Kissa Tota Myna

Frances Pritchett fp7 at
Wed Dec 18 14:26:31 UTC 1996

On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Tobias Grote-Beverborg wrote:

> Dear members of the list,
> i'm looking for a Hindi book with the title "Kissa Tota Myna" or it's
> English translation "The Story of the Parrot and the Starling".
> i read that it was also published in Tamil titled "Matankamarajan Katai".
> Any information about these books which are supposed to be based on
> "Shukasaptati" would be of great help to me.
> thanks
> tobias
This is of course not a single work but a genre.  I discussed it in a
chapter of my dissertation, published as *Marvelous Encounters:  Folk
Romance in Urdu and Hindi* (Delhi:  Manohar Publications, and Riverdale,
MD:  The Riverdale Company, 1985).  I analyzed the Hindi/Urdu folk
pamphlet tradition--and it is one such pamphlet that the printed book you
mention translates.  The book itself was called *The Parrot and the
Starling*, trans. by K. P. Bahadur (Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1977).
The Shukasaptati connection is not that close-- these are stories of
rivalry between a male parrot and a female mynah, about which sex is the
more worthless, men or women.  After they have bashed each other
energetically, taking turns and scoring debating points with no holds
barred, they end up getting married.  And a happy holiday season to
all..... :)  

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