Those tales had frightening characters like the abominable snowman, the mythical ‘Yach’, ‘Ranthus’ , ‘Ram Ram Chock’ and substituted conventional lullabies to discipline children and put them to sleep.
While the rest of the world still debates whether the abominable snowman, called the Yeti, ever existed, some locals in not very far off villages of the Valley swear to god they have seen one with their eyes reports IANS..
“Yes, it is short, covered with hair all over and walks upright. Its arms are even shorter and the face is also covered with thick hair. I saw one in the forest when it was snowing very heavily and I was rushing home many years ago. It crossed my path, but did not harm me”, said Mir Muhammad, 70, a resident of Anderwan village in Ganderbal district.
Mothers till some years back used to tell the stories of the ‘Ranthus’ to ensure children did not venture out of their homes during the winter nights.
“Ranthus is something all of us have heard about, but never seen. It is believed to be a female demon that comes down from the mountains in search of food and to lift children during the winter months,” said Fatima, 69, the matriarch of an extended family in one of the local villages.
“Elders said it could imitate the human voice and that is why we were told not to answer a knock on the door or heed a call to come out of the home during the winter nights even if the caller sounded like an aunt or uncle,” she added.
The most interesting of all these often heard but least seen mythical characters is the ‘Yach’.
“It is believed to be an animal of the size of a fox or a large cat that visits homes during heavy snowfall and utters a peculiar cry.