The Story of Shona-Shakhi
Kabir Chowdhury is well known for his innumerable translations. The following story is from a series of Bangladeshi folk tales translated in the sixties published by Bangla Academy. Insight has been printing these stories and they have become quite popular. Here is another big one
Once upon a time there lived a hunter and a Zaminder. They lived in the same land but their homes were far away from each other. The hunter was a rich and prosperous person. Many people worked for him and they were all paid well. But the hunter had one great sorrow. He had no child. This made his heart heavy with grief, and this in turn began to take a toll upon his health. He grew pale and thin. When his servants noticed this they came up to him and said, "Sir, why are you so worried and sad? There are many kings and emperors in this world who are childless. You are not along to suffer this misfortune. Please do not think of this any more and ruin your health. Let us all go a-hunting, Sir. Please say the word and we shall get ready the horses and make all other preparations.”
At first the hunter was unwilling to go but, later, at the persuasion of his men, he agreed. So one day the hunter set out on a hunting trip. It was a big party with many men and horses. They roamed a whole day but failed to get a single quarry. By that time the hunter was half-dead with hunger. At last, roaming aimlessly, they stumbled into the home of the Zaminder, who was an old friend of the hunter. The Zaminder, like his friend the hunter, was a rich and prosperous person. But like the hunter he too was childless. The Zamindar made lavish arrangements for food and drink for the hunter and his men. After the meal was over he started talking to the hunter and said, "Brother, we are friends from old times. Today I want to tell you something." Then the hunter said, "Yes, brother, what is it?" The Zamindar said, "I can say it only if you promise to abide by it." The hunter said, "We, if it is not something impossible, I promise to abide by it." Then the Zamindar said, "No, no, you must unconditionally promise to do as I say." At the insistence of the Zamindar, the hunter at last said, "All right, I promise. Now tell me what it is." The Zamindar said, "Look, you have no children, and neither have I. Now if God in his infinite mercy blesses each of us with a son or a daughter we shall bind the two with the bond of friendship; and if I am blessed with a son and you with a daughter, or the other way about, we shall marry the two to each other. Come, you must pledge to do this." The hunter said, "I don't have to make any formal pledge to you." But the Zamindar said, "No, no, let us have this on paper and let us put our signatures on the document." Soon pen and paper were brought in and the pledge written down and signed. After which the hunter and his party, refreshed and rested, left for their home. When the hunter came back home he told his wife about his pledge to his friend, the Zamindar. His wife was pleased to hear about the matter. After some time both the hunter and Zamindar were blessed with a child each. The hunter had a son and the Zamindar a daughter. Both became very happy indeed. Both threw big feasts where they invited all their neighbors who made merry and rejoiced. Then the hunter and the Zamindar thought. "What shall we call the children? They must have beautiful names." They thought and thought but failed to hit upon any name that they liked well. Then they said: "Let us go to the Peer Saheb. God had listened to our tearful prayers and blessed us with children. No we must give them very good names," So they went to the Peer Saheb and told him about their problem. The Peer Saheb listened to them attentively and said, "Call the male child Shona and the female child Shakhi." Both the hunter and the Zamindar were delighted with the names. They made a gift of a large sum of money to the Peer Saheb and went back to their homes.
Time passed. The children grew older and were admitted to the same school. Shona and Shakhi went to school at the same hour, studied together, and became very good friends. Almost every day the hunter and the Zamindar went to the school and enquired after their progress. One day the teacher of the school went up
to the hunter and the Zamindar when they were in the school premises on their regular visit and said, "Can I ask you something, sirs?" They answered, "Yes what is it, please?" The teacher said, "I always find you two coming together to the school, eating together, resting together and spending all you time together, and spending all your time together to the school, eating together, resting together and spending all your time together while you are here. Tell me, are you two brothers or two friends?" The Zamindar told the teacher, "You see, Sir, we are two friends from very old times, in fact, from our childhood. We were both childless. Later, through God's mercy, we had children. I got a daughter. Her name is Shakhi. And the hunter got a son. His name is Shona. We had earlier pledged that if both of us had children of the same sex then we would bind the two with the bond of friendship, and if one of us had a son and the other a daughter then we would marry the two to each other. By God's grace the hunter was blessed with a son and I with a daughter. Sir, the children are very dear to us and that is why we come to see them at the school almost every day.
Please take good care of them and teach them well." After this the two friends left for home.
