Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy family in the village of Banswara. Abhijeet was the head of the family. He was happily married to Urmila, with whom he had three children. Ajit was the eldest of the lot, followed by Anju. Anita was the family’s youngest member. The family lived in an extravagant mansion in the village. The mansion was so big that it could easily accommodate 80 cows! It had two floors, nine rooms, fourteen windows, and seven entrances. The villagers referred to it as the Big House, a name that the enviable mansion was truly worthy of.
However, the village was no Shangri-La. It had been bearing the wrath of the twin demons ever since the sun had been rising from the east. The demons were tall and ugly, had three pairs of eyes and teeth as sharp as daggers, bulging out of their mouths, which were filled with olive saliva. They wore a loincloth and had a gold choker around their neck.
As fate would have it, Abhijeet had to go out of the village due to some business. He wasn’t expected to be back for a month or two. Urmila had made it a point to warn her children to bolt the door carefully every night.
“Even if a single door is left open, those ferocious demons will sneak inside the mansion…”
The children heeded her warnings and locked the doors in turns. On the night of the Amavasya (the New Moon), it was Ajit’s turn to bolt the doors and windows. Having spent the entire evening goofing around with his friends, he was so exhausted that he hastily closed six doors. When it was time to bolt the seventh door, he took a detour to his room, lay down on his bed, and fell into a deep slumber.
That night, the twin demons, Gilli and Golli, had come outside for a stroll. Gilli got tired and insisted on going back, but Golli noticed the mansion’s open door. Gilli refused to accompany him in the hunt and left.
Pleased with his luck, Golli walked up to the mansion. The siblings woke up due to the sounds of the demon’s footsteps, which were resonating through the house. While scared out of her wits, Urmila grew mad at Ajit for having neglected his responsibility. But she knew that she could deal with him later, that is if they somehow managed to get out of that situation alive.
Before Urmila could think of a way out, the demon turned up and took hold of Anita, their youngest sibling. Golli exclaimed, “Oh, it must have been my lucky day. What a cute girl I’ve got my hands on! It’s a pity that now you shall live as my servant… HAHAHAHA!”
Anita screamed and wailed, but to no avail. The demon put her in a sack and walked back to his home. On his way back, he came across a lemon tree. Gilli loved eating lemons and, out of affection for his twin sister, Golli decided to stop there and pluck some lemons from the tree. He put his sack down and, just as he was about to pluck the lemon from the lowest branch, a hand emerged from the darkness to snatch the fruit away.
As he stepped aside from the tree’s shadow, he found that it had been none other than his very sister. Meanwhile, Anita quickly sneaked out of the sack and filled it with stones instead. She then dashed into the woods, which went all the way back to her village of Banswara. After spending a few minutes on idle chit-chat, Gilli ventured into the forest with a sack filled with lemons and Golli took off for home with the sack containing the girl, or so he thought.
Upon reaching home, Golli opened the sack, expecting to find a scared little girl inside. But, to his utter disbelief, all he could find was a mountain of gravel. “What the…?! Gravel would not do the cleaning for me! I need the girl.”
And then, as his senses became blinded by rage, he exclaimed, “It must have been Gilli! She tricked me! She said she didn’t want the girl but now she has stolen her from me. What a hypocrite!”
Unable to think straight, he rushed back to the mansion. By then, Anita had made it back home and told her family about her great escape. She knew that the demon would come back for her, so she hatched a plan. After telling her mother and sister what they were supposed to do, she hid inside the house.
When Golli reached the mansion, he heard the loud wails of the girl’s mother and sister. “Oh my darling daughter! What cursed fate she had! She managed to escape from one, only to be captured by the other!”
Hearing this, Golli concluded that it was all Gilli’s doing. He went back home and accused her of stabbing him in the back. Their fight became so violent that they ended up killing each other. In this way, Anita not only saved herself and her family, but also the entire village.
…now that you’re here
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Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about her.