Thakurmar Jhuli (Grandmother's Bag Of Stories) (Bengali: ঠাকুরমার ঝুলি) is a collection of Bengali folk tales and fairy tales. Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder was the person who first collected some folk-stories of Bengali and published it under the name of "Thakurmar Jhuli" in 1907 (1314 of Bengali calendar). The Nobel-Laureate, Rabindranath Thakur wrote the introduction to the compilation. Since then, it has become a favourite of Bengali children. Over the years, it has become a household name in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Audio Book release cover
|Author||Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder|
Some characters and stories like "Lalkamal-Nilkamal" and Byangoma-Byangomi have gained a legendary status, especially among the children. Hundreds of edition of the book have been published from Bangladesh and West Bengal since the original publication. An English translation by Rina Pritish Nandy has been available lately.
The tales in Thakurmar Jhuli follow the structure of the parable and often conclude with a moral. They are also known to frequently make use of fantastical scenarios and hyperbolic incidents within the premise of the tales. Binaries of good and evil are common tropes, as is the use of talking animals, and demons and other supernatural elements specific to Bengali folklore.
One of the most important aspects that contribute to the popularity of the tales of Thakurmar Jhuli is not only the imagination and fantasy that weaves an element of wonder and surprise, but also the amplitude of ‘suspension of reality on the part of the audience.'
In other mediaEdit
Thakurmar Jhuli has been adapted to films (Saat Bhai Champa), audio tapes and CDs (Laalkamol aar Neelkamo, Buddhu Bhutum and others), puppet-theatres (Buddhu Bhutum, Laalkamol aar Neelkamol and others), over children's radio shows narrating the stories with the help of child artistes and finally, the compilation of the entire collection of Thakurmar Jhuli into the electronic media with the recent digitization of all the stories into CD-ROMs and DVDs and also their broadcast in the form of animation movies on a popular Bengali television channel (Zee Bangla) on prime time Sunday-morning schedule. The vast popularity of the show is also estimated through the subsequent running of the show, uninterrupted for three years, and still finding a preference even among urban children - many of whom may not have been exposed to the book or the stories at all.
All the works of Majumdar are titled after a grandparent, who is the fragile yet robust representative of the bygone era and thereby embody a sense of heritage and historical value. The tales are expressed in a manner that relates to a specific culture and time and subsequently to the culture of a specific region. The original tales of legends, rites, rituals, and myths were mostly narrated and propagated through oral traditions to provide moral and religious instructions to the young minds. Although certain obvious changes over a period of a century render some of the characters and the situations obsolete, the familiarity of incidents, locations, and the problems and the problem-solving methods often relate to the contemporary world as well.
In the contemporary context the written and digital recordings of these fables seem to have replaced the earlier oral tradition, but Thakurmar Jhuli remains a compilation that is not limited to children alone, and over the years has found tremendous response among the adults. When the stories are digitized, the same messages are often adapted for a more recent and contemporary audience, thus preserving their relevance.
- Maitra, Lopamudra (2007). "100 years of Thakurmar Jhuli (Grandmother's Bag of Tales): From Oral Literature to Digital Media - Shaping Thoughts for the Young and Old". Indian Folklore Research Journal. 4 (7): 77–95. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.730.7554.
- http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/fantasy-classic-reinvented-for-tv-audiences-115020800768_1.html[full citation needed]