Time passed. Shona and Shakhi grew up. One day when they were in class X the teacher called the two to him and said, "Look, Shona and Shakhi, both of you have grown up now. Soon you two will be married to each other." When Shona and Shakhi heard this they exclaimed, "Oh, Sir, who told you about this? Oh no, this can never be." Shona said, "This is not true. My father is a Zamindar and Shona's father is a hunter. How can we be married to each other?"
Then he teacher said, "Listen to me, Shona; listen to me Shakhi. Your parents are bound by a vow to give you two in marriage to each other. They have drawn up a written agreement, too. I think the wedding will take place as soon as you pass the Matriculation Examination.”
Shona and Shakhi were quite upset when they heard this. When school was over they left for home, gloomy and disturbed. They thought as they walked together: Now, what shall we do? How can we show our faces to all our mates? They will tease us so!
Shona turned to Shakhi and siad, "What shall we do now, Shakhi?" Shakhi turned to Shona and said, Will you do what I tell you to do?" Shona asked, "What is it, Shakhi?"
Shakhi said, "Let us go away from this place, Shona." Shona thought that it was a good idea. He agreed. Then Shakhi said, "You go home now, Shona, and get hold of two good horses. I shall bring with me lots of food. Then we shall leave at midnight riding our horses." Shona asked, "Tonight, you mean?" Shakhi said, "No, not tonight. I'll tell you before the fixed date, on our way back from school. And, look, don't tell any one about our plans. Your parents must not suspect anything." Then they went to their respective homes. A few days went by. And then one midnight Shona and Shakhi left the place quietly. Shona had brought two fine horses from his father's stable and two sharp swords while Shakhi had brought with her enough food to take care of them for a month or so. They rode on and on, leaving behind one kingdom and entering another. In the meantime their parents discovered that both Shona and Shakhi were gone. Their hearts were smitten with sorrow and they went nearly crazy with grief. They announced all over the land by beat of drum that whoever could trace Shona and Shakhi would get a reward of a hundred thousand rupees. People looked for Shona and Shakhi in every nook and corner of the country but nowhere could their trace be found. They had gone far away by that time. One day Shakhi found that their food was all gone. Soon Shona felt the cruel gnawing of hunger and turning to Shakhi said, “Shakhi, I am hungry. Give me something to eat.” Shakhi was quite upset when she heard Shona speak like that. She said in a low voice, “Shona, everything I had brought with me has been exhausted and eaten up. Now there is nothing that I can offer you. But, Shona, you are a man while I am a woman. What can I do if you ask
for food from me? You know, I came away with you leaving my parents and relative and everybody behind. But how can I give you food now when I have nothing with me?” Shona felt ashamed when he heard Shakhi's words. He said, “You are right, Shakhi. Well, let us go forward and see if we can get something to eat somewhere.” The two of them rode onwards till they saw at a distance the contours of a forest. Shona lost heart and became afraid. But Shakhi cheered him up and said, “Don't be afraid, Shona. There may be danger ahead, but there is also God above. He will protect us. Besides, I am with you. If something happens to you and if you die, I too shall put an end to my life with you. Let us trust God and go into the forest and see if we can get something to eat there.” Shona said, “Shakhi, we shall not get anything to eat inside the forest. On the contrary there are sure to be tigers and ferocious bears in it.” But Shakhi was unafraid. She said, “In the face of all danger let us pray to God and seek his assistance. If God does not save us, no one will or can. Come; let us go into the forest. Who knows, we may get some fruits there that we can eat and appease our gnawing hunger.”
Then the two of them went towards the forest and entered into it and looked everywhere for some fruits that they could eat but with no success. They grew tried and exhausted when suddenly they saw before them a big house. When Shona saw the house again fear gripped his heart. Shakhi turned to him and said, “Look, Shona, why do you get so frightened? You are a man and I am a woman. When I am frightened you should give me courage and dispel my fears. What shall I do if, instead, you are always overcome by fear like this? Come, let us go into the house and see what is there.” So saying Shakhi went into the house with Shona closely following her. Once inside they saw in a room a woman quietly sitting there all by herself. Shakhi looked at Shona and said, “Let's go to her. If she is an old woman we shall call her Grand-ma, and if she is a young woman we shall call her Auntie.” Shona and Shakhi went up to the woman and saw that she was quite old. So Shona said, “Hello, Grand-ma, how are you?” The old woman said, “I am all right. How are you?” They said, “Not too well, grandma. We are very hungry. First give us something to eat, and then we'll tell you everything.” The old woman said, “Go to the inner room there and you will find food. Eat whatever you like and as much as you like.” Shona and Shakhi went happily to the inner room and ate their fill. In the mean time the old woman was busy thinking up plans of detaining these two new comers in her home. She was none other than the mother of seven notorious robbers. She had no daughter and no son-in-law. She had only seven sons were robbers. When Shona and Shakhi arrived at their home they were all away in a faraway village on a mission to rob and loot. Her sons had told their mother before they left the name of the village they were going to and had asked her to send word to them if she suddenly needed anything. The old woman now sent a trusted messenger to her sons asking them to hurry back home.
