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Stories behind Sayings: Brave Enough to Brag
saare aalam par huuñ maiñ chhāyā huā
mustanad hai merā farmāyā huā
MEER TAQI MEER
How funny it is that the moment we hear someone go on a rant about their guts and grits, we know it's an act of bravado and almost instantly blurt out, ‘BaDe Tees Maar Khan Ho!’.
But do you know how this backhanded compliment-cum-saying came about?
Don’t worry if you don’t, because by the end of this blog you will.
So, the story goes that there was a soldier who had fought in a battle ages ago, and was now long leading a life of comfort and pleasure from what he had earned.
Still not too aged, he realized that his assets were fast skimming, as he had to trade most of his belongings to make his ends meet.
ham nikamme hu.e zamaane ke
kaam aisaa sikhaa diyaa tuu ne
Obviously with all the luxury living, he had now grown into a lazy, laid-back guy, who now had to get over his reluctance to work and step up to a job to earn a living.
One afternoon, he had some sort of a revelation and told his wife that the following day he’ll be heading out to try and find himself a job, and thus urged her to pack some road-snacks for him to nosh on.
She decided to pack 30 Laddus for him, but little did she know that when she was pounding the crumbles in the Okhli, a little snake too got battered and got mixed in the Laddu Chuura.
vahii shaadii kaa laDDuu khaa ke pachhtaanaa pa.Daa hum ko
takalluf vaaqa.ii us vaqt farmaate to achchhaa thaa
Unawares, the soldier packed the Laddus in his Potli, fastened it to his girdle, and hit the road. As the sun hit midday, the exhausted job seeking soldier took respite under a tree and decided to get started with snacks.
No sooner had he fancied feasting upon the Laddus than a gang of thirty robbers made the scene.
aap mat puuchhiye kyaa ham pe safar me.n guzrii
thaa luTero.n kaa jahaa.n gaa.nv vahii.n raat hu.ii
Fearing for his life, he implored them with all his desperation, but the raiders stood set in stone, and admonished him to hand over to them whatever he possessed.
The poor soldier somehow managed to barter his life for the 30 Laddus he had packed. The callous robbers distributed the Laddus among themselves and gobbled on them as the piteous soldier watched on haplessly.
Just when he was kicking himself for his hard luck, he saw the robbers drop flat on their faces one after the other. The snake’s venom had kicked in!
ik saa.np mujh ko chuum ke tiryaaq de gayaa
lekin vo apne saath miraa zahr le gayaa
KAIF AHMED SIDDIQUI
Barely able to make sense of what was going on around him, his soldierly instincts kicked in. He at once cut off the ears and noses of the fallen bandits and tied them up in a clothpiece and left the spot like a breeze!
Soon, he reached a city, and as people took a whiff that a stranger had stepped in their town, they took him to the royal court - as was the norm of that state.
The king summoned him and asked who he was and how he got here. That alone was enough to send our chicken-turned-cocky soldier into an unending ego trip.
He started bragging about the heroics of his forefathers, this, that, and whatnot! And on top of that, he showed off the token of his heroism, the slit ears and noses, to validate his pompous claim.
Obviously everyone in the court was startled at this unexplainable feat of bravery, and while they were still trying to connect the dots, the King conferred on him the appellation:
Tees Maar Khan!
In no time, the whole of the town was chanting his name. Perhaps, they never got to know the truth about him, we certainly know better.
From now on, do watch out for the Mr. Bragsome in your life!
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