Friday, March 15, 2013

A Lullaby or Lori

A lullaby is a song that is sung to put a child to sleep .It is also known as  the  Cradle song , when along with singing , the cradle in which the child is lying  is moved gently    forward and backward . The English poem   “ The Lullaby ”  by W.H. Auden  is however  cast in a different mould  as the  poet  on looking at  his lover, who is already asleep , indulges in some philosophical   thinking and  the poem,  simply is an expression of his philosophical thoughts, which in my  humble  opinion hardly  justifies the title  .

 There are lullabies in every known language or dialect of the world as the need to sing these in order to put young ones to sleep is a  universal one. Hindi films have a lot of lullabies or  lori  songs, out of which two instantly come to mind. One is – Dheere se aa ja ri akhiyan mein , nindiya aa ja ri aa ja from the film Albela   and the other – Chandan  ka Palna , resham ki dori ; jhoola jhulaoon  nindiya ko tori  from the film Shabaab .In my view both have   the potential  to   serve the purpose. I can safely vouch for the first one , which I have sung  nth   number of times  to  put my kids to sleep when they were growing up. Another song- Ek tha Gul aur ek thi bulbul , dono chaman mein rehte they – from the movie Jab Jab Phool Khiley- that I used  to sing was not a lullaby but a   composition of long duration - some 6-7 minutes - which was enough to  put them  to sleep, more so since I cannot lay any claim to being a singer of any merit. . Surprisingly, my  kids  asked me to sing this one  more often. I often wonder, what is there in a lullaby, that makes  one  fall asleep , whether it is the lyrics, which  invariably contain the words neend  or  nindiya ,  sapna (dream) or their equivalents  in other languages or the lilting tune the lyrics are set to , the gentle  forward & backward  movement of the cradle or the gentle thumping  of the chest  called thapki .