Ramisera (Rami Paddy Fields): A Garhwali Folk Story about Strong Willed Woman
(Folk Tales /Community from Garhwal Series-114)
Collected by Bhishma Kukreti
(Narrated by Shri Jagdish Prasad Shukla of Ramjiwale Ganv, Udaipur, Pauri Garhwal)
(This story was told by a person belongs Udaipur Patti near Haridwar and story events happened in Mathyali village, Badalpur, near Ramganga far away from Ramjiwale Ganv. Therefore, there would be differences in story version of Ramisera.)
There was a beautiful widow living in Mathiyali village of Badalpur (Pauri Garhwal) region. Her name was Rami and she lost her husband before delivering her girl child. Rami had a girl child of three months old. The Padhan or village chief was attracted to her beauty and wanted to make his mistress. He offered his desire to her many times and every times Rami refused his sinful idea.
Now, village chief started harassing Rami through his Padhan position. She was strong character woman and did not bend before harassment of Padhan. Padhan was always angry on her that she was not coming to his terms as his mistress.
One day, a British Officer Lat Sahib came to tour Mathiyali. The custom was that villagers used to take the state officers luggage from one village to other village and villagers where Lat Saheb stayed the villagers have to arrange food and other facilities for Lat sahib and other government officers (Kuli Begar). Padhan was responsible for arranging transportation of luggage etc and arranging food etc for British government officials.
The Padhan took this as chance to bend Rami. Rami did not have and milk producing caw or buffalo. Padhan ordered to Rami for providing Milk for Lat Sahib. She told the Padhan about her position about no milk producing animal with her. Padhan did not listen her request and ordered to provide milk.
Rami started oozing he own milk and collected her milk into a vessel. Rami handed over the milk to the store Keeper of Lat Sahib. When Lat Sahib started taking milk he was astounded by the taste. He came to know that its human milk. Lat Sahib called the milk provider. Rami was called before Lat Sahib.
Lat Sahib saluted Rami and called her as his mother because he took her milk. Lat Sahib asked for reason for her offering human milk for him. Rami told the real story that due to harassing tactics of Padhan she did not have any alternate except offering her own milk for Lat Sahib. Lat Sahib ordered Padhan for leaving his village chief position immediately. Lat Sahib requested to ask Rami for something in lio of motherly milk he took. Rami told that she did not have any paddy field and she requires irrigated Paddy field. Lat Sahib granted immediate big plat (Area) of irrigated Paddy filed without any tax on those fields.
From that day, Rami became owner of those Paddy fields (Sera) . Those fields were called Ramisera.
1-Bhishma Kukreti, 1984, Garhwal Ki Lok Kathayen, Binsar Prakashan, Lodhi Colony, Delhi 110003,
2- Bhishma Kukreti 2003, Salan Biten Garhwali Lok Kathayen, Rant Raibar, Dehradun