Sunday, July 06, 2014

A bird's-eye view

It was only when I heard myself say, "Tree ke branch par ek blue bird ka nest tha" during a routine story-telling session with Xena that I realised it was not exactly Hindi I was teaching her. The plan is to have Xena take up Hindi as a subject in school and so the tree, branch, blue bird and nest were not going to help. So, much to my sister-in-law's amusement, I corrected myself by saying, "Vriksh ki shakha par ek neele pakshi ka ghosla tha" to a very surprised Xena.

Since then, I've started to consciously use more Hindi words. The other day we were looking at a bird resting on a window ledge. "Pigeon!" She said. "Kabootar!" I said. She was very amused at the word and kept repeating it.

"Xena, do you know there is a kabootar song?" I asked her.

(A big thwack with a rolled up newspaper on the heads of bewdas who immediately thought of the lotan kabootar song. Dhikkar hai tum sab par. Sharm karo.)

"Mama, can you sing it for me?" She asked.

So I sang "Kabootar ja ja ja" from Maine Pyar Kiya and explained to her that "ja" means "go".

"Why are you asking the kabootar to go away?" She asked.

So I explained to her that in the song there was a story, and in the story there was a Bhagyashree Aunty who had a kabootar and she wanted to send a letter through it.

"Just like postman uncle!" She exclaimed.


"Bhagyashree Aunty ne kisko letter bheja?"

"Salman Uncle ko."

"What did she write?"

"She asked him to come back."

"Where was he?"

"Errr... At a party."

"Why did she ask him to come back?"

"Umm... Because she wanted to meet him."

"The kabootar flew to Salman Uncle?"

"Ummm... No. It was a very smart kabootar. It did not know where Salman Uncle was, so it went in Salman Uncle's manager's car."

(Yes, I was surprised at my own memory.)


"Salman Uncle read the letter and came back!"

"How did he come back?"

"In his car. He drove back."

"And the kabootar came back in the car again?"

"Err... No. It flew back."

"Why didn't it come back in Uncle's car?"

"Umm.. Uncle asked it to fly to Aunty."
(Well, selfish Uncle did sing, "Tu yeh sandesa unko sunana, main peechhe aaya.")

This conversation really made me crave at least the song, if not the movie. Here it is for you too, bewdas. Let's reminisce about the time when underneath Salman Uncle's vest was not his six-pack, but ribs and hair instead, and underneath Bhagyashree Aunty's visibly bad make-up were visibly bad pimples. And oh, let's not forget the end of the song when apples that grew on grass tumbled away and turned her on.


TMaYaD said...

Thwak! Thwak! Thwak!

Arun said...


Varsha said...

Great going.
I maintain that Indian languages are much more evolved than English, and give the child a bigger perspective of the vocabulary. Tuning the child to a full fledged Hindi, Sanskrit, Kannada (in my case) Varnamaala and Shabdkosh, will broaden their language horizon.
English, if you see, is very restricted in the sound and also confusing in pronunciation.
But, English is required to have a world view, cannot help that.

Thisisme said...

Omg u just sent me into a different era ! This is the salman that I like n not the present dhinkachika one!!

This movie was SUCH a hitt !!

Keirthana said...

The way you teach your little girl brought a smile on my face :)

--Sunrise-- said...


You are amazing for teaching your little one the wonders of Kabootar Ja Ja Ja... reminds me of an incident of my own not too long ago when I sang Kabootar Ja Ja Ja in the car, followed by a melodramatic 'wooooaaaahhhh' like they do in western songs :P and promptly bursting into hours of giggles for that. :)) So it feels especially serendipitous that I see your post of Kabootar Ja Ja Ja on your blog :))

Also, your little girl is the cutest. It melts my heart every time I open your blog and see JUST HOW MUCH she has grown touchwood. I remember your posts from the very beginning days. You are wonderful, and you are making me extremely broody! Maybe one day I will get to meet you, I would love to :)