The centenary of the International Women’s Day was celebrated [?] a few days ago. The mom-daughter relationship was also one of the aspects that came into focus in the context. The relationship is as people say, is complexer than the mom-son relationship. There is sympathy about what the hapless child’s future might be, there is empathy as a companion of the same sex, there is jealousy that she seems to have a better lot than herself, there is exasperation that she is turning wayward, there is apprehension that she may get hurt due to her independent but immature ways and many more complexes like this. This is one of the reasons that women dread the birth of a girl child even in a society where a girl child is regarded as the incarnation of the Goddess of wealth and wellbeing.
When I contemplate on this, two great songs, by two great singers come to my mind. One is rendered by Mrs. Ravu Bala Saraswathi, and the other by Mrs. Vedavathi Prabhakar. Both the songs are of the Light Music genre and are from the All India Radio. R.Bala Saraswathi is fairly advanced in age, [She belongs to my mom’s generation], but still sings very well in her mild and silken voice. It was a pleasure
to see her the other day in the invited audiences of ETV’s show featuring the ever green Pop singer Mrs. Usha Uthup.
Mrs.Vedavathi Prabhakar has a voice as similarly mild and silken as that of Bala Saraswathi. I saw her a few years ago at a music workshop. She is a beautiful petit
lady with a slightly freckled fair face and a demeanour which commands your respect
The songs I refer to are, “Bangaru Papayi ” by Bala Saraswathi and, ” Amma Donga ” by Vedawathi. I translate the latter lullaby here for you, because it contains some of the concerns I have recounted in the first paragraph.
“You my naughty child, it grieves me
if you are away from me even for a while.
You keep on holding to the train of my saree,
and go on asking me about something
or the other and keep on laughing and smiling
and it grieves me if you are away
from me even for a moment.
You can not sleep a wink,
You would not sleep a wink,
You would not allow me to move an inch from you,
You would not allow me to think even and
You pout your mouth until I recount a story to you .and it grieves me if you are away from me even for a moment.
I dread my fate when I contemplate the day , when this Smart-Alec or the other entices you away and thus breaks my heart and my house would then resembles a dreary nest deserted by the bird and it grieves me if you are away from me even for a moment.
When you laugh, pearls indeed roll out of your eyes, and it will be my good fortune, if
this laugh of yours doesn’t leave you. I ardently wish that troubles and tribulations do not touch you and that your life coasts along for ever down the highway of yourdreams.
Ps. (29th October,2012) Sri Palagummi Viswanatham garu who set this beautiful song to music expired a few days ago. You can find a video clip of the song at the following URL