The Man called Surbura
BY. Malsawma Darlong,
The most interesting and memorable personality in the world of Darlong folklore would undoubtedly be the great Surbura. The reading and study of Darlong tales would be incomplete and much less meaningful if the name of Sura were left out in the whole milieu. He is, in fact, the unchallenged hero of the Darlong folk world.
There is a great paradox in his character, which makes him all the more interesting for young and old. He may be considered, without doubt, as the silliest of all simpletons among the Darlong folk characters.
On the other hand he could be considered as the cleverest of all the wise men. And all his actions and behaviours on account of which he was considered foolish, were infact, all due to his abiding love and affection for his buddy, Haifinga, who happened to be one of the laziest of all men. A good number of stories about Sura pertain to his relations and activities with his buddy, Hifinga.
In all these heroic undertakings with Hifinga, Suura invariably came out of the worse sufferer, whereas in all other adventures where Hifinga was not a counterpart, he came out successful with flying colours.
Each episode in the story is rather short and crisp but it has a good lesson and moral to import to the reader or listener. One may start telling the story of Sura from any part and it never lose its interest. In fact it is rather difficult to know exactly where to start or where to end the story. It can also be said as, there is no the beginning of the story and there is no an end.
Surabura and Hifinga Exchange Houses
Both Sura and Hifinga had their houses which were situated in the same locality. Sura's house was nicely built whereas Hifing's house was not properly completed.
After Hifing’s experienced the real problem of staying in his own house, he came to Sura and suggested that it would be good to exchange houses but Sura replied and said, 'Oh no! your walls and roof are full of holes whereas my house is intact'
Hifinga readily said, 'I've made those holes so that I can observe the beautiful stars while sleeping.' In no time Sura was tempted to observe the stars and he had completely forgotten the impending hailstorm and rain.
So, they exchanged their houses as Hifinga suggested. The first night was a bit cloudy and he could not see the stars as he expected. The weather of the next night was not much better.
In fact, due to rain Sura could not sleep properly while Hifinga slept comfortably in his new house.
So, Sura had to work very hard to repair the holes right from the very second night of his stay in his new house. And he was compelled not to leave any holes for watching the beautiful stars while sleeping.
It is also said that Sura played an important role when the shape of the world was made. He shaped the world by beating and hitting the solid earth with his big stone club, leveling parts of its thereby creating hills, mountains, plains and valleys. The account of his death, once again is quite confusing and controversial.
One version says that he died accidentally in one if his long travels. Some suggest that he died as a chief, rich and powerful in society. There can be no concrete evidence how he died.
All these versions, however agree that Sura was a prominent citizen at the time of his death and enjoyed a life of respect.
Although he was considered as one of the creators of this world, according to another tale he was still alive in the 14th century AD, living in eastern part of Mizoram, where most of his legendary monuments have been preserved and can still be seen till today.