In continuation of my Part One (http://edtimes.in/2015/07/folktales-of-the-untouched-paradise-sikkim-part-1.html) where I mentioned that I visited Sikkim this summer and belonging to an army background, I went on my own merry little expedition questioning all the soldiers I could trouble. I came across two legends, native folklore of Sikkim.
In Part One of my posts I shared with you my ‘eerie/spooky’ version of the legends/myths/local folk tales, asking you to decipher and decode the actual stories off them.
Hoping some of you got it and some didn’t, here’s me sharing the real local folk tales of Sikkim in Part 2, being believed and trusted quite seriously by the people of that place.
Sikkim, 1992, is when this incident took place. An old woman, termed senile by most, dreamt of waves of water that arose from beneath the earth and submerged her entire village in one gulp. Some trusted her judgment and scurried away, valuing their life but many stayed put, shrugging her off as a witch. When night fell upon their land, mystically water levels arose from under the ground, only so high and so fast, that the whole valley drowned beneath. The Changu Lake (as it came to be known) where the fish are said to be poisonous as they devoured on the dead and the water said to be hexed, this serene beauty sits nestled between the hills that man the Indo-China border.
As I approached this scenic beauty, it was all together another feeling. With heavy downpour (I won’t gush over its obvious beauty) we climbed up the side hill to take shelter under the Army Mess; from here, the view was crystal clear. Standing at the porch, I couldn’t help but feel creeped out, I just couldn’t. The water had deep black masses in unexplained patterns that would vanish within minutes, the water as dark as night and the ducks? What ducks? There were none…Maybe I didn’t catch a glimpse of them, but then again, who wants to be soaked in cursed waters?
BABA HARBHAJAN SINGH
Sepoy Harbhajan Singh had enrolled in the Indian army and was posted at the Indo-China border in 1968. However, with a saddened twist of fate, he slipped and fell to his death while on a trek into a fast flowing stream below which didn’t spare his body, for it was dragged kilometers downstream. Days and days of search and rescue parties bore no fruit, it seemed like Sepoy Singh was lost forever. The eerie part of this tale occurs when the very night the searches were called-off, he appeared in the dreams of a captain, encouraging him to look for his body by a particular corner of the stream and thereafter, build a Samadhi in his name. Baffled, the captain found his corpse in disarray the next morning only to immediately build a temple in his name.
This is not where the story ends, it is here where it actually begins…Sightings of a Turbaned man on a white horse have been seen since the day he died, that is over forty years villagers say that he has protected the borders of India.
During the Indo-China war, he is said to have taken all neighboring villagers to safety, hiding them smartly. Presently since, even Chinese soldiers confirm his whereabouts across the border, patrolling the hills. If you ever visit this area, you will encounter army soldiers having utmost faith in him, being devoted to him more than their own deities, so much so that a vigil is lit every night, forever burning at all each check post atop the hills. Some say that his personal belonging that have been kept behind in his shrine are sometimes found scattered, with muddy boots the next morning as if he still resided in those areas… No convoy or civilian vehicle is said to pass without paying respect to Baba Harbhajan, for his sincere love for India and the soldiers’ faith in him is what keeps this legend alive.