Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Two Sisters-In-Law

Another story from India, also featuring Ganesh! I love that guy. This one's mostly a warning about greed.

A word of warning though: This one gets...kinda gross toward the end. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The Two Sisters-In-Law

There were two sisters-in-law. One, the young brother's wife, was very rich. The other, the older brother's wife, was poor. 

Don't the firstborn sons usually get the lion's share of the inheritance and such, assuming that's how the younger got rich?
Every day, the poor sister-in-law would go to the rich sister-in-law's house, and grind the flour for her. She would grind the flour and sieve it through a fine cloth. She would take the cloth home, and in the evening, she would shake the cloth out and use the flour caught in it to make her husband some porridge.
One day, the rich sister-in-law's son saw his aunt preparing the porridge for her husband.
The child ran home and told his mother what he had seen. 'Ma, Aunt takes home the cloth she uses to sieve our flour, and makes a porridge out of the flour for Uncle.' 

Why was he following her home? Furthermore, why would he care if his poor Aunt used the leftover flour bits caught in the cloth to provide her husband with something to eat?
The rich sister-in-law was very angry. The next day she told the poor sister-in-law, 'From now on, you will leave behind the cloth you use to sieve my flour. And wash your hands before you go - I don't want you to take a grain of my flour home with you!' 

Wow. They tend to go overboard in faerie tales with how greedy the bad guys are, just for contrast and whatnot, but geez. Not even the spare bits of flour caught in the cloth? Or any that she might get on her hands, after she spends all day grinding it for you? Geez.
The poor sister-in-law did as she was told. That night, when her husband came home, he asked for his porridge as usual. But she had not been able to prepare the porridge that day. 'Sister-in-law did not let me bring the cloth home today,' she explained. Her husband was very angry, and stormed out of the house. 

What, it's her fault that his brother married a greedy, selfish bitch? Good grief. She's trying her best for you, dude, don't blame her over something like that. Why is it that one of the spouses always has to be a jerk in these stories if the main character is already married?
The poor sister-in-law shut herself in her room. She was a great devotee of Ganesh. Now, in her misery, she called his name and wept and wept. At last, sad and exhausted, and still calling 'Ganesh, Ganesh,' she fell asleep. 

Ganesh had heard her calling and came to find out what was wrong. 'Why are you sleeping?' he asked her. 

"...because I've been working all day and it's friggen' late?"
'Everyday I bring back the cloth I use to sieve the flour I grind for my sister-in-law, and use the flour caught in it to make my husband a porridge every evening,' she replied. 'Today my sister-in-law did not let me bring the cloth home, so I couldn't make the porridge. Now my husband is very angry with me and has stormed out of the house.'

'I have just had a large meal,' said Ganesh rubbing his tummy and looking pre-occupied, 'and I urgently need to...go.' 

Dude, you answered this woman's heartfelt prayers and you're not even listening to her? For a god of infinite Compassion, you're kind of rude.

'Go?' asked the poor sister-in-law.
'Yes...go,' replied Ganesh now looking desperate. 

He had mexican for dinner, you understand.
'Ah,' said the poor sister-in-law. 'I understand now. You need to 'go'. Well, what can I say? 'Go' wherever you wish to...not that there is much space.' And she shrugged her shoulders in irritation. 

See, this is what happens when you answer people's prayers and then show up talking about needing to answer the call of nature. You irritate them.
Ganesh looked gratefully at her, and, to the poor woman's horror, deposited a large pile of elephant dung on her floor. 

....Dude. Not cool.
'Umm, now I need something to wipe myself with,' said Ganesh. 

You just shat on her floor, man! Not even an apology?! I don't care if you are a god, that is NOT COOL.
The poor sister-in-law was very angry with Ganesh for the mess he had created. 'Wipe yourself with? What can I give you to wipe yourself with?' she cried. 'Wipe yourself on my head!' 

Uh, honey, I know you're angry but you probably shouldn't...
Ganesh took her at her word, and wiped his large behind on her head. And then he left. 


Come to think of it-he's an elephant. How did he not crush her head doing that?

The poor sister-in-law woke up with a cry. 

I probably would too after a night like that.

