Songs… for kids


After reading about it in cyberspace, I recently dropped in to buy a copy of Pratap Naik’s  songbook for kids, Hansat Gayat Nachat (Bhurgeanchim Gitam). Nicely brought out… in the Roman script.

In two parts, 36 + 22 songs.

Here’s one I learnt with Riza when she was in primary school. It’s about a kid, I guess, promising the moon to a kitten (milky cream, the landlord’s cow, a red dress) … and then goes on to have an unusual ending (reflecting the fish-eating Goan’s dislike for vegetarianism). Correct me if I’m wrong… maybe I’m just reading too much into a kiddies’ song, or getting it quite, quite incorrect:

BILUBAY

Bilubay, bilubay
Tuka kitem zay?
Khatai zalear haddun ditam
Duda voili say

Bilubay, bilubay
Tuka kitem zay?
Postai zalear haddun ditam
Bhattkarali gay.

Bilubay, bilubay
Tuka kitem zay?
Nhestai zalear xinvun ditam
Tambddi bori say

Bilubay, bilubay
Khobor kosli kai?
Chovthe vellar xivrak jevun
Pottant bhorlea vay.

Most songs are by Pratap Naik, the late Konkani poet laureate Dr Manoharrai Sardessai or based on the Konkani folk tradition. An interesting publication.

For the record, I’m not pro-enforced-Konkani (as a medium of education in primary school). Like those hypocrites (who talk in favour of Konkani and send their kids to elite English-language schools), I too am a hypocrite. I’m solidly in favour of English education (or at least a choice for the parents to freely decide, without being beaten by the no-regional-languages-no-grants stick).

Riza studies Konkani out of pure convenience… if the school next-door was run in Japanese, I would probably send her there too. Kids can cope with languages… in a globalised world, the more they know the better. But then, why block early access to a language like English? Who’s bigoted agenda?

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