Shona and Shakhi, after eating their fill, came back to the old woman and said, “thank you, grandma, for your hospitality. Now we must be off.” The old woman said, “What's the hurry? Sit awhile with me and tell me all about you. Who are you two and where are you coming from? And where are you going to?” Shona and Shakhi told the old woman their story in detail. When she heard all about their worries she turned to them and said, “Oh, my poor children, how you have suffered! Don't away then from here. Stay with me and live in peace and comfort for some time.” But the two said, “No, Grand-ma, we must go. We plan to go away from this country.” The old woman wondered as to how she could detain them in her home. She had sent a messenger to her sons but there was as yet no word from them. And now Shona and Shakhi were restless. They wanted to leave at once. What could she do? She thought for a moment and said, “One should not leave immediately after one's meals. It may bring had luck. stop for a few minutes and let me give your some betel-nuts. Take some betel-nuts and go.” So saying the old woman set about cutting some betel-nuts into little slices. She worked slowly trying her best to detain them as along as she could. She took a long time over it and yet there was no sign of her sons.
At last she received world that her sons were caught while committing dacoity. They had sent a message to her telling her that they would be coming home all right, but there would be some delay. The old woman was very upset when she heard this. She said to herself that it would not be possible to hold back Shona and Shakhi any longer. But where would the young boy and girl go? How could she keep track of them? At last she hit upon a plan. She went up to Shona and Shakhi and said, “Well, my dear children, since you are so anxious to go away I won't keep you any longer. But let me give you something. You will find it useful when you are in trouble.” By then Shakhi had already gone up to her horse and was just about to jump on its back. Shona turned to her and said, “Wait a moment, Shakhi. Grand-ma wants to give us something.” Shakhi looked at Shona and said, “Don't be greedy, Shona. I think we'll in trouble if we stay here any longer. This old woman does not seem to be very straight to me.” Shona laughed her fears away and said, “What a thing to say, Shakhi! She did such a good turn to us when we were nearly dying of hunger, and now you are unwilling to listen to a simple request of hers and that too for our own good! Wait a minute, Shakhi. Let me go and get what the old woman wants us to take along.” Shona went to the old woman who gave him two bags full of rye and said, “Take these two bags with you. There is rye in both of them. I have made a little hole at the bottom of each bag, through which the grains will drop as you go along. They will leave a trail for you to follow and come back to my home if you are again hungry and fail to get any food anywhere or if any sudden danger should befall you.” Shona thought over grand-ma's suggestion and decided that it was a sensible one. Then Shona and Shakhi placed a bag each on their horse-back and started for another land. They rode on and went far away from the old woman's home. In the mean time her seven robber sons returned home and asked their mother about the young man and the young woman they were informed of by the messengers. Their
mother said, "I held them back for a long time but at last I had to let them go. They left long before your arrival here. Oh how beautiful they were to look at! They were like the sun and the moon. You know, if somebody else sees them they will never be allowed to go away from there. How I wish I could detain them till your return." Her sons said, "Couldn't you play some trick, mother?" The old woman said, "I did all that I could do. Now you must go after them." Then their mother explained how she had given Shona and Shakhi two bags of rye and made a hole at the bottom of each bag. She said," Follow the trail of the scattered rye and quickly go in search of the two."
