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Basics of Telugu prosody : The earliest of poems in ‘kanda’ metrical composition – (4)

In children’s oral literature, there is this song:

kaakii kaakii – gaMtula kaakii
kaakini tiiskeLLi – gaMgaloe muMchitea
gaMgaa naakuu – paaluu ichchea
paaluu tiiskeLLi – ammaa kistea
ammaa naaku – Dabbuu nichche
Dabbuu tiiskeLLu – paMtulu kistea
paMtulu naakuu – chaduvuu cheppea
chaduvuu tiiskeLLi – maamaa kistea

               (maamaa naakuu pillaa nichchea!)

కాకీ కాకీ – గంతులకాకీ
కాకిని తీస్కెళ్ళి – గంగలో ముంచితే
గంగా నాకూ – పాలూ ఇచ్చే
పాలూ తీస్కెళ్ళి – అమ్మా కిస్తే

అమ్మా నాకు – డబ్బూ నిచ్చె
డబ్బూ తీస్కెళ్ళు – పంతులు కిస్తే
పంతులు నాకూ – చదువూ చెప్పే
చదువూ తీస్కెళ్ళి – మామా కిస్తే
(మామా నాకూ పిల్లా నిచ్చే!)

The above song is a play song for boys; elders used to catch hold of a boy, get it sung by him and used to enjoy the blushes of the boy while he read out the last line fast and in low voice as a plain prose to sum up the wish, as he was taught to do so.  The reason for the boy’s blush at the last line of the above song is, this line makes a reference to the boy’s imaginary uncle who will give his daughter in marriage to the boy, the prospective bridegroom, in exchange to the lots of education and expertise he earns from his teacher.

A shadow-like translation of the above song into English is as under:

Oh crow oh crow – oh my jumping crow
When I took the crow – dipped it in the river
River gave me – lots of milk
When I took the milk – gave it to mother
Mother gave me – lots of money
When I took the money – gave it the teacher
Teacher gave me – lots of learning
When I took the learning – gave it to my uncle
          (Uncle gave me – his daughter in marriage!)

When we observe the structure of the song closely we will understand that this song is formed with words of four maatras duration (while singing) and each line having four of such words in it. This structure continues till the end of the song. As the main character of ‘kanda’ poem in Telugu language being in its formation with letter-units of four ‘maatras duration (as in the traditionally obtained children’s play-song) it should not be an astonishing or unreasonable proposition to think that this traditionally obtained song should naturally fit into the structure of a ‘kanda’ poem. With this thinking in mind if we make a try to fit the above song into the structure of a ‘kanda’ we obtain two ‘kanda’ poems out of the above song, which, of course, would not have the requirements of ‘yati’ and ‘praasa’ followed and the two ‘kanda’ poems formed out of this song would appear like this:

kaakii kaakii gaMtula
kaakii kaakini tiiskeLLi gaMgaloe muMchitea
gaMgaa naakuu paaluu
ichchea paaluu tiiskeLLi ammaa kistea
 

ammaa naakuu Dabbuu
nichchea Dabbuu tiiskeLLi paMtulu kistea
paMtulu naakuu chaduvuu
nichchea chaduvuu tiiskeLLi maamaa kistea
 

కాకీ కాకీ గంతుల
కాకీ కాకిని తీస్కెళ్ళి గంగలో ముంచితే
గంగా నాకూ పాలూ
ఇచ్చే పాలూ తీస్కెళ్ళి అమ్మా కిస్తే

అమ్మా నాకూ డబ్బూ
నిచ్చే డబ్బూ తీస్కెళ్ళి పంతులు కిస్తే
పంతులు నాకూ చదువూ
నిచ్చే చదువూ తీస్కెళ్ళి మామా కిస్తే

As already said there is no ‘yati’ and ‘praasa’ followed in these poems (since in the traditionally obtained children’s songs, ladies songs or folk songs, they never bothered about these two characteristics too much and they only saw that the rendition has the main characteristic of being able to be ‘sung’ easily by one and all.  When the following of ‘yati’ and ‘praasa’ became a hindrance for the main quality of being able to be ‘sung’ they simply discarded it and went with the most appropriate word or words that came to their mind and placed them there) and but for these two characteristics the two poems appear as any other two ‘kanda’ poems in Telugu language. But when we compare these two ‘kanda’ poems to the original song, we instantly realise that the quality of being able to be ‘sung’ was irrevocably disturbed because of the breaking of the lines at the most inappropriate places that took away with it the ‘sing-ability’ of the structure.

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