And what did she see? On the floor, not a pile of elephant dung, but a heap of glittering diamonds. And wound about in her hair, even shinier jewels and gems. 

Ganesh was noshing on Shiva's jewelry again. He just had a craving.
The next morning, she was busy counting the jewels and putting them away. She forgot that she had to go to the rich sister-in-law's house to grind the flour. The rich sister-in-law called her son and said, 'Go to your aunt's house and see why she hasn't come today.' 

You obviously aren't giving her anything in return for her grinding the flour, not even allowing her to take the leftover flour caught in the cloth home, so why should she come back? Also, if this woman's so rich, why does she keep sending her kid and not a servant?
The child went to his aunt's house and saw her counting the glittering jewels. He ran back to his mother. 'Ma, Aunt has become very rich. She has a pile of jewels in her house,' he said.
When the rich sister-in-law heard this, she went running to her sister-in-law's house. 'Where did you get these jewels from?' she asked.
The poor sister-in-law told her the whole story. 

"Okay, let's go over this again-Ganesh was here."
"He shat on your floor and wiped his colossal backside on your head."
"Then there were jewels everywhere this morning?"
"Pretty much."
"....were you eating those strange mushrooms growing in the yard again?"
The rich sister-in-law went running back home and told her husband what she had seen and heard. 'Tonight, I will give you no dinner, and you too must get angry with me and storm out of the house,' she said.
That evening, her husband did as she asked, and stormed out of the house. The rich woman emptied her house of everything, and calling out to Ganesh again and again, went to sleep.
Ganesh heard her calling and came to find out what the matter was. As he had done with the poor sister-in-law, he declared, 'I have just had a heavy meal, and I need to go.'

Okay, dude, seriously, you have got to stop showing up to answer prayers while needing to take a dump. It's impolite, and you don't really listen to people's problems when you're distracted like that.

The rich sister-in-law was overjoyed. This is exactly what she had been hoping for.


 'Ganeshji,' she said, 'my sister-in-law's house was a tiny house, mine is huge, and empty. So please 'go' wherever you wish to.'
Ganesh took her at her word and deposited large piles of elephant dung all over the house.
'Where should I wipe myself?' he asked once he was done.
'Ganeshji, please wipe yourself on my head,' the rich woman offered greedily. 

Ganesh did as she asked, and wiping his behind on her head, he disappeared.
The rich sister-in-law woke up, and what did she see? On the floor, not a heap of glittering diamonds, but a pile of elephant dung. And as for her hair - don't ask!!! 

Firstly, EEEEEEEEEWWW. Secondly....lady, you did ask for it. Like, specifically. You didn't have any hand towels or something you could've used? Jewels would come off of those just as easily as your head!
'Ganeshji, oh Ganeshji,' she wailed, 'Why did you do this to me? You gave my sister-in-law diamonds, and you left me with...this!' 

Wasn't it exactly what you were hoping for?
Ganesh appeared and said, 'Your sister-in-law is a good woman; she called me because she was in trouble. You are a greedy woman, you called me because you wanted even more wealth than you already have!'
'Ganeshji, I am sorry,' wept the rich sister-in-law. 'Can you please, please now remove your blessings from my house? I'll never be greedy again.' 
'First give half of your wealth to your sister-in-law and make sure you never treat her badly again,' said Ganesh. 'Only then will I clean up your house.' 

Well, you do have to consider that it's not just her wealth, it's her husbands since he probably earned it himself, so really, the greedy woman needs to be punished, but the poor woman's husband also needs a good kick in the pants since he evidently doesn't treat his wife too well, storming off like that, and if the younger was able to build a fortune for himself, why didn't the elder? Unless the younger simply married a rich woman or something, then that's understandable.

But really, Ganesh, you couldn't teach her a lesson without leaving shite all over her house and head? 

The rich sister-in-law called the poor sister-in-law and greeting her with great affection gave her half her money and jewels.
Ganesh, content, vanished, as did the mess in the rich sister-in-law's house. 

And that's why you don't mess with gods of Compassion who happen to be elephants, because they will happily leave shite all over your house and wipe their enormous backsides on your face. Have fun with that.

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