Tuesday, 12 April 2011

LEGENDS AND LORE... THE QUEEN'S CURSE


The memory of the last attack by Mohammad Bin Tuglak on the Kadambas is still kept alive by legends and beliefs in the lives of the people of Chandor.

Dr. Olivinho Gomes, in his book, ‘Village Goa,’ refers to the famous historian, Dr. George M. Moraes’ Kadamba Kula, in this regard:

“The people of the city were happy and prosperous, when suddenly one night the city was invaded by the enemy who murdered the King and many of the inhabitants. The princesses and the ladies of the Court destroyed their jewels and committed suicide by throwing themselves into the river, which, it is popularly believed, still leaves gold powder on the shore. The tradition associated with the Fort is that the Queen who was absent in some other part of the Kingdom, visited the city one day, but found it in desolation and was given the sad news of her husband’ demise. As a sign of her grief she removed her jewels, crushed them and threw them all over the place, and cursed the women of Chandor, wishing them all to be like herself. She came out of the fortress and, stamping her feet four times, said she would not take away any thing, not even the dust of her feet from the city…”
The stone bearing the anklet-prints is located near the Chapel of St. James, at the entrance of the fort area. Mr. Joaquim Pereira, owner of Juliet General Stores in Chandor-Kott, and an elderly villager, informs that the curse of the ‘Xrapacho Fator,’ as he calls it, is still dreaded by the villagers of Chandor, as it is believed to be striking a particular caste of Chandor-Kott. It has not affected the population of other castes in this village.

Village Goa informs us that many women of this caste are widows before old age has set in. The fear of the curse goes to such an extent that it is understood that several landlords of this caste have taken up residences in Margao or elsewhere and their palatial houses are deserted.

The curse of the Queen, as taken from one of the old residents of Chandor-Kott and transmitted through generations by word of mouth, is believed to be worded somewhat as follows according to Dr. Gomes:
                                    “Kadam(b)as…
                                                Chandra ganv padd zanv
                                                Vhoiloleank borem zanv
                                                Haddlolim randd zanv.”
In English:
                                    “Kadambas…
                                                Let Chandor village perish
                                                Their outgoing women be blessed
                                                Incoming women widows become!”

 The curse of the Queen thus makes a fascinating, frightening and an intriguing story.

(A Version of this article appeared on GOA PLUS, a weekly supplement of the Times of India and the Economic Times, dt: January 19-25, 2007)

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