A Maithili Short Story
Keep Your Kingdom
by Ramdeo Singh
Gulba! Gulo!! and Gulai!!! He had all these three names. Gulai- the servant of Bisobabu. Names, fit according to the circumstances to call by. When something went wrong, an angry Bisobabu would shout, "Re Gulba.......... ?" To make a tired, fatigued Gulba work, "Gulo.......... !! Hurry up, it's evening already," and, if expecting an angry Gulai, he would say in a sugared tone, “Hou Gulai!!...... " Gulo was so elated at it that he would be Hanuman, ready to fetch the mountain when only the herb on it is needed.
The best people of the village envied Bisobabu because of Gulo. " Where did he find such a lucky servant, the absolute gentle Bholanath, incarnation of Ugna!'
“Look at Bisobabu's prosperity since he is with him!"
The young generation of twenties does not know even since when Gulo is with him. One would say- "Those days rice and wheat were not grown in this area of Kosi as they are these days. Only sweet-potato and 'madua' were the crops. For rice people had to go to Bengal. Towards Khagrha and Kishanganj. A caravan of twenty bullock-carts would march. Bisobabu came across Gulo in one such journey somewhere that way. And he brought Gulo with him." While another said, "Bisobabu brought Gulo along with a buffalo from an animal market."
With fair complexion and well physique, Gulo had a single demerit - he spoke very little and even that unclear. People wanted to know his caste. Bisobabu would say, " What business do you have to know his caste.?" Then he would make a mystery "You need not worry too much, it's enough to know that his water is allowed."
Bisobabu had two sons and two daughters. There was no custom in the village of letting daughters have a good education. Education up to middle standard was good enough. Or, at most up to letter-writing and tailoring. Bisobabu was heedless from one side after marrying off both the daughters within the-distance of ten or fifteen miles. Now it was the education of both the sons. He admitted both of them in the District School. Both of them were provided to settle in a lodge. With rice and wheat there was a mess charge to be paid.