See when you need to think up a new lullaby every 30 days, you sometimes hit a dry patch. Which is when I remembered Munna bada pyaara / Ammi ka dulaara / Koi kahe chaand, koi aankh ka
Undra mojea mama,
aik aum sangtam tuka
mazorichea pillea laguim khell manddi naka.
Undir mama ailo,
ani pette kuxik liplo
mazorichea pillean taka eka ghansan khailo!
Mouse, my Uncle,
Listen, I’m telling you:
Don’t try playing with the cat’s little kittens!
Mouse Uncle came
And hid under the trunk
And the cat's kittens ate him up in one mouthful!
John summed it all up for me by saying, "Bohot kadva philosophy hai!" True, of course, especially when it's said in John's cool, Cheera Bazar style. I think that's true of most kiddie songs in Indian languages – punches are rarely pulled. Like this Gujju song Amit sings for n:
Ek bilaadi jaadi
Eine peri saadi
Saadi peri pharva gayi
Talav maa to tarva gayi
Talav ma hata magar
Billi ne aavya chakkar
Saadi chhedo chhuti gayo
Magar na mooh maa aayi gayo
Magar billi ne khaee gayo!
There was once a fat kitty
Who wore a pretty sari
Wearing the sari she set off for a swim,
Seeing a pond, she jumped right in!
In the pond was a crocodile
Kitty felt faint seeing his smile!
The sari came off in a pile
It was snapped up by the crocodile,
Who quickly gobbled up poor kitty!
(The translation has been beefed up a bit to make it rhyme – and because I know Gujju more than I know Konkani!)
I think it’s so refreshingly different from the whole Anglo/mainstream Hindi film tradition which tends to OD on the sweet.