Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ಇಂದೇ ಸುದಿನ...

Years ago, when I was still a young girl, participating in dance competitions, my mother had taught us - my sister and me and a few friends - a dance to a song. The song was about gopikas eager to meet Krishna on the banks of the Yamuna. We danced to it, dressed in langa-blouse and a veil on our heads. I think we had some painted pots also, to complete the effect of the gopikas. All I remember from that dance competition is how pretty my sister was looking, with kohl in her eyes and a bright light-green duppatta covering her hair.

The song went something like this - "ಇಂದೇ ಸುದಿನ ಬನ್ನಿ ಸಖಿಯರೇ ಹೋಗುವ ಯಮುನಾ ತೀರದೆಡೆಗೆ ". I knew the song was penned by my grandfather. However, the music was distinctly not South-Indian. I was not too curious about it at that time but got to know the story about that song later, from my grandmother.

My aunt, herself a teacher, had taught a few neighboring children a dance to perform at a function in the layout. It was a Hindi song. The kids learnt the dance with great enthusiasm and were looking forward to performing at the function. A couple of days before the performance, they got to know something shocking. A few miscreants - Kannada warriors got to know that there was going to be a dance performance set to a Hindi song, and they had decided to create trouble. The kids were crestfallen. After practising for so many days, getting ready with costumes and telling all their friends about the dance, their program was about to be cancelled because it was simply not safe to dance to a Hindi song.

My grandfather had a brilliant idea then. He immediately composed a song in Kannada which could be sung to the same tune and matched the dance steps. The kids practised a few times with the changed lyrics in Kannada. The adaptation was beautiful. On the evening of the dance performance, the miscreants went back home with greater wisdom in their heads and their pockets still bulging with the rotten tomatoes they had intended to throw at the dancing children.

The song is beautiful and set to the rāga Kāpi. It does not adhere completely to the metrical rules of Kannada poetry, but has great word-ly beauty - like "ಜುಳು ಜುಳು ಹರಿಯುವ ಯಮುನೆಯ ಕಲ ಕಲ ನಾದವ ಕೇಳುವ ಬನ್ನಿ ", "ಜಗದ ಜಂಜಡವ ಮರೆಯುವ ಬನ್ನಿ ಜಗನ್ನಾಥನೆಡೆಗೆ".

I happen to be humming this song since morning, and wanted to share the story here. 

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