The seven dacoits took seven swords in their hands and followed the trail of the rye. They rode all day and when it was about time for the sun to set they saw at a distance two horses galloping away at a fast pace. As soon as they saw the two horses they increased their speed and rode in that direction. Shona and Shakhi saw seven horse-men riding towords them. Both Shona and Shakhi were quite tired and exhausted. Sweat ran all over them. Shona turned to Shakhi and said, "Look Shakhi, there is a pond there. Let us go and bathe in it." The two went near the pond when the seven robbers encircled them. They glared at Shona and siad "give Shakhi to us, or we'll cut you both to pieces and throw your cut-up bodies into the pond. Be quick and do as we say, or prepare for death." But Shona was not going to submit to their threat. Both Shona and Shakhi fought furiouesly and bravely and succeeded in slaying six robbers out of seven. Only the seventh brother, who was lame, escaped the thrust of Shona and Shakhi's sword. When he saw that al his six brothers were dead he fell down at Shona's feet and begged for his life. He cried," Please do not kill me. I am no robber. They forcibly made me join their gang. You see that I am a poor lame person. How can I rob and loot and lunder? Please spare my life. From this moment you are my brother and my sister. Please take pity on your poor brother!" Touched by his pleadings and his tears Shona did not kill him. Shakhi said to Shona, "You are not acting wisely, Shona. It is no good keeping the snake's tail alive after killing it. " Shona said, "What you say is true, Shakhi. But he is lame and handicapped. What good will it serve if we kill him? And besides, he has called me his brother. How can I kill him now?" Shakhi's heart softened a little when she heard Shona's words. She said, "All right, then don't kill him." After a few minutes Shona said, "I must have a bath now, Shakhi. I am feeling very uncomfortable." Shahki said that she too would like to bathe. She turned to Shona and said, "If we both take our bath at the same time the lame one may be tempted to do some mischief. He may run away with our horses." She thought for a moment and said, "Look, Shona, let us do this. You keep your head above water when I dive under it. When you dive, I'll keep my head above. Thus we can keep an eye over him all the time." Shona said, "All right, let us do that."
Shona and Shakhi left their horses and the lame fellow on the bank of the tank and jumped into the water to bathe.
The wicked robber, however, completely lost his head when he saw the beautiful Shakhi in all her glory. He began to make plans to take Shakhi away from Shona. Shakhi, unaware of all this, was enjoying her bath quietly. She rubbed her body vigorously and, after a while, took a deep breath and dived, under water. Just then the robber tookcareful aim and hurled his sword at Shona's head. The sword struck Shona's neck neatly severing his head from his body. His head and the trunk went under water in an instand so that when Shaki came up from under the water she saw no sign of Shona anywhere. Frightened and upset she screamed aloud and began to shed bitter tears.
Then the lame one said, "Shakhi, what's the use in lamenting over Shona? I have lost six brothers of mine while you have lost only one Shona. Now don't weep over him. Your Shona is gone but you have got me. Wipe you tears and look cheerful. You have nothing to worry about." Shakhi said, "Your Shona has gone for good under the waters of this tank. He will never come up again in this life. So do not waste your tears weeping for him. Come with me and let us go to our home. I shall see that all your wants are fulfilled." Shakhi saw that the lame one would not allow her to escape. On the contrary it was quite possible that he would slay her, too. Afraid of her life she agreed to go with the lame one to his home. The robber put Shakhi on the first horse and took for himself the second one which stood behind the first. Seating herself of the horseback Shakhi turned around and said, "You go first and let me follow you." The robber asked, "Why?" Shakhi said, "Because I do not know where I should go and which path I should take. So you go ahead and I'll follow you at your heels." so the lame one and Shakhi started for the robber's home. Shakhi's heart was heavy with grief and anxiety. She said to herself, "My darling for whom I felt my parents, my home, and my country, for whom I gave up everything is no more. What shall I do now with my life? And how can I save myself from this fiend?" At last a plan gradually took shape in her head. After they rode for a while Shakhi suddenly tore her necklace from her neck and let it drop on the ground. Then she called aloud to the lame one, "Listen!" The robber turned back and said, "Yes? What is the matter?" Shakhi said "My necklace has snapped off and fallen on the ground." The lame one said, "Well, don't worry, I'll pick it up for you." So saying he got down from his horse, picked up the necklace and handed it to Shakhi. But this did not make Shakhi happy. She began to cry quietly. The robber said, "What is the matter now? Why are you weeping?" Shakhi said, "I am weeping for Shona. Oh, how I miss him! If he were alive now he wouldn't have picked up my necklace in this manner." The lame one glared at her and asked. "How would he have picked up your necklace?" Shakhi timidly answered, "My Shona would not have got down from his horse. Seated on his horse he would have picked it up and handed it over to me." Fuming with anger the robber said, "If your Shona could do that I too can do it." He was intoxicated at the sight of Shakhi and with the hope that soon she would be his. He was ready to do anything she said. He looked at Shakhi and said, "All right, I shall not get down from my horse and I shall pick up your necklace for you."
