पाथल और पीथल (Hindi)
पाथळ और पीथळ (Mevadi)
Paathal aur Peethal – Paathal and Peethal
‘Aray gaas ri roti’ (Roti made of grass)
It was just after the year 1576 when the Great Maharana Pratap along with about 20,000 soldiers fought over 80,000 soldiers of akbar. The battle was tough and due to the sheer strength of akbar’s army, Maharana Pratap and his forces along with their women and children, were forced to go into the forests and take cover for some time. Life in the forest was very difficult, especially for the women and children who struggled in highly challenging living conditions. The rations they had with them ran out and this worsened their situation.
During that time, lived a person named Prithvi Singh who was one of akbar’s courtiers. He was also known as Peethal (पीथल) and happened to be a great admirer of Maharana Pratap. He used to openly praise Maharana Pratap even in the presence of akbar which used to infuriate the latter.
Maharana Pratap was also known as Paathal (पाथल) which is another name for Arjuna. The name is derived from the word Paartha. The dwindling supplies of rations worried Maharana Pratap very much as he was always very concerned about the well-being of his subjects. They were forced to make and eat Rotis (unleavened bread) out of grass seeds which were not quite palatable. One morning, Paathal (Maharana Pratap) saw a wild cat snatching a Roti made of grass seeds (gaas ki roti) from his son Amar Singh and running away leaving Amar crying for his lost food. That did it. It broke the Great Maharana Pratap who used to be known for bravely fighting enemies with his sword that weighed over 18 Kg. He simply couldn’t take it anymore. He felt the ground moving under his feet and his honour as the most powerful king of that time, being shattered due to his helplessness. He did a shocking thing. It was something a brave Kshatriya would never do, let alone Maharana Pratap who was one of the bravest of them all. He wrote a letter to akbar saying that he was willing to surrender!
When akbar received the letter from Paathal (Maharana Pratap), he was overjoyed and he summoned Prithvi Singh to come the court and to read Maharana Pratap’s letter aloud to him and to everybody else in his court. Peethal (Prithvi Singh) read the letter out and felt terrible within. But on hearing what Peethal read, akbar said,”Mein aaj badshaah dharti ro , mevaadi paag pagaan me hai, ab bataa mane kis rajwat re, rajpooti khoon ragaan me hai?” which means, ‘I am the king now and have won Mevar, now come on and tell me what kind of Rajput blood the Rajput king has in his veins.’ The reaction of akbar shook Peethal up as he found it extremely insulting and disgusting. He could not even believe that his great hero the great Maharana Pratap would ever give up. Realising that Maharana Pratap must have given up only due to the adverse conditions in the forest, Peethal (Prithvi Singh) wrote back to Paathal (Maharana Pratap) reminding him of his valour and of all his achievements. The words Peethal used pierced Maharana Pratap’s heart like sharp daggers. They hit his pride because that is exactly what Peethal had intended to do. Paathal stood up like a titan and raised his sword swearing to win against akbar. He was himself again and he went on along with his brave soldiers to successfully fight akbar. It was that letter from Peethal that motivated Paathal to rise up again and fight akbar until the end.
A few powerful and strong words from Peethal reminded the great Lion Maharana Pratap who he was and made him stand up against the enemy. The letter from Peethal changed THE STATE OF MIND of Paathal. From the state of mind that made him feel like a VICTIM, he became his own self once again and rose up to be a FIGHTER and WINNER.
The renowned Rajasthani and Hindi poet Kannhaiyalal Sethia wrote a poem describing the situation that Maharana Pratap was in and that strong piece of writing from Peethal that forced Maharana Pratap to remember who he was and to rise against akbar. The amazing poem in the Mevadi language is called. ‘Paathal aur Peethal’ (पाथल और पीथल) which serves as an amazingly motivating story for everyone and anyone making them strong enough to face, fight and overcome even the most adverse situations in life.
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