Pahari nonsense: A few nuggets


By: Surekha Dhaleta

Akkad bakkad bambe po, assi nabbe poore sau…. The equivalent to this in Pahari (I’m familiar with the Upper Shimla region only) is Idki bidki danda didki, taklo bhai ree botia, suno roopo jotey…

A few months back, noted author and veteran journalist, Khushwant Singh, delved upon such nonsensical verses in India in his famous column – With Malice…. But Himachal too has its own repository of these nonsensical verses. Here are a few nuggets from the Upper Shimla region:

Ka ka koa, (crow)
Kogo deo jodi khey,
Koin de pani khey
Kotu dea obra, ghundi limbui gobra

This verse describes the pre-occupancy of the raven family, that the male crow is off to the forests to collect fodder for animals, the female crow is off to fetch water, meanwhile the kids are in the cattle barn, and have got smeared with cow dung till their knees.

Bandra mama lae kang,
Chad patako, chod tang

talks about a noisy monkey, addressed here as (mama), maternal uncle. A burst of cracker should keep him shut and break his leg. May be, some important message for Himachalis facing the monkey menace.

This one:
Tere maa de kanda raa mela, takhey ana ley kakdi kela,
Chupe ro chupe ladku kolra, dabhli nitho…

probably is a lullaby. The wailing child is being comforted – that his mother has gone to a fair far up in the mountains, from where she’ll get the child, cucumbers and bananas and other goodies.

Tere Ma de Kangrakot,
Takhe ana le, ghoda ro coat
Chido chango bhadro maas,
Bhajia baulda baando aash,
Kache kaoney, maule chhash

This above verse talks about a ritual held in the month of August, where a mound of clay (Cheeda) is placed outside the house on an auspicious day, and every night tit-bits of wood are lighted on it. The second line when translated would say, “Oh multi coloured ox, come to plough our fields.” The third line elucidates that the (Kauni) grain is not ripe yet, and the butter milk is still fresh. The first two lines address again a child that his mother has gone to Kangra fort. And will get him a leather coat (of horse’s skin).

Dee deva dee,
Bhitri rokui bhedi bakri,
Bahri baba ro see

The above verse, invokes the Gods to snow, even though the sheep and goats have got locked inside and can’t go out to graze. More so, not just because of the snow, but because the lion too is outside on the prowl.

Dinari ko fufura
Teri bhedi bholee khai bagha,
Mero khao kukura

On the similar lines, is the above verse, which talks about the snow flakes and amidst it “Your sheep, and my dog have been eaten by the tiger.”

Whatever these verses may mean, or for that matter may not be even meaningful, what is important is that they give a vivid description of the everyday life, or somewhere they have a rich text (one telling a story) embedded in them. They are a repository of descriptions of rituals somewhere, and they have been transmitted  across the different generations.

If you know any such nonsensical verses, please share it with us. Write to the editor[AT]himvani[DOT]com .

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  1. A good collection. Of course, these versus have deep meanings. This keeps our culture alive. Good work!! Surekha Ji, you often contribute excellent material. Keep it up.

    Naresh, Annandale, VA, USA

  2. It had been a long time since I heard and spoke these lines.. I feel nostalgic now. I have a few more to add but will confirm the exact verses and will contribute some from Sirmaur soon.

  3. One more from Kotgarh area:

    Chule walia chule cha

    Dotta le khatto, bedle cha

    Don't know the exact meaning but this serves as a cry when doing some hard work. The second line speaks of the food.

    Dotta le khatto meaning, having karhi in the morning

    Bedle cha meaning Chas for dinner.


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