Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for yesteryears

Xena likes to listen to me singing really old songs, many of them from black & white movies of the yesteryears. And after about 3897498289 renditions, she is able to sing along with me.

I prefer teaching her oldies rather than the newer ones. (Most of the newer ones are not very child-friendly anyway.) On the other hand, most oldies have simple tunes and very catchy and easy-to-remember lyrics. So far, we have done 'Dil ka bhanwar', 'Kajra muhabbat wala' and 'Mera naam Chin Chin Choo'.

This is her singing reciting 'Mera naam Chin Chin Choo'. 

By the way, I'd heard 'Mera naam Chin Chin Choo' many times before, but only now did I realise something. The song perpetuates the misconception that Singapore is/was a part of China!

Take a closer look at the first antara:

Babuji main Cheen se aayi
Cheeni jaisa dil laayi
Singapore ka joban mera
Shanghai ki angdaayi

Lately, I've started to go through the lyrics and explain the meanings of the songs to her. I hadn't done it for the earlier songs I'd taught her. Good for me, because I wouldn't know how to answer "Mama, how can one aunty's eyeliner kill another aunty?" and "Mama, what does she mean by 'heart like sugar' and 'youth of Singapore and lazy stretch of Shanghai'?"

Yesterday I was teaching her 'Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si'. I sang it very very slowly, pausing regularly for her to understand and grasp the lyrics. Whenever I'd come to a word she didn't know (which happens very very often), she'd stop me and ask.

Me - Ek ladki...
She - A girl.
Me - Good. Bheegi bhaagi si...
She - What is bheegi bhaagi si?
Me - Wet. It was a rainy night, so she got wet.
She - She didn't have an umbrella?
Me - No.
She - Hmmm.
Me - Soti raaton mein...
She - What is soti raaton?
Me - Sleepy night. It's raining, and it's night time, and everyone is sleeping.
She - Hmmm.
Me - Jaagi si...
She - Awake?
Me - Yes. The girl is awake on a sleepy night. Ok?
She (reluctantly) - Ok...
Me - Mili ek ajnabi se...
She - What is ajnabi?
Me - Stranger.

And that's when all hell broke loose.

She - The girl talked to a stranger????!!!!!



6 comments:

Arun said...

My favorite song.

Arun said...

Aren't aunties allowed to talk to strangers? :) I mean, Renu/Madhubala, however lovely, would count as an auntie to Xena, no?

mad hatter said...

hahaha, you had me at "one aunty's eyeliner kill another aunty" - and the Singapore-Shanghai thing... do you parse lyrics or what!

mad hatter said...

and sharing Arun's sentiment on an older post - lots of sad drinking is going to happen at the bar, just one more day of pucca se daily posts :(

Tara Tyler R said...

i enjoyed learning more about your culture and rediscovered how similar we can be to others around the world with yesteryear remembrances, vocals, and loving the poetic cadences of other languages even when we don't know what it means!

congrats on getting through the challenge!

Sayesha said...

Arun,
Oooh! It has been playing nonstop in this house lately!

//Aren't aunties allowed to talk to strangers? :) I mean, Renu/Madhubala, however lovely, would count as an auntie to Xena, no?

I tried that angle, but she said, "But uncle said 'LADKI'!!"

mad hatter,
Thank you for all the support! I'll try to blog more regularly. :)

Tara,
Thank you. :)