This Set consists of the following 6 Books:
1. The Comic Capers of Sheikh Chilli (9788176558471)
2. The Wisdom of Mulla Nasruddin (9788176555708)
3. The Merry Mischief of Gopal Bhand (9788176559591)
4. Birbal The Clever Courtier (9788176558150)
5. Kunhaayan The Clever and The Kings of Malabar (9788184772562)
6. The Wit of Tenali Raman (9788176556033)
Author: Anupa Lal
Who was Sheikh Chilli? No one really knows, but stories about him have amused generations of readers both in India and Pakistan. He has been portrayed as a fool, a simpleton, who couldn't do anything right! And as an inveterate daydreamer, building castles in the air.
Born a sheikh, one of the four major Muslim sub-castes, Sheikh Chilli was the son of a poor widow. Little else is known about him, making it impossible to separate fact from fiction in the stories that feature him.
According to one account, he was born in Baluchistan, in Pakistan; moved to what is now Haryana worked for many years for the Nawab of Jhajjar, and died in kurukshetra, where the tomb of Sheikh Chilli can still be seen. It is said that in his later years, he became a fakir. The Chilli part of his name could refer to his having performed a cbilla, i.e. forty days of continuous prayer. Whether this account is historically accurate or not, is of course, debatable.
Sheikh Chilli may not have had the wit of Birbal of Tenali Rraman, two other comic characters well known in the subcontinent; but to see him in his childhood and youth, merely as an object of ridicule, would be doing and injustice to the complexity of his character.
Sheikh Chilli was an innocent, whose attempts to conform to the dictates of society might have been laughable, but they were, for the most part, well – meant. Devoid of envy or bitterness, guileless and helpful by nature, he was seldom cunning enough to be called a shirker. He was a daydreamer – yes, at odds with reality. But who does not often dream of better times ahead?
The fact that there is a bit of Sheikh Chilli in each of us, accounts, perhaps for his long standing popularity.
Author: Shahrukh Husain
The mention of Mulla Nasruddin is often met with a smile. There are thousands of stories about the Mulla, retold by hundreds of people the world over. What makes them unique is that hidden inside the wit and the tomfoolery is true wisdom, if we take the trouble to look for it.
Who is this much – loved figure? Where does he come from? Is he a historical figure or is he fictional?
There are very few facts. The Arabs, Afghans, Greeks, Iranians and Turks all claim he is theirs. They all call him by local titles but mostly he is Mulla Nasruddin or Nasruddin Hoja-both titles mean 'teacher' or 'preacher'. He is believed to be a Sufi, who lived between1208-1284 and wandered the world. He had a great passion for truth and his simplicity was so extreme that he often appeared foolish.
Most people think he comes from Turkey, from Sivrihisar where the inhabitants are known to be a little strange or from Eshkishehir. The first written mention of him is said to appear in a manuscript dated 1480, called the Saltukname.
The facts don't really matter. Like all true folk heroes, he belongs to all of us. Stories about him have been passed around orally for seven hundred years. Like all stories that spread by word of mouth, they continually change to suit the moment, or the teller's purpose. The character changes, too acquiring the qualities of specific societies. For example, a wife or a parent may be added, another one removed. So we see the Mulla young and old; he is patient brave helpful or grumpy, mocking and greedy. His stories of society-poverty, snobbery, narrow mindedness and ignorance.
Whichever way you approach the Mulla's tales, they are sure to be enriching. And be sure to pass on your favourite ones to someone else.
Author: Anupa Lal
These stories are among the many featuring Birbal, who was one of the cleverest and perhaps the favourite courtier of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Although the various incidents related here may not actually have taken place in the India of the sixteenth century, these amusing and thought – provoking stories have entertained generation of listeners and readers.
They are a well – known and much loved part of Indian folklore, along with stories of other court jesters like Gopal Bhar and Tenali Raman.
Author: Devika Rangachari
Author: V.P. Muhammed
Author: Devika Rangachari
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