Editor’s note: Payyanur Ramesh Pai Maam‘s contribution to Radio Idli, and his popularity with the online lovers of Konkani is not new. He has showered his wishes and generosity on us by featuring a monthly contribution of some of the relics of Konkani and Saraswat Culture. In the inaugural episode, Ramesh Pai-maam shares with us one of the most loved lullaby’s in konkani – Seethakalyana, along with an informative article on the same, with lyrics in Devanagari, Kannada and Malayalam script
SEETHA KALYANA – a nice old poem in Konkani
“SEETHA KALYANA” is a beautiful poem composed in chaste Konkani, presenting the episode in a capsule form. As the poem carries no ‘Mudrika’ or Signature the author seems to have wished
to remain anonymous. This poem was composed as a lullaby, sung by Grandmas and popularized by passing on from generation to generation, and has been in vogue alike in the various Konkani pockets of the west coast from Kochi to Mangalore, to Goa up till Mumbai, for over a century now. The version popular in Kochi area has been documented in Malayalam script. It was carried sometimes back in one of the issues of ‘Venkatavani’, the journal published by Cochin Tirumala Devaswom, It was narrated by an elderly lady, Smt. Puthali Bhat, who is of the opinion that the poem was sung by Yashoda to Sri Krishna. Grandson of Smt. Puthali Bhat (Sri. N.Chandrakanth
Bhat) reproduced the text in an annual magazine (Amchi Emirates 09) brought out by GSB Sabha, UAE. A scanned copy of the particular page, carrying the 26 couplets, is attached herewith, for the benefit of those who can read Malayalam script. Viewers who are not familiar with Malayalam script will be delighted to know that the poem is also available in Kannada as well as Devanagari scripts. Sri. Santosh Kumar Gulvady has compiled the text of “Seetha Kalyana” in his anthology ‘Taa Tingana’ (Published by Basti Prakashan, Thumbay) in 1995. It has 25 stanzas and copies can be had from Vishwa Konkani Pratishtan, Shaktinagar, Mangalore(www.vishwakonkani.org_).
In July 2008, when a Konkani Sammelan was held as far away as in California, in USA, having the theme ‘Awaken the Konkani in You’, the lullaby was presented by an elderly lady during one of the sessions. The audio version has found its place in the Sammelan CDs (Song No.9 in the Disk.8) although it does not seem to carry the text completely. It is but natural that the presenter might have retained only the main stanzas over a period of time in the absence of a written document to refer in need. The MP3 version is uploaded herein for the benefit of our
Last year, the complete version of Seetha Kalyana has been brought out in an audio CD “SAMARPAN”, with the background music set by Sri. Tagore Das. The poem is nicely sung by Smt. Malathi Manjunath Kini from Mangalore. Once can easily follow the audio text, as the rendition has been done befitting the meter, rhyme and rhythm conceived by the original author, doing full justice to the lullaby. Our sincere thanks to the producers (OLALANKE PRODUCTIONS) for the initiative, and an MP3 version of the song is attached herewith for the benefit of our people.