Lost in translation

Lost in translation

When my children where very young we were living in Kolkata with my parents for a few years. I was keen that they got to know their grandparents and learned Bangla.

My mother soon started their introduction to music, especially Rabindra  Sangeet, like all good bong kids.

This actually helped my younger daughter who went on to win many accolades as a western classical singer and later as a rock musician, and currently composes and performs her own indie music.

She also was the youngest performer in the para pujo and Rabindra Jayanti,  at four years, where she was hardly visible behind her harmonium.

As she couldn’t really read then, and knew very little bangla, she learned by wrote, phonetically, as the words were incomprehensible to her, and she tried to make some sense of what she was singing.

Recently she shared some of her thoughts about those songs and had us all in splits. But it made some strange kind of sense.

I will try to describe one such song with her interpretation. It was one of my mothers favourites, “ jini shokol kajer kaji” which is talking about God.

My daughter’s version …

Jini, a young girl is working hard all sokal, or morning, like our maid

Mora tari kajer songi

She’s totally engrossed

Tar Nana ronger rongo

Her nanaji or grandpa is a naughty colourful disreputable fellow

Mora Tari roser rongi

We’re party to his pranks

Tar bipul chonde chonde

Another relative who’s loud and annoying

Mora jai chole anonde

He’s happy go lucky

Tumi jemni bajao bhery moder temni nacher bhongi

The more he plays the drum the more she dances the bhangra

Ei jonom moron khelay

Mora mili tari melay

On her birthday she met mili at the mela

Ei dukho sukher jibon moder

Mora tari kajer ongi

Every one is sad, no idea why

Tini pother kanta paye dole

Sagar giri longhi

A thorn in the foot was the reason for the sadness.

The end

This is what she remembered today after two decades.

Makes a weird kind of sense, doesn’t it?

Categories: Tags: , , ,


  1. Very inspiring 🍀💐💐💐💙💚 🧡 with nice image of your daughter.

    Values taught to kids at such tender age will remain useful to them forever and in grooming them as responsible citizens, cultivating good virtues 🎯🍀💐💐💐🙏.

    Love and affection for Parents and Grand Parents develop deep into their hearts as part of traditional Indian culture unlike US/UK/European culture !

    Best wishes, 💥
    CA K Ravi Shankar

    Liked by 1 person

Your feedback is valuable, let me have it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s