Once there was a landlord named Tirhut Maijh. Along with him lived his son, daughter-in-law and his only baby grandson. Near his house was a pond named after him. It was called Tirhut Maijh Pokhair.
One day his daughter-in-law went to the pond to take a bath and wash clothes as usual. Suddenly she felt something grasping her feet as she was about to leave the pond. Having heard about a mysterious creature pulling people to the deep waters in the pond, she realised that it was a jijir (a mythical creature resembling a thin hair-like chain). She tried her best to free herself from the grasp of the jijir, but she was unable to break free. So, she pleaded with the pond to loosen up the chain so that she can go to her child and feed him before being taken away by the jijir to the deep waters.
|Jijir, a mythical chain-like creature, pulls people to deep waters in a pond and chokes them to death (as believed by Tharus in Eastern Nepal). A suggestive image by Flickr user Giacomo Carena.CC BY-ND 2.0|
Upon her request, the pond loosened up the jijir but it was still gripping her legs. On reaching home, she told what had happened and she had to leave. Tirhut Maijh was afraid that if she would go, his only grandson might die, departing from mother.
Being an important person in the village, he ordered his workmen to cut off the chain. But it didn’t work. He tried whatever he could do to break it, but to no avail. Everybody in the village suggested him to perform a pooja (worship) and request the jijir to free his daughter-in-law. But all went in vain. Eventually, his daughter-in-law had to sacrifice her life, She vanished in the pond.
An enraged Tirhut Maijh went to the Mahuri River and started summoning the river. The villagers from the surrounding believed that the river had a divine power. He stayed there calling for Mahuri River. After seven days and seven nights, the Mahuri River appeared and asked what he wanted. He explained the story about his daughter-in-law and begged Mahuri River to help him by flooding away the pond.
After hearing his grief, Mahuri River agreed to help him. Mahuri told Tirhut to ask all the villagers to clap and cheer when it would come to flood away the pond.
Following it, one day the Mahuri River turned its course and headed fiercely towards the pond. The gullying sound of the river made the pond aware of it. Seeing it, the villagers started to clap for the Mahuri River to win over the pond. Suddenly a number of fishes brimmed in forming a fence to block the force of Mahuri River.
In the hustle and bustle, they wrestled for a long time. No one was ready to give up until the pond put forth a condition to the river. It would be swept away if the river would let the creatures in the pond live in it.
It is said that one corner of the pond stills remains. This abandoned pond never dries even in the hot summer days.
Collected by: Yajju Chaudhary
Narrated by: Mani Devi Chaudhary, Chakwa, Saptari
Pokhair: A pond
Jijir: A mythical chain-like creature