In the ancient villages surrounding Multan, a city nestled in the heart of Pakistan, there existed a unique and morbid profession known as "Mool Chand." Unlike the whispered rumours of a mysterious figure, Mool Chand was a job title, akin to that of an executioner or "Jallad." Families, burdened by the agony of terminally ill members, would hire Mool Chand to perform a grim task – to end the suffering of their loved ones.
The houses in these villages had a peculiar feature: small, flat areas built along their walls. When a family member fell gravely ill and deemed beyond recovery, they would be carefully laid on a charpoy, a traditional woven bed. This makeshift bed would then be elevated on a platform called choka or chobara in the middle of the courtyard.
Once on the choka, the afflicted individual had but one way down – only after Mool Chand had completed his assigned task. Families from across the country would seek out Mool Chand's services, and he would travel far and wide to fulfil the contracts given to him.
One day, an elderly woman in the village succumbed to illness, and her family, adhering to the age-old tradition, hoisted her charpoy onto the choka. Miraculously, after three days, the old woman made a full recovery. Yet, to the bewilderment of her family and the entire village, she adamantly refused to descend.
"I shall not come down until Mool Chand himself comes to take me," she declared with a conviction that sent ripples of concern through the community.
Desperate to bring an end to this peculiar situation, the villagers pleaded with the woman and her family, trying to reason with them. However, their pleas fell on deaf ears. Frustrated and perplexed, the young men of the village convened, determined to put an end to what they deemed sheer nonsense.
Under the cover of darkness, the young men clandestinely gathered around the house, keeping a watchful eye each night. Their patience waned as they awaited the arrival of Mool Chand, who was said to roam the streets after nightfall.
Finally, on the fateful night, a mysterious figure cloaked in a large black chaddar, with his face veiled in shadows, approached the house. The villagers, brimming with a blend of fear and determination, sprang into action. With swift and decisive force, they pounced on the intruder, unaware of the unfolding truth.
In the ensuing chaos, blows were dealt, and the veiled figure was mercilessly beaten. He stumbled out of the village, half-running, half-dragging himself into the obscurity of the night. The village had triumphed over what they believed to be the Grim Reaper, and Mool Chand, the bearer of an ominous profession, was never to be seen in those streets again.
Collected and transcribed by Folkloristan; narrated by Faizan Fakhar.