Saying this he took back Shakhi's necklace from her and threw it on the ground. Then he bent low and tried to pick it up from the ground, but could not do it. He tried again and again. He made one last supreme effort and bent very low, when Shakhi, in the twinkling of an eye, raised high her sword and struck at his neck with all her might. The lame one's head rolled off from his shoulders and he fell down dead.
Shakhi then quickly rode away in another direction. She rode for a long time and then stopped under a big banyan tree. There she got down from her horse and began to weep. Touehed by her grief the tree also began to weep and shed its leaves. All the birds and insects of the forest also began to weep. Shakhi wept for a long time and then looked behind, before getting ready to start for her unknown destination. But lo, what did she see standing behind her? It was an old man, tall and erect, his visage white and radiant, a rich growth of flowing beard making him look distinguished and venerable. He was dressed in very fine white clothes. Shakhi fell at the old man's feet and burst out weeping. The old man comforted her and asked, "Why are you weeping, child?" Shakhi said, "Father, please save me. I am a poor unfortunate girl. Great sorrow has befallen me. Only you can help me." The man said, "Tell me what your problem is, my child, and don't weep. I have come here to help you." Then Shakhi told him everything. After her recital was over he said, "All right, my child, I shall bring Shona back to life. Now don't weep any more." Then he took an earthen pot in his hand, filled it with water, recited some holy verses and blew vigorously over the water into the pot. He then gave the pot to Shakhi and said, "Take this water to the tank where Shona was killed and sprinkle it into the four corners of the tank. God willing, your Shona will come back to life and emerge from under the water whole, fresh and alive." Shakhi took the pot in her hands and said, You, too, come with me." The man said, "There is no need for me to go. You go ahead and do as I have told you. You may take one horse with you and leave one here with me." Shakhi then rode to that tank with the pot of holy and charmed water. Following word for word the old man's instructions she threw the water into the four corners of the tank and then with suspended breath anxiously waited to see if the old man's prophesy would come true. After a minute or so Shona rose from under the water exactly at the same spot where the two were bathing. Overwhelmed with joy Shakhi jumped into the water and embraced Shona eagerly. Then the two came out of the water. Once on the bank Shona said, ""Shakhi, I owe my life to you. You have saved me and given me back my life." Shakhi said, "You know, the one whom you considered your brother has dealt you the fatal blow." Shona asked, "Where is the lame one now?" Then Shakhi told Shona how she had killed him, how she had met a holy man, and how she had succeeded with his help in bringing Shona back to life. Shona and Shakhi then hurried back to the tree where the old man was supposed to be. But he was gone. Instead there was a big pile of fruits under the tree which the old man had left there for them to eat. They ate the fruits with relish. Then Shona turned to Shakhi and said, "Well, Shakhi, where shall we go now?" Shakhi said, "Let us go back to our country." Shona said, "Let us go to the home of that grand-ma of ours." Shakhi said, "Look, Shona, I think the one you are calling your grand-ma is behind all our troubles. Let us now go straight to our own home and nowhere else. Perhaps our parents have gone mad by this time weeping and lamenting over us." Shona, however, refused to pay any attention to Shakhi's words. He insisted on going back to the old woman's home. When Shakhi asked him what he proposed to do there he said, "I want to punish that wicked old woman. I'll take her with us to our country and teach her a lesson for her misdeeds." Shakhi asked, "How will you manage to take her with you?" Shona assured her, "don't you worry about that. I'll find a way." Then Shona and Shakhi started for the old woman's place. When they reached her home they found the old woman overjoyed to see them. She said, "So you took my advice and profited from it, didn't you? If I had not given you the bags of rye with holes at their bottom you could never have come back to my home.” Shona said, “Yes, grand-ma, your advice has truly helped us.” The old woman gave them food to eat which they ate heartily.
The old woman was, however, not quite easy in her mind. What had happened to her sons? Why didn't they come? The whole day passed and yet there were no signs of the seven robbers. Shena and Shakhi spent the night at the old woman's place. Next morning when they awoke they found their grand-ma deep in thought, looking so worried? Has anything gone wrong?” The old woman shook her head and said, “No, no, nothing has gone wrong.” But she sat morosely in one corner and continued to look gloomy. Shona and Shakhi went up to her from time to time and wanted to know what her problem was but she said nothing. At last Shona said quite firmly, “Grand-ma, surely something has gone wrong which has upset you so. Please tell us what it is.” Then the old woman said, “You know, I have seven sons who left a few days ago to buy some merchandise for their business. They were due to come back yesterday but did not. Last night I had a bad dream about them. Now it is already midday and yet they have not shown up.” Shona and Shakhi listened to her words and then said, “Grand-ma, while we were coming to your place we saw men hurrying in one direction. On seeing them we stopped our horses and said, “Where are you all going to?” They answered, “We are going to see a hanging.” When the old woman heard these words her anxiety increased a hundredfold. She could not check herself any longer and burst out weeping. Shona and Shakhi said. “There is no use weeping, grand-ma. Let us all quickly go to the village where your sons were caught. Let us request the villagers to deal with them kindly and sympathetically. We shall plead for mercy and forgiveness. If they do not listen to our prayers we shall urge that your sons be given a fair trial in court. Now hurry up and take with you all the money and jewelry you have in your home. We'll need them if we have to go to the court to save your sons. The old woman said, “Please get me back my sons. I shall die without them.” Shona said, “Grand-ma, we can never forget your kindness to us. Now we shall do all that we can to save your sons. But don't delay any longer. Come quickly and sit with one of us on a horse, and then let's go.” The old woman looked up at Shona and wearily said, “You two go with all the money you think you will need. I am too old to go with you, especially now, overcome with anxiety as I am. If I go with you in my present condition riding on a horse I shall surely die. You two go and see what you can do to save my sons.” So saying the old woman gave them all the money and jewelry she had. Shona and Shakhi took the jewelry and the money, and left.
By this time the parents of Shona and Shakhi were half-crazy with grief over the loss of their children. Where had the two gone away? The parents looked for them everywhere. They announced big rewards for any news of Shona and Shakhi but all their efforts in tracing them went in vain. With broken hearts the parents of Shona and Shakhi decided to live close to each other, seeking to draw as much comfort as one could from each other's company. The Zamindar dismantled his own home and went to the hunter's place. There they both built new buildings, added extensions to the old structures, and lived with a large number of servants, caretakers and dependants.
One day when the Zamindar and the hunter were talking to each other sitting quietly in their drawing-room their wives came to them and stood silently before them. After a minute or two the Zamindar's wife said, "Well, you two friends have joined your houses and built a combined home. That's very fine, but have you thought of one thing? If by chance Shona and Shakhi someday come to our old Zaminder's house, what will happen then? They do not know that we have dismantled our old home and built a joint mansion here." When the Zaminder and the hunter heard these words they said, "What you say is very true. Now what can we do about it?" The Zamindar's wife said, "Let us put up a small building there and leave two servants in the place. If Shona and Shakhi ever go there the servants will come and inform us immediately. We shall then go over and bring them here. Don't you think it is a good idea?" The two friends certainly thought so and acted accordingly. In no time masons were engaged and a small building constructed at the spot where once upon a time stood the Zamindar's large mansion. Then the Zamindar sent two servants there who settled themselves comfortably in that house and began to live there.
Days rolled by and then one day Shona and Shakhi came to the place where the Zamindar;s big mansion used to be. They looked for that house but could not find it anywhere. Just at that moment two servants came out from a newly built little house and seeing Shona and Shakhi said, "Who are you and what are your names?" Shona said, "My name is Shona," and Shakhi said, "My name is Shakhi." Then the servants asked for the name of their father. Shona said, "I do not know the name of my father. I know only my name whic is Shona. I remember may parents calling me by that name when I was a young boy. I remember that my father had many horses and that he often went hunting, killing birds and beasts. I remember nothing else. We went away from this place about a decade or so ago. I have told you all that I remember. I cannot recall anything else." Then the servants turned to Shakhi and asked her what she remembered about her father. Shakhi said, "I have already told you my name. My parents called me by the name of Shakhi when I was a young girl. I remember that. I do not know the name of my father. And, oh yes, I remember another thing. My father was a big Zamindar. He was a very rich man. That is all that I can recall."
When the servants heard these words they quickly brought the two to the new home of the hunter and the Zamindar. Shona and Shakhi looked wonderingly at the huge big building so beautifully laid out and decorated. Then came their parents, who were overwhelmed with joy and happiness to see their long lost beloved children.
Everybody in the household rejoiced. Shona and Shakhi were married to each other amidst great pomp and grandeur, and all lived happily and in peace.
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