Ah readers what joy I take in announcing that I am now a grandmother! A little boy has come into our family, a boy whom I am already besotted with! He is less than 3 days old when I write this, a little scrap of a baby, all pink and wrinkled but oh so heartbreakingly beautiful! Birth is an everyday miracle that we take for granted, but it is so very awe-inspiring just the same!
Last week I went to the temple to pray for the safe delivery of my daughter. The Shiva Vishnu temple in Melbourne has always been dear to me, there is a certain something I find here which I don’t find always in other temples. As I parked my car and headed to the Vinayaka sannidhi outside the main temple, I talked to Him as I always do.
‘I come to you first, you who remove obstacles. Please can you take care of my child so that her child can be delivered safely?‘ I prayed.
Just as I exited the sannidhi, I saw a young woman with a small infant enter.
‘Such a good sign!!‘ I thought and waited to speak to her.
‘You are a very good omen for me‘ I told her smilingly, ‘I was praying for my daughter’s delivery just as you came by with your baby, it feels like such a good sign to me!‘.
She smiled back and gave me her little boy to hold for a few minutes. I gave her and her child my heartfelt aashirwadams and went into the main temple.
My heritage always draws me to Lord Narayana first and it is to his sannidhi I went first to perform an archana. Next I went to Goddess Lakshmi’s sannidhi beside that of Lord Narayana. I have prayed to Her for simply years, I totally believe that all well-being in our family comes from Her.
I closed my eyes, held my palms together and said ‘Lakshmi amma, I pray like this from sannidhi to sannidhi, not knowing whether my words bounce off ears of stone or reach your ears. I offer my prayers to you, believing I am heard though you give no response. But today I need a miracle, a little sign, for it is my daughter and I worry for her. You, yourself a mother, will understand how I feel. Please, a miracle for me‘.
How many others have begged like this with no response? Millions no doubt. But that day when I opened my eyes, a young girl stood beside me, heavily pregnant and ready to deliver very soon.
My eyes pooled and I said to myself ‘Yes, that is a sign, I have been heard‘.
But still, as I walked towards Lord Rama’s sannidhi, a little voice said ‘A lovely coincidence, but a coincidence.’. My faith is strong, yes, but I have no right to be heard when millions on earth suffer so very much and would dearly appreciate any help, however small. It’s selfish to demand God’s attention like this, isn’t it? But I am a mother, worried about my child and her child, so I went to Lord Rama and closed my eyes again.
‘Oh God, please please look after my daughter. I don’t know if that pregnant girl was a coincidence or a sign, but I hope you have heard nonetheless‘ I prayed silently.
When I opened my eyes, there was another very pregnant girl standing right next to me. ‘Oh I have been heard for sure‘ I thought, my eyes streaming. She said she was due in a few weeks. I told her of my experience and said that I was sure that God was listening to our prayers. That day as I circumambulated sannidhi after sannidhi, I felt the presence of God close enough to touch.
I sat afterwards for a long time in a very emotional state. Now looking back I wonder. Is this how we fool ourselves? Why would God listen to this useless person when millions far more deserving need His care? But somehow my heart was eased. I did not worry one little bit after that, not even when my daughter laboured on and on for 41 hours. She was in God’s care.
When my daughter said that she and her husband had decided that the little one would have an Indian first name and his father’s Polish last name, I quietly went through Vishnu sahasranama to offer her all the short one or two-syllable names I could find. But when she refused them all, I trolled the net for other baby names. None pleased her so I gave up. How does it matter what he is called? I told myself, ‘to me he will just be my kaNmaNi (a term of endearment equivalent to apple of my eye)’. Later my daughter said that they had found a name but were keeping it a secret till the baby was born. On Monday, when I met my little grandson Rohit, I was very pleased with their choice. But it was only later that I discovered that it is also a name of Vishnu from the sahasranama (verse 40) that I had somehow missed! His middle name is Kamil (a Polish name) and it does sound similar to Kamal, a lotus, which is associated with Goddess Lakshmi, so the name seems perfect to me!
For this post, I just had to feature this very obvious but precious song choice of ‘Kanne en Kanmaniye‘ by Papanasam Sivan. A beautiful lullaby in the oh so soothing raga Kurinji, I am sure I will play it for little Rohit in the years to come. The words are so very gentle and every word rings true to me. In Bombay Jayashri’s mellifluous voice, it sounds simply lovely. She starts the rendition with a viruttam from the Nalayira Divyaprabhandam, a lullaby for Lord Krishna.
