Have you heard the inscrutable song and lyric of The Beatles, “I am the walrus”?
People still debate , forty five years after it was written about its meaning and whether The Beatles borrowed from Joyce the expression ‘ goo goo g’joob’ .
There is similar expression in Telugu which we almost forgot and lost, until we reclaimed it , thanks to Annamayya.
Have you ever ridden on the shoulders of your dad or grand dad.? I had. Several times in my childhood, on my dad’s and uncles’ shoulders,. And my children had too, on my shoulders. And my grand children have, on my and my son’s shoulders. They do still, on their father’s strong shoulders, though they do not prefer to do so, oot of consideration for my weaker and old shoulders, any more. Most certainly, you had too, on your loving elders’ shoulders, when you were young and light enough for them to carry you so.
The tiny tot loves to have a clear panoramic view of the interesting things happening all around him in the carnival.
Here is a nice video of a doting papa carrying his wide eyed and happy child on his shoulders Check out this video on YouTube:
There is a cute word for that, in Telugu — “coo-goo-goo” . ,Annamacharya bases one of his nice lyrics on Lord Krishna on this charming word.. This word sounds similar to ooo-goo-goo, meaning swing-swing-swing. Very evocative word, coo-goo-goo isn’t it? You can find a reference to this song and the lyric in Telugu at this link.
Lord Krishna, the child and the young boy, is loved by all for his naughtiness and the pranks he played in the dwellings of the shepherds, in Vrepalle, the village he lived in with his adaptive parents, the Nanda Gopa and Yasoda.
Annamayya, possibly carrying one of his younger brothers or perhaps his own kids along on his shoulders, ‘coo-goo-goo’, conceived the kid on his shoulders as The Lord Himself, and composed the lyric. Possible, is’t it?
Here is my attempt at translation of this six hundred year old, charming lyric. The words in the parentheses are written by me by way of explanation.
Coo-goo-goo to this thief who knows the bounds ( of this universe).
Coo-goo-goo to this fellow who hides within the bull’s eye. (with in the microcosm).
Coo-goo-goo to the prankster who, at the lake, stole the dresses of the girls, bathing in its waters.
Coo-goo-goo to this thief who exceeds his limits and drinks milk stored in the innumerable pots hung high (above beyond his reach.)
Coo-goo-goo to this naughty boy, who squeezes the breasts of these women, who go about their business, selling butter-milk.
Coo-goo-goo to this thief who loots all the milk in the larders here,not leaving a single house.
(note: The expression, ‘ paalindlu’ could mean store rooms for milk or breasts of women. It alludes the young boy taking liberty to have his fill from whoever indulgent lactating lady happened to be in his vIcinity.)
Coo-goo-goo to this thief, he stands brazenly here, catch him, hold him firm, he is surrounded all around by these cows. Coo-goo-goo to this thief, the omniscient one,
He appears to me like my dear friend, resident on the Sree Venkatagiri, this young thief.
Guruterigina donga coo-goo-goo, veede guri lone dageene coo-goo-goo. Nelathalaa docheene neelladagaane, kolanee darinee donga coo-goo-goo. Baluvaina vutla paalaaragincheene, koladee-meerina donga coo-goo-goo. Challaalammangaa chanukattoo dodikeene, gollethalanu donga coo-goo-goo. Illilloo tappaka indari paalindlu, kollalaadina donga coo-goo-goo. Tavookonna donga, tavili pattundide, govulaalo donga coo-goo-goo. Sree venkatagiri cheluvudo yemo, kovidudu donga coo-goo-goo.?
This lyric was set to music by Sri Mullick, mainly in Mohanam,what except that the alien note ni appears in a place or two. You can call it misra mohanam or Sankarabharanam.
Here is a nice rendering of this song by an youngster. To me he looks like young boy Krishna. He looks innocent like Him too.
Check out this on YouTube: