From Our Archive:
Since my little girl was born I made a pledge that I will make sure she can learn Bangla language and culture very well even though she will be growing up in the US. Now as a 3-yr old, she can speak fluent Bangla, enjoys bangla music and has even become a big fan of Close up 1 star Salma!
I am still not too successful in keeping my promises though. Whenever I want to introduce her to some Bangla nursery rhymes I find it quite challenging to make my child interested in those. Let me explain why.
The other day it was raining and I was reciting,
“Brishti pore tapur tupur noday elo baan, shib thakurer bie hobe tin konne daan”, wait a second, what is the significance of “tin konne daan” to a 3-yr old?
Then I tried this one,
“baak bakum paira, mathay die taira, bou shajbe kalki, chorbe shonar palki”. Just imagine, why can’t they have some childlike fun without being a “bou”!Â Listen to another one:
“Noton noton paira guli jhoton bedheche, oi parete chele meye naite nemeche, ke dekheche ke dekheche dada dekheche, dada-r hate kolom chilo chure mereche, ooh boddo legeche”. How did this one sound…that “Dada” couldn’t stand just a joyful moment where the children are enjoying their bath, so he throws a pen towards them and makes them hurt!
Let alone us who are rearing child outside Bangladesh, even in Bangaldesh I wonder how the children of these days would be interested in Bangla rhymes when a majority of them are talking about getting married and all such non-childlike stuff. Something our new generation poets and writers need to think about.
Here is my thought – These days I am seeing (in the US) some of the traditional stories are being rewritten with a much more positive spin. For example, we all know about the story where the grasshopper plays around all summer, while all other insects work hard to gather food for the winter. When the winter finally comes the grasshopper realizes that he made a mistake, and becomes very sad while the other insects enjoy their food and warm house. The traditional story ends here, but the new story says, one ant invites the grasshopper to her house, gives him food and helps him stay warm. The grasshopper learns from this lesson and next summer he joins others to gather food rather than playing all day long.
There are many other examples where the traditional ones are being rewritten like the grasshopper story. I hope same thing happens for the bangle rhymes as well and our children can happily recite them while they grow up as thoughtful adults.