the nation and insane the king”.

The second would translate as, “One Paisa for a ser of spinach and One Paisa for a ser of dates”

The tale told in the poem is of a young graduate from a gurukul who goes forth to this andher nagri to make his career.  His Guru advises him not to, but he doesnt listen.  The guru says “Andher Nagri, Chaupat Raja, Takke Ser Bhaaji, Takke Ser Khaja” and tells him that citizens of such a land will lack any kind of balance or power to think because such irrational and unjust policies pervade all aspects including commerce, law and ethics.  The student thinks he can make huge profit in such a place, and so goes to this andher nagri.
Well, he has a ball and feasts everyday on cheap dates and grows chubby.

Meanwhile four brothers scale the walls of a rich man’s house, to steal.  The wall falls down on them, killing them.  Their mother wants vengeance. She argues that her sons were only following their profession.  She wants the home-owner hanged.  The home owner is called, who in turn blames the brick layer. The bricklayer of course blames the cement.  The cement mixer is summoned.

Get the drift?  It gets increasingly strange now …

The cement guy says that may be a mistake happened but he was distracted because he was greeting a passing sadhu.  So the judge calls the sadhu, who, being a religious man had nothing to say to defend himself.  The sadhu was sentenced to death.

Now the noose is made as per the nationally prescribed norms.  The noose is put around the sadhu’s neck,but slips off since he is scrawny due to his constant fasting.

The judge gets impatient and decides that the hanging must happen, and since he can’t change the specs of the noose, he has to find a neck that fits it.

The chubby student who was hanging around the courtroom watching this drama gets hauled and the noose fits his neck.

His hanging is fixed for the next noon.  Desperately he sends an SOS to his Guru who reaches there just in time to stop the hanging.  The Guru creates a ruckus and insists that he must be hanged and not the student.  The judge is surprised and curious.  He asks the Guru why he wants to die?

The Guru tries to avoid answering.  When threatened with dire consequences, he confesses that on this day of the new moon, anyone who is hanged would attain moksha.

The judge insists that by virtue of being the judge, he deserves the moksha and orders his own hanging.  The Guru and his disciple flee the land.

I got this tweet on my timeline and remembered the old tale …..

First time in life, necessities, comfort and luxuries are all sold at the same price per unit..Onions Rs 65/- Petrol Rs 65/- Beer Rs 65/-

31 thoughts on “Andher Nagri, Chaupat Raja

  1. oh ho easy solution..
    lets all walk to the PUB (save petrol)
    and instead of ordereing peanut massala with onions .. ask only for peanuts .. (save onions)

    and now lets order THREEE BEEERSSSSSSSSSS 🙂


    Chako chako 🙂 problem solved and when we get talli then its all Balli balli … 🙂

  2. A red-faced judge convened court after a long lunch.
    The first case involved a man charged with drunk driving who claimed it simply wasn’t true. “I m as sober as you are, your honor,” the man claimed.
    The judge replied, “Clerk, please enter a guilty plea. The defendant is sentenced to 30 days.”


  3. Thanks for refreshing this story Ritu. Had read it ages ago, but didn’t remember the entire premise. And yes, it is so symbolic of the times today 😦
    BTW, that last comment from your friend is SO TRUE!!!

  4. pretty interesting to read the old tale again.. though not sure but there are different versions of this.
    yes, the aphorism still is valid in India maybe 200-300 years after it was coined…
    this prompts different questions though at various levels
    – will India ever change?
    -is change for the better in it’s destiny
    – India has always been at the cross roads of chaos right from the times when the mythological characters existed till the early 19th century; so the DNA of the people here is coded with chaos and irregularity.. has anyone done a deeper level analysis as to why this happens in this subcontinent?
    anyways.. these are pertinent questions for every present there is a past which defines the present and one needs to understand the past to see how the present can be changed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s