Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Girl with the Camera...


…shoots a favourite subject: Sangita Maushi, our sweet, diligent cook. They really have a great rapport, and after the first pic she clicked of us, n wanted the second to be of Sangita, since, I think, the grandma wasn’t around. What with one thing and another, Marathi is n’s second language, English being her first (please don’t even ask about Malayalam and Gujarati – we had wanted her to speak fluently in those two first – or at least Malayalam for now – but we were told to put a sock in it till she was four by People Who Know).

Since mom and me speak Marathi ranging from extremely well (mom) to passably (me), we’re most thrilled. N has learned many Marathi songs from mom and another maid, Kalpana. Sangita, apart from making the world’s thinnest chapattis and its dullest dals, is a great purveyor of Marathi songs. I’ve forgotten many, but, deviyon aur sajjano, paish karte hai, what I remember of the Marathi hums which n hums (all errors in transcription, translation and lyrics are mine):


They range from the sweet –

Ye, ye ga sari, majhe matke bhari,

Sar aali dhaavoon,

Matke gele vaahoon!


Come, come, waves, fill my pots,

The wave came rushing,

And my pots went off!


To the cute –

Naach ga guma, Kashi mee naachu?

Ya gaavcha, tyaa gaavcha,

Aala nahi maali, ani mala nahi veni.

Naach ga…

Aala nahi shimpi, ani mala nahi choli.

(from Kalpana)


Dance little girl! How will I dance?

This village’s, that village’s

Gardener hasn’t come, and I don’t have a flower-garland.

Dance little girl! How will I dance?

This village’s, that village’s

Tailor hasn’t come, and I don’t have a blouse.


To the cloying –

Pusa dole rumaalane,

Radathe kashaala,

Shaleth jani N, chukena kunala

Kelisarkhi wadavili, jai sarkhi phulavili,

Aai bole n majhi, shalela geli.


Wipe your tears with your kerchief,

Why do you weep?

N goes to school, never harms a soul,

She’s grown like a banana plant,

Blossomed like a jai flower,

Mom says my N, she’s gone to school.


To the obscene –

Aalyacha mala madhe kon ga ubhi?

Vaangi todathe mee, raavaji, raa-va-ji,

Haath naka laavu, bagheen konitari!


Who’s there in the vegetable garden?

It’s just me, sir, just plucking a few brinjals.

Please don’t touch me, someone will see!

(A highly feudal song, sung in the original with an erotic, false sort of coyness… Positively EWWW when your 3.5 yr old sings it.)


To the bawdy –

Ye, ye ga pahune, Sakkuche mehune,

Sakku la baghoon hastoy ga,

Kaay tari ghotala distoy ga!

(This is an Omana-ammu rendition of the Dada Kondke classic.)


Come, come dear guest,

He’s Sakku’s brother-in-law,

Look how he’s smiling at Sakku,

It looks like something’s up!


And the hilarious:

Ambyachi ddhalki var baslaay mor,

Navryacha bapoos kaute-chor!

Ambyacha dhalki halveelli,

Navryana navrili palvili.


There’s a peacock on a mango-branch,

The groom’s dad is an egg-thief!

The mango-branch was given a shake,

And the groom ran off with the bride!


There’s also the odd ethnographical one –

Dokevari paati maura chi,

Kaay kolin chaalli bajari.

Yevda vata laavlay mota,

Aavar ye ga maushi, aavar ye.


On my head is a basket of fish,

I’m a Kolin setting off to the market,

Look at this large array, Auntie,

Come, come and finish it off!


The maniacally religious –

Hey Bhole Shankara,

Aavad tula belachi, aavad tula belachi,

Belacha paanaachi!


Oh Bhole Shankara,

You love the bela flower, you love the bela flower,

And even the bela’s leaves!


And this one which makes me cry – for obvious reasons – even as I type and translate it -

Sonya cha thati, ugalleli jyothi,

Ovalhathe bhau raja, yevda bahinichi vedi maya,

Gaadi ghunghurati, majhya maherachi,

Ovalhathe bhau raja, yevda bahinichi vedi maya,


A plate of gold, and a circling lamp,

I’m doing an arati for my prince of a brother, for that’s how much I’m devoted to him.

The tinkling bells of the cart from my mother’s village,

I’m doing an arati for my prince of a brother, for that’s how much I’m devoted to him.


(I’ve kept the translation bare on purpose – didn’t want to rhyme and poeticize unnecessarily – because I wanted to keep the Marathi meaning untouched.)

6 comments:

Banno said...

Lovely songs. I remembered some from my childhood. (My maids, was it? And some Dada Kondke films on DD?) Great that N speaks Marathi.

parotechnics said...

plucking some brinjals?!!!!! The songs are great though. It's quite lovely to have such a storehouse of things. Me, typical deracinated modern child, I just had Little Miss Muffet (and machhli jal ki rani hai - which never put me off my fish curry so guess it left little impact)

Anita & Amit Vachharajani said...

it's a dada kondke song, paro, what do you think brinjals referred to? ;) ;) nudge, nudge... er, i'm guessing you know of him - if not, i found this rather detailed wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada_Kondke i didn't know this but he was a mill worker's son! talk about resonances, no?

Anonymous said...

very nice!

nikjoshi said...

Very poignant - like a black and white film... have you ever heard bahinabai's songs? I am sure you will like them!

mangesh said...

I was thrilled to observe these Marathi songs in your blog. There are a few mistakes but in general, you have attempted nicely. I wish to know any further post on this.
Thank you so much for reminding these.
Mangesh Nabar