Krishna's rangOli

jkmrao's picture

I am narrating a story that may be taking place everyday in many houses. The mother gets up in the morning and goes out to decorate the front yard with a beautiful rangOli. The child follows her and wants to help the mother Smile His (her) help consists of coming in the way of the mother’s efforts, stepping on the rangOli dots or wiping them with his (her) tender hands. Finally, the mother has had enough of this. She takes the child and ties the child with a loose string to the nearby pillar. In order to see that the child does not cry, she leaves a bit of rangOli powder near the child and asks him (her) to decorate the floor. Shortly, both the mother and the child finish their chores and look at their creations proudly. The child announces that his (her) rangOli is more beautiful than the mother’s. The mother nods her head in assent and unties the string and lifts the child and showers him (her) with tender kisses and goes inside to narrate this to the child’s father.

In the Telugu poem below, I have changed the cast slightly. The universal mother is Yasoda and the universal child is Krishna. It is written in the metre utpalamAla, a common classical metre in Telugu and Kannada. The baraha transliteration scheme has been used. Even though there is no such rangOli poem in leelASuka’s Krishna karNAmRuta, there are similar poems on Krishna.

cukkala~M beTTe naMdasati suMdaramai yudayAna, kRuShNuDO
cakkani chEtulan duDuva, cappuna talliyu kaTTa~M drATitO,
mikkili yuktitO mruggu niDe mellana, nayyadi cUDa neMtayO
cakkani daMcu~M jeppu hari callaga nellara~M gAcu~M gElatOn

చుక్కలఁ బెట్టె నందసతి సుందరమై యుదయాన, కృష్ణుడో
చక్కని చేతులన్ దుడువ, చప్పున తల్లియు కట్టఁ ద్రాటితో,
మిక్కిలి యుక్తితో మ్రుగ్గు నిడె మెల్లన, నయ్యది చూడ నెంతయో
చక్కని దంచుఁ జెప్పు హరి చల్లగ నెల్లరఁ గాచుఁ గేలతోన్

While Yasoda was arranging the dots in the morning
Krishna was messing it up with his hands
Enough of this
The mother ties him with a thin rope
Following his mother
He too draws a pattern slowly but cleverly
Not only that
He proudly proclaims
Mine is better than yours
May those hands of the little Hari
protect one and all with peace and prosperity


Regards! - mOhana


jkmrao's picture

jayAjI, your story remimds

jayAjI, your story remimds me of the story of kAlidAsa. Before he was blessed by Godess kALi, he was an idiot. The minister of the kongdom wanted to find an idiot and marry him to the king's beautiful and learned daughter. So he chose kAlidAsa and asked him not to open his mouth and pretend to be scholarly except blessing the king by saying "tripIDA parihArOstu" (may you be rid of the three evils). Instead kAlidAsa said "tripIDOstu" (may you be blessed by the three evils). Everybody was taken aghast. The king asked the misnister what it meant. The minister told him that kAlidAsa was very wise and so he said the king must be pestered by his wife, children and his subjects. The story goes to kanchi Smile

Regards! - mOhana

jayamohan's picture

Yes mOhanaji, I remember

Yes mOhanaji, I remember seeing it in the the movie 'Kalidasa' loooog ago! Also some idiotic gestures made by kalidasa interpretted as wise answers while Kalidasa faces some learned men in the durbaar.

radpri's picture

nice story.... thank you

nice story.... thank you jkmji sharing with ikolam ....

jayamohan's picture

I remember my mothers words

I remember my mothers words when I read this blog of mOhanaji!
When an elderly lady was blessing a couple she said "un pottu azhiyanum, nee potta kolam kalaiyanum" meaning 'may your sindoor be rubbed and your rangoli gets smudged'!
When the couple was puzzled the lady said it is a way of blessing them to have a child soon as children always have their hand on the sindoor and kolam of their mothers!

rajamma_2's picture

mOhanaji, I am experiencing

mOhanaji, I am experiencing this everyday with my grandson Neel. But nowadays he is not messing my kolam, but cautions others also not to step on it.
All your stories, connected poems and the translations are very interesting. Infact my Kannada / Telugu vocabulary is increasing.

lakshmiraghu's picture

mOhanaji .... what a gift

mOhanaji .... what a gift you have given...excellent poem and write up for that... in way it teaches the how to nurse the child.. hats off to you Ji.

lata's picture

Nice story, there is barely

Nice story, there is barely three weeks for Krishnajayanthi.