Gopal Bhar and Letter


Stories of Gopal Bhar are some of the most common folktales of Bengal which are cherished by people of all age groups due to the wit and humour hidden in them. Here I bring up a story depicting the lazy nature of mankind.

Gopal Bhar was a court jester in medieval Bengal. He is said to have given joy to others by laughter and ridicule in the court of Raja Krishnachandra, the-then king of Nadia in the 18th century. He was famous for his intelligence and humour. The king often approached him for suggestions regarding important matters. He was a typical villager residing with his wife and kids.

Many number times we come across situations where things are absolutely against our wish but we stand no opportunity to neglect the issue in a straightforward manner. These situations require an unconventional approach in order to get the things the way we want. The story here picks up a certain incident from the life of this man and how he deals with such a situation:

Winters were fast approaching, oranges had started to appear in the market and woolens had hit the streets. On one such day after having a sumptuous meal consisting of the seasonal delight 'Fulkofi Bhetkir Jhol' followed by 'Nolen Gurer Sandesh', Gopal looked forward to a afternoon nap in the mild rays of the sun. So as per his desire the cot was put in the backyard but as luck would have it, the moment he was about to lie down there was a knock at the door. Gopal was not in a mood to converse with anyone and hence did not give much attention to the entrant. Hence e lay there admiring the beauties of nature and it was then that the mishap happened.

Gopal's wife came informing him about a neighbor who had come over to meet him. Even though irritated on being disturbed during his afternoon nap, he did not wish to annoy his neighbor. So in came the guest to meet him and in the most humble voice apologized for disturbing during the nap. With a broad smile Gopal enquired about the reason for the untimely visit. It so turned out that the neighbor needed a letter to be written and since he was illiterate was unable to do so. Now since the protagonist was quite famous for his intelligence and friendly behavior, the neighbor requested Gopal to write the letter for him.

Feeling extremely lazy and sluggish Gopal was in no mood to get involved in any such task and hence started thinking of some plan to get rid of the same. In no time an idea struck him. Very soberly and sadly he stated that he was having terrible foot pain. Completely bewildered the neighbor objected as to how come Gopal was unable to write a letter due to the mentioned illness. Instantaneously Gopal shot back that he had no problem in writing the letter but there would be serious problem for the reader to interpret the handwriting. As a result it was necessary for him to be present to decode the writing and for this he had to walk all the way long with the letter.

The neighbor was absolutely dumbfounded and pondered over the matter as he left the place while Gopal proceeded with his long awaited nap.


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