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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Good Luck to the Lucky One; Or, Shall I Fall Down?"

Good Luck to the Lucky One; Or, Shall I Fall Down?

In a certain town there lived a wealthy Brâhmiṇ. He wished to build a house—pretty large and spacious—as became his riches. For that purpose he called in a great number of soothsayers, and fixed, guided by their scientific opinion, a place for building the mansion. A certain portion of every day is supposed to be bad for doing work. This portion is sometimes called the Râhu-kâḷa—the evil time of the demon râhu and sometimes tyâjya—the time to be avoided. And abandoning carefully all these evil hours the wealthy Brâhmiṇ built his mansion in ten years. The first entrance into a new house to dwell is performed always with a great deal of pomp and ceremony, even by the poor according to their means. And our wealthy Brâhmiṇ to please the gods of the other world and the gods of this world—bhûsuras Brâhmiṇs—spent a great deal of his wealth, and with veoras and music sounding all around him he entered into his house.

The whole of the day almost was spent in ceremonies and festivities. All the guests left the place at evening, and much exhausted by the exertions of the day the Brâhmiṇ house-owner retired to rest. Before sleep could close his eyelids he heard a fearful voice over his head exclaiming:—“Shall I fall down? Shall I fall down?”

Great was the concern of the landlord at hearing this voice. He thought that some demon had taken possession of his house, and that he was going to pull down the roof of his house over his own head. That very night with as much haste as he entered the new house, he vacated it and went back to his old house.

Sirukakhaṭti perukavâḷka is the Tamil proverb. The meaning of it is “build small and live great,” i.e., build small houses without laying out much capital uselessly in houses and live prosperously; and in villages many a rich landlord would prefer small houses to big ones. The idea that he had spent a great deal of money to build a big house troubled our hero. The spaciousness of the house was one reason for the devil to come in so easily, as he thought.

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