மாணிக்கம் கட்டி வயிரம் இடை கட்டி
ஆணிப் பொன்னால் செய்த வண்ணச் சிறுத்தொட்டில்
பேணி உனக்குப் பிரமன் விடுதந்தான்
மாணிக் குறளனே தாலேலோ
வையம் அளந்தானே தாலேலோ
mANIkkam kaTTi vayiram iDai kaTTi
ANip ponnAl seida vaNNach-chirutoTTil
pENi unakkup-brahman viDutandAn
vaiyam aLandAnE tAlElO
Lord Brahma ( Brahman) chose (pENi) and sent (viDutandAn) you (unakku) a small (siru) beautiful (vaNNa) cradle (toTTil) made of (seida) superior (ANi) gold (pon), strung (kaTTi) with rubies (mANikkam) and diamonds (vayiram) strung (katti) in between (iDai). O Lord who was born as Vamana (mAni kuRaLanE), sleep (tAlElo)! O Lord who measured (aLandAnE) the word (vaiyam), sleep (tAlElO)!
Footnote (Lyrics and Translation) :
Composer : Papanasam Sivan
Raga : Kurinji
Language : Tamil
கண்ணே என் கண்மணியே கண்ணனே கண்வளராய்
மண்ணுலகில் என் வாழ்வு வளம் பெற வந்துதித்த
குயிலிசை குழலோசை உன் கொஞ்சுமொழிக்கிணையாமோ
கொண்ட மன சஞ்சலங்கள் பஞ்சாய் பறந்திடுமே
தேடாத என் நிதியே திகட்டாத தெள்ளமுதே
வாடாத மென் மலரே மனத்துள் இனிக்கும் தனித்தேனே
kaNNE en kaNmaNiyE kaNNanE kaNvaLarAi
maNNulgil en vAzhvu vaLam pera vanduditta
kuyilisai kuzhalOsai un konju-mozhik-kiNaiyAmO
koNDa mana sanchalangaL panjAi parandiDumE
tEDAda en nidhiyE tigaTTAda teLLamudE
vADAda men malarE manattuL inikkum tanittEnE
Sleep (kaNvaLarAy), O precious one (kaNNE, literally eyes), the apple of my eyes (kaNmaNiyE), O Krishna (kaNNanE), the one who has come (vandu) to be born (uditta literally appear) on this earth (maNNulagil) so that my (en) life (vAzhvu) gets (pera) fullness/abundance (vaLam).
How can even the song (isai) of the cuckoo (kuyil) or the music (isai) of a flute (kuzhal) compare (iNai) with your (un) childish babble (konju mozhi)? All the troubles/sorrows (sanchalangaL) which occupy (koNDa) my mind (mana) will fly off (parandiDumE) like cotton (panjAi)! Sleep (tAlElO)!
O my (en) unearned (tEDada) treasure (nidiyE), O uncloying (tigaTTAda) clear honey (teL amudE), O Unfading (vADada) soft (men) flower (malarE), O unique (tani) honey (tEnE) which sweetens (inikkum) inside (uL) my mind (mana)! Sleep (tAlElO)!
15 responses to “Kanne En Kanmaniye”
May we wish Rohit and all the family in your very own style Suja – by singing a song.
Mannupugazh Kosalaithan, a wonderful lullaby, written by Kulasekhara Azhwar. Originally addressed to Rama at Thirukannapuram (near Nagapattinam), we now offer it to Rohit. It was very possibly sung to you yourself by your mother when you were small, and you may want to sing it to Rohit as a grandmom helping the baby to sleep.
It is a raagamaalika of course, and sung (I think !) in the ragas Durga, Lalitha, Saranga, Hindolam and fittingly at the end Neelambari. Rohit won’t be bothered about the meaning for some time 🙂 and so I don’t offer a translation. Instead I am suggesting the version sung by BV Raman & BV Lakshmanan, from the days when we were children . They made this their speciality then.
மன்னுபுகழ் கோசலைதன் மணிவயிறு வாய்த்தவனே
தென்னிலங்கை கோண்முடிகள் சிந்துவித்தாய் செம்பொன்சேர்
கன்னிநன்மா மதில்புடைசூழ் கணபுரத்தென் கருமணியே
என்னுடைய இன்னமுதே ராகவனே தாலேலோ
Mannupugazh kosalaithan manivayiru vaaithavane ,
Thennilangai konmudigal sinthuvithaai Semponcher,
Kanninanmaa mathilpudaisoozh kanapurathen kanmaniye ,
Ennudaya innamudhe Raghavane thaalelo
குங்குமல்லி கருங்குழலாள் கோசலைதன் குலமதலாள்
தங்குபெரும் புகழ்ஜனகன் திருமருகா தாசரதி
கங்கையிலும் தீர்த்தமலி கணபுரத்தென் கருமணியே
எங்கள் குலத்தின்னமுதே ராகவனே தாலேலோ
Kongumali karunkuzhalaal kosalaithan kulamadalaai,
Thanguperum pugazhjanakan thirumarugaa dasarathi,
Gangayilum theerthamali kannapurathen karumaniye,
Engalkulathinnamudhe Raghavane thalelo.
தாமரைமேல் அயலவனை படைத்தவனே தயரதன்தன்
மாமதலாள் மைதிலிதன் மணவாளா வண்டினங்கள்
காமரங்கள் இசைபாடும் கணபுரத்தென் கருமணியே
ஏமருவும் சிலைவலவா ராகவனே தாலேலோ
Thamaraimel ayanavanai padaithavane dasarathan than ,
Maamadhalaai maithilithan Manavaalaa vandinangal,
Kaamarangal isaipaadum, kannapurathen karumaniye ,
Emaruvum silaivalavaa, Raghavane thalelo.
மலையதனால் அணை கட்டி மதிளிலங்கை அழித்தவனே
அலைகடலை கடைந்தமரற்கு அமுதருளி செய்தவனே
கலைவலவர் தாம் வாழும் கணபுரத்தென் கருமணியே
சிலைவலவா சேவகனே ஸ்ரீராம தாலேலோ
Malayathanaal anaikatti mathililangai azhithavane ,
Alaikadalai kadainthuamararkku amudharuli seithavane ,
Kalaivalavar thaam vaazhum kanapurathen karumaniye,
Silaivalavaa sevagane , Srirama thalelo.
தேவரையும் அசுரரையும் திசைகளையும் படைத்தவனே
யாவரும் வந்தடிவணங்க அரங்கநகர் துயின்றவனே
காவிரி நல்நதி பாயும் கணபுரத்தென் கருமணியே
ஏவரிவெண் சிலைவலவா ராகவனே தாலேலோ
Devarayum asurarayum thisaikalayum padaithavane,
Yaavarum vanthadivananga aranganagar thuyindravane,
Kaviri nalnadhi payum kannapurathen karumaniye,
Eavariven silaivalavaa, Raghavane thalelo
Thank you Ramesh! Mannupugaz is such a beautiful lullaby, isn’t it! I have not very often heard BV Raman & BV Lakshmanan, it was indeed a pleasure to them! I shall of course covert your comment into a full post before long so that all my readers can enjoy it too 🙂
Hearty congratulations on becoming a grandmother
Indeed a out of the word experience it is .
And the feeling of the presence of the Lord besides you when we need him the most is beautiful too ! It’s our faith in Him that reflects and so happy you experienced that too.
Beautiful song .. just so soothing !
Thanks for this share .
Love and cheers
Dear Padma, Thank you! I am quite thrilled frankly 🙂
Bless you .. enjoy every moment!
Love to little Rohit
Coming to Melbourne in jan 2019 for 2 months
May be we come across !!!
Love and cheers
Hearty Congratulations Suja !
Delighted to hear that you are a grandma. Enjoy the little bundle of joy.
Our best wishes to dear little Rohit.
I thoroughly enjoy reading all your posts and appreciate all the time and effort you put into sharing your world of music with us. Keep them coming !
A big Thank You to you !
Thank you so much Surabhi, very kind of you to write 🙂 At the moment, I just stare besottedly at his little face and enjoy even that! I can’t imagine what it would be like when he opens his eyes and smiles at me for the first time. No wonder I will have a post to celebrate that first smile 🙂
Hearty congratulations, Suja on becoming a Paati !! You are going to be very occupied pampering the little one. However, please do take time and enlighten us with some of your musical musings!!
Thank you Srini, I am truly happy! He is content at the moment to just eat and sleep, but I look forward to the day I can pamper him truly. Warning : My posts may all be baby related but they will be continue 🙂
A belated greetings to you Suja on becoming a grandmother! It is evident that you are relishing this phase. I’ve heard grandparents have a particular sense of delight – enjoy without actual responsibilities.
The sense of creation brings this verse to mind from a devotional song (in malayalam): vidarunna malarinde madhu nee allo, viriyunna jeevande vidhee nee allo: arent you that the nectar embossed in the budding flower? aren’t you the determiner of the blossoming life? Blessings to the young one!
Thank you Jay! What a lovely quote!
Thank you so much for your beautiful blog. Hope little Rohit is doing very, very well. I was searching for the meaning of Bombay Jayashree’s song and what an absolute delight to find it here along with the absolutely heart touching story of Thayar, Perumal and Lord Rama listening and answering your prayers! Jai Bhagavan! Thank you! 🙂
Rohit is indeed doing very well, thank you! He is a gorgeous and irresistible 6 month old now 🙂 I am glad the translation was useful to you, it is a lovely lullaby isn