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Bahadur Vijay Singh | Folktale from Rajasthan

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Rajasthan is known for haunted sites and ghost stories. This story is of a small village which too was haunted by a ghost. This ghost used to live in a desert just ahead of Jaisalmer and he had the ability to shape shift. He used to sometimes turn into a woman, or a camel and sometimes a lost child. With this ability of his, he would prey on travelers passing by and loot them of their belongings. So many people had lost their loved ones to this ghost and it was high time to do something about it. They knew only one person who could solve this problem and that was… Vijay Singh.

Vijay Singh was physically strong, so strong that he could slam down anyone. He was known for his valour and bravery. When Vijay Singh heard the complaints of the villagers, he decided to bring down that ghost without any hesitation. He promised the villagers, “I have one thing to say to everyone. I will defeat that ghost." As he was getting ready to leave his grandmother came up to and told him,

“Son, just courage isn't enough, you have to use your brain too. Just remember 3 things, first, don’t believe in what you see. Second, always be aware. Third, these small things will help you some way or the other. So take my bag with you, I have put some things in there that will be helpful for you.” Vijay Singh listened to his grandmother with rapt attention. He knew that she was wise and so he kept the instructions plastered in his brain.

Vijay Singh started his journey and in time, he reached the desert. A voice boomed from far away, “Vijay Singh! I am your old friend Natwar, don’t you remember me?” Vijay Singh recognised his old friend and he was very happy to see him but then he remembered the first thing his grandmother had said, “Don’t believe in what you see.” He took the side of his instincts and realised that this wasn’t his friend, Natwar. It was actually the shape shifting ghost. Vijay Singh pretended that he hadn’t understood that the person standing and talking to him is a ghost so he played along. “Natwar, my friend! It has been such a long time, have you lost some weight? You do look a bit pale too.” Listening to this, the ghost gets furious at the overly friendly behaviour and thinks to himself, “Who do you think you’re talking to? I am not Natwar, I am the ghost!” On the other hand, Vijay Singh too was boiling from anger within but he knew it was time to use his smartness instead of fists.

He remembered what his grandmother had said, “"these small things will always help you some way or the other." So he opened the bag that contained various things and he spotted a fistful of salt and thought of a trick that would undoubtedly agitate the ghost more. He picked up a stone and told the ghost that he could crush this stone with his bare hands. Now, the ghost loved a competition so he said, “How can you? I will do it.” The ghost tried to crush the stone with his bare hands, he also tried to squash it under his feet, but a stone is still a stone, so nothing happened. The ghost got frustrated and then Vijay Singh stepped in, he said, “One minute, I will do it for you.” He took the stone and swiftly swapped it with the fistful of salt and acted as if he is crushing the stone with all his might. He opened up his palm and the ghost saw that the stone had been reduced to nothing but particles. He couldn’t believe it. “He did something I couldn’t do?” the ghost thought to himself, not able to comprehend what had just happened.

The ghost thought it would be impossible to win against Vijay Singh and he too started pretending to be overly friendly with him. “You’re too good man, too good. Why don’t you come to my house and spend the night at my place? We have a lot of catching up to do.” Under any normal circumstance, a person would have said no, but Vijay Singh came with the intention of getting rid of the ghost and so he agreed to go. Vijay Singh stayed in character for the rest of the evening and soon night fell. The ghost said that it would be better if they slept now. Vijay Singh closed his eyes and laid down on the bed but he again opened the mental list of instructions given by his grandmother, “Always be aware.” He waited for the ghost to be distracted and it happened, the ghost wandered away for a moment. In that time, Vijay Singh sneaked out of his bed and placed pillows and covered them so it looked like a person was sleeping there. Then he hid behind the bed and waited for the ghost. The ghost arrived and was unaware of all this. “He is sleeping. Now I will make chutney out of him.” He took a stick and started hitting whom he thought was Vijay Singh under the covers. He hit not once, not twice but seven time. Then he took a big rock and threw it at Vijay Singh. He maliciously thinks to himself, “And that’s it for Vijay Singh, because I have crushed him just like he crushed that stone.” The ghost then went to sleep and after he soundly drifted, Vijay Singh sneaked in and removed the pillows and lied down, covering himself.

When Vijay Singh woke up in the morning, he loudly announced to the ghost, “Such a good sleep after such a long time.” The ghost got paler, if that was possible, “You’re alive?” The ghost started in confusion. He had hit him with a stick and crushed him with a rock and yet this man stood in front of him looking completely unharmed. How was it possible? Vijay Singh told him, “What would happen to me? I did feel an ant bite me while I was asleep. It must have bitten me one, two, three, four, five, six, seven times. As it would do anything to me.” he scoffed and continued, “Then came a cockroach and he walked all over me. It tickled me a bit. These small creatures, what can they do to me? I am Vijay Singh after all.” The ghost thought to himself that he wacked this man with stick seven times and it felt like ant bites to him, he tried to crush him with a rock and it felt like a cockroach tickling him. Now for the ghost, Vijay Singh became a brave man and he realised that with such a man around, he couldn’t continue doing what he did. So ironically, the ghost got scared and felt wise to run away from there, never to come back.

Vijay Singh returned to the village and everybody celebrated his triumphant. They praised his bravery and wits but Vijay Singh just told them, “I had gone because of my bravery. But came back because of my grandmother's smartness.” A combination that saved many lives.



Ulka Mayur


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