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C. F. F
HOW RAJA RASÂLU
JOURNEYED TO THE CITY OF KING SARKAP
NOW, after he had reigned a while in Hodinagari, Rasâlu gave up his kingdom, and started off to play chaupur with King Sarkap. And as he journeyed there came a fierce storm of thunder and lightning, so that he sought shelter, and found none save an old graveyard, where a headless corpse lay upon the ground. So lonesome was it that even the corpse seemed company, and Rasâlu, sitting down beside it, said–
'There is no one here, nor far nor near,
Save this breathless
corpse so cold and grim;
Would God he might come
to life again,
'Twould be less lonely to
talk to him.'
'The storm beats fierce
The clouds rise thick in
What ails thy grave and
O corpse, that thou canst
'On earth I was even as
My turban awry like a
My head with the highest,
Having my fun and my
Fighting my foes like a
Living my life with a
And, now I am dead,
Sins, heavy as lead,
Will give me no rest in
So the night passed on,
dark and dreary, while Rasâlu sat in the graveyard and talked to the
headless corpse. Now when morning broke and Rasâlu said he must continue
his journey, the headless corpse asked him whither he was going; and when he
said, 'to play chaupur with King Sarkap,' the
corpse begged him to give up the idea, saying, 'I am King Sarkap's brother, and
I know his ways. Every day, before breakfast, he cuts off the heads of two or
three men, just to amuse himself. One day no one else was at hand, so he cut
off mine, and he will surely cut off yours on some pretence or another.
However, if you are determined to go and play chaupur with him, take
some of the bones from this graveyard, and make your dice out of them, and then
the enchanted dice with which my brother plays will lose their virtue.
Otherwise he will always win.'
So Rasâlu took some
bones lying about, and fashioned them into dice, and these he put into his
pocket. Then, bidding adieu to the headless corpse, he went on his way to play chaupur
with the King.
 Lit. King Beheader is a universal hero of fable, who has left
many places behind him connected with his memory, but who he was has not yet
 In original–
andar piâ karanglâ, na is sâs, na pâs.
Je Maullâ is nûn zindâ kare, do bâtân kare hamâre sâth.
Laihndion charhî badalî, hâthân pâiâ zor:
Kehe 'amal kamâio, je jhaldi nahîn ghor?
The corpse has
fallen under the hedge, no breath in him, nor any one near.
If God grant him life he may talk a little with me.
The clouds rose in the west and the storm was very fierce;
What hast thou done that the grave doth not hold thee?
 In original–
bhî kadîn duniyân te inhân the;
Râjâ nal degrîân pagân banhde,
Turde pabbân bhâr.
Âunde tara, nachâunde tara,
Zara na mitthî jhaldî Râjâ;
Hun sau manân dâ bhâr.
I, too, was
once on the earth thus;
Fastening my turban like a king,
Coming proudly, taunting proudly,
I drove off the horsemen.
The grave does not hold me at all, Râjâ:
Now I am a great sinner.
 Chaupur is a game played by two players with 8 men each on a board
in the shape of a cross, 4 men to each cross covered with squares. The moves of
the men are decided by the throws of a long form of dice. The object of the
game is to see which of the players can move all his men into the black centre
square of the cross first. A detailed description of the game is given in The
Legends of the Panjâb, vol. i. pp. 243, 245.