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Hunting Jankha

People In the villages of odisha, specifically of those in the coastal regions, strongly believe on 'Jankha'. Stories of existence and exploits of such creatures are heard with utmost curiosity. From street side gossip to bed time stories, Jankhas are popular everywhere.

What actually Jankhas are?
In stories and gossips it is described as a short glowing monster made up of gold. It is said that they originate from the age old unclaimed treasures hidden beneath the ground. At night it emerges from ground and travel in search of other hidden treasures and make them as their part. They are harmless to all creatures except human, as humans try to capture them and convert them back again to lifeless gold and gemstones. It is said that if one successfully hunts down a Jankha, should drop freshly cut self blood over it which will then turn into a heap of treasure.But Jankhas have some kind of mysterious power by which they can fatally injure human. But Human beings are adventures, they can conquer anything by their strength, wit & will. Hence there are many celebrated stories of Human encounter with Jankhas.

One such I am going to narrate...
Jankhas are hunted for two purposes. 1st, if they are captured they are killed and thus turn into a heap of gold & gems and bring unmatched fortune to the hunter. 2nd, They are hunted alive and enslaved by tantric rituals to become perennial source of wealth and money for the hunter as it act as sniff dog to other hidden treasure. How far it is true or false, no one knows. But for those who look for quick money and fortune always dream of coming across Jankahs.
 Not, far from my maternal uncle's village, a village called Haripa is there. Comprising of more than 45 families, the main occupation of the villagers are farming & fishing. Hard working families manage to lead well do life round the year with whatsoever they income from farming & fishing. But specifically one family was there who hated to work hard and always searched for quick money. it was the family of Sadhua Biswal and his wife Fuleei Biswala. After the death of Sadhua's parents in the super cyclone in 1999 , Sadhua married Fuleei, a girl from the next village. They have son of 12 years called Gobara.
Sadhua& Fuleei were living embodiment of unmatched laziness, while Gobara was the notorious among all the kids in the village. Sadhua never worked on fields but lease his farming lands it to other farmers on sharing basis. Sadhua occasionally go for fishing as he loves to eat dry fish. Though he never owned a fishing net, he manages by borrowing it from other and give a part of the catch to them when he returns it back. When he is not fishing he love gossiping at the village tea stall. And he mostly gossip about how to making quick money, Like 10 best ways to make fast money etc.
It was one late night, when the whole village was asleep, Sadhua woke up to a strange sound. He had an upset stomach and he felt for doing it desperately. It must be the dry fish curry with added dried mango which Fuleei cooked for the dinner. He ran to the nearby bamboo bush to shed it all. Yes in the open!, 
And he did it.

What a relief!!
Sadhua went the nearby pond and cleaned himself. Generally he use go near the river bundh to do it, but this was kind of emergency and he had do it under the bamboo bush.
The cool breeze and relaxed stomach of Sadhua made his senses super alert. As he was returning back to his bed he saw something glowing behind the bamboo bush. After keenly observing he saw that the glowing object was changing its position. Sadhua could not believe his eyes. He was sure that it must be a 'Jankha'. He rushed to his and house waked up Fuleei & Gobara.
Fuleei asked, ' are you sure?'
'You idiot woman, don't ask questions and do as I say. Bring the new razor blade from my shaving box; Gobara you come with the Bamboo Thenga.' said Sadhua as he carried the fishing net in his shoulder.
As the trio reached the bamboo bush. Sadhua made the hunting plan. He said he will lead the hunting team. Fuleei would follow him with the blade at his left side while Gobara will follow him at his right with the Bamboo tengha. When he asked the final question " Any doubt?"
Fuleei raised her hand and asked, "What shall I do with the blade?"
Sadhua became angry and said chewing his teeth, "foolish woman, don't you know Jankas die as they come in touch with human blood and that to woman's blood (He added woman's blood knowingly). And as I catch the Jankha with this fishing net. Make a cut in your finger tip with the blade and drop the oozing blood it over it. TADAAAA .We will be richer!"
he paused for a moment " And if you don't cut your finger, I will cut your throat with that blade."
Fuleei Said, " I will"
The glowing object has traveled little further. As the trio reach near it, Sadhua spread the net around the glowing object and shouted at Fuleei to cut her finger. Fuleei did the painful task. Her left index finger was full of blood. She dropped  a few over the glowing object and then Sadhua snatched the thenga from Goboara kept on striking the glowing object........
What happened next?
Next morning, when Sadhua woke up late, He found Fuleei sitting at the corner of the veranda. She could not sleep whole night. Her wounded finger was severely painful. Gobara was still sleeping.
When he went out of the house, there was a strange smile in every one's face which were about to burst into crakers laughter.
As he passed the tea stall, boys gathered there asked
"Sadhua Bhai, did you hunted the Jankha?"
"What Jankha?" Sadhua pretended as if he didnot know anything.
"That Jankha...." Said everyone and laughed at Sadhua.
Sadhua left the place with shame.
What had actually happened?
The other day when Sadhua said about, 10 ways of making fast money, one of them was hunting down a Jankha. After he went, few village boys planned a prank on him. They collected nearly thousands of live fireflies and locked them in a thin transparent polythene bag. They placed the polythene bag near Sadhua's house and made strange noise to wake him up.
And he fell into their Trap !


sareeta said…
First of all the names of the characters of the story are really hilarious. The story takes a new turn in the end with a surprising wisdom that short cuts never lead to desired destinations in life. The road to our riches may be long, but after all the struggle and strife what we get will be truly worthwhile...
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