Once in a beautiful village of Assam, there lived three brothers named Holiram Basumatary , Daobiasa Basumatary and Rihon Basumatary. They belonged to the Bodo tribe of Assam which is the oldest ethnic tribe of the state. It has a history of very rich culture and heritage. They had a small farm and a little cottage in Gossaigaon, a small village, in Assam. In that farm, Holiram and his wife Promila used to rear silkworms and produce silk. Holiram’s wife Promila used to weave Dokhona. “Dokhona'' is the traditional dress of a Bodo woman. It is a very colourful dress which covers the chest till the ankle.The ``Aronai” and the “Jwngra” are also worn to enhance the beauty of the Dokhona. The Aronai is a bodo traditional dress of great significance. It is used to facilitate people with honour. It is worn around the neck as a scarf. The Gamosa is a traditional dress of bodo men.
They wear it from the waist till the knee.
The eldest brother Holiram worked very hard on the farm while his lazy and selfish brother Daobiasa and Rihon ate and slept all day. It was very difficult to meet the needs of the family with only the elder brother working hard. Promila also worked very hard along with her husband.
Once, Holiram took his wife Promila to Manas National Park which is a popular tourist destination of the Bodo people. It is also a world heritage site and is famous for the tiger. They were lucky to see the golden langur in the Manas National Park. The site also provides critical and viable habitats for rare and endangered species including tiger, one horned rhino, swamp deer and Bengal florican. They also saw the one horned rhino. Holiram and Promila spent the whole day watching the National reserve forest and its beauty.Apart from rearing silkworm in the farm, they used to rear poultry and fishery.
There was also a fishery on the farm. Promila used to catch fishes and sell them in the neighbourhood. Promila also used to make the traditional rice beer (Zu Mai). Promila was a very good dancer and used to perform the bagurumba.
One day Holiram told his brothers that it is not possible to carry on like this. They should also work hard for their livelihood. “I cannot feed you with ‘Jwang Kurma’ and ‘Jwang Nao’ everyday. You also have to work hard to earn your livelihood.” said Holiram. (Jwang Kurma and Jwang Noa are the traditional foods of the Bodo people which are made from chicken and fish.)
“I will go out, seek my fortune and become rich. You sleep all day here and drink ‘Zu Mai’”, said Holiram. (Zu Mai is a popular rice beer among the Bodo people.)
Daobaisa and Rihon did not like the idea. They decided that they will go out to seek their fortunes too.
So, the selfish brothers decided to go out to seek their fortunes. The next day was ‘Baishagu’. It is the festival of the Bodo people on the beginning of the harvesting season. So the three brothers along with Promila performed the Bathou Puja by offering food and drinks. After having breakfast, all the three brothers went fishing using the ‘Jekhai’ and the ‘Khabai’, which are Bodo equipment used while fishing. Jekhai is used to drag the fish and Khabai is used to store it. After that, the two young brothers left home in search of fortune leaving their elder brother at home. They kept working all day. Hungry and tired, they reached another village and knocked a small hut for some food. They asked for some ‘Bora Chaaul’ (rice) and ‘Zu Mai’ (wine). The owner of the hut, an old woman said, “only if you remove all the stars from the pool.”
Rihon said, “How can we remove the stars? Those are just reflections of the sky.” Puzzled and exhausted, they returned home and said to their family, “We couldn’t find any fortune.”
The next day, Holiram went to the old woman’s hut ‘OV CHANG GHAR’. The old woman gave him the same task. Holiram took a bucket, waded the pool and threw out all the water until the pool was dry. He worked hard all night for this. The next morning, the woman came out and saw the pool. “I have removed all the stars”, said Holiram. The old woman was very happy by his hardwork and gave him a huge farm. Holiram thanked the old lady. He cultivated ‘Maishali’, ‘Baoa’ and ‘Ashui’ in the land. The Baoa is the stemmed rice of the Bodos which is sown in deep water. With this fortune, Holiram was a rich man by the next year. Seeing this, his lazy brothers realized that one’s fortune is in his own hands. They resolved to work hard and support Holiram, helping him to grow more harvest and so more fortune.
That very year in April, they celebrated Baishagu with great favour and invited the local Bodo girls to perform ‘Bagurumba’. Bagurumba is the traditional and colourful dance of the Bodos. The girls are all clad in Dokhonas, Aronis and Jwngras. They also wear jewelleries to look beautiful. During the dance, they flap the side of the Jwngra resembling butterflies. Therefore, Bagurumba is also called butterfly dance. Bagurumba is the cultural identity of the Bodo people and is performed every year with great zeal and fervor.
Holiram, along with his wife and brothers, were an integral part of the Bodo community and lived a happy life after.
*THE TITLE SUGGESTS THAT WE SHOULD ALL WORK HARD AND HARDWORK PAYS.*