Chhara and Nahaia were two brothers who lived on the banks of the Tlawng river. Chhara was the younger of the two and easily the more gullible of the duo. He easily fell for his elder brother’s traps. His older brother even tricked him into conceding the bigger house from their father’s inheritance. However, Chhara’s wife and two kids were content with whatever little they had.

While Chhara and his family took great care of their humble home, Nahaia didn’t even bother to repair the gaping holes in his roof. Summer went by and monsoon beckoned. Nahaia soon realized that he would have to fix the holes in the roof if he were to spend comfortable nights through that unyielding monsoon. However, being the trickster he was, getting the repairs done wasn’t even an option. He decided to trick his brother into swapping houses instead. He carefully went over his plan. With Chhara’s wife and children away at his in-laws, Nahaia was pretty confident about the infallibility of his plan.

Just as he thought, when Nahaia mentioned how his large house offered a fantastic night view of the stars and galaxies, the foolish Chhara took the bait. He readily agreed to swap his house with that of his father, which was currently in Nahaia’s possession.

Back from their vacation, Chhara’s family was shocked to see their newly acquired property. Their reaction was darker than the dark clouds that would soon be looming over their dwelling.

And just as they had anticipated, it rained cats and dogs that night and Chhara’s family wasn’t able to sleep a wink all night. They spent those excruciating hours crouching in the corners and cleaning the water that dropped in through the holes in the roof.

As the rising morning sun brought some respite for the exhausted family, Chhara’s daughter decided that they would have to take back their house. She concluded that the only way to go about it was to give their uncle a taste of his own medicine. The canny girl asked her family to put on their flashiest clothes. When uncle Nahaia would inquire as to why they were wearing such clothes, they were to simply say that their daughter had forbidden them from speaking about it.

Just as she had planned, the actions of Chhara’s family piqued Nahaia’s interest to no end. When he tried to find out what the reason was for their special attire, Chhara replied just as his daughter had told him to.

Adamant on getting to the bottom of this mystery, Nahaia invited Chhara’s family over for a meal. Throughout the meal, Chhara’s daughter continued to act shifty so she would catch her suspicious uncle’s attention. And so she did. When Nahaia asked what made her so restless, the girl blurted out that some of the raindrops the previous night had turned into diamonds as they fell into the house through the holes in the roof.

While no sane person would have fallen for such an outrageous story, Nahaia was a different kettle of fish. Blinded by greed, he immediately suggested to swap the houses back to their original owners.

However, the only thing Nahaia would go on to get from this deal was one sleepless night after another as the monsoon season wreaked havoc on his already decrepit house.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya

Ananya loves to both read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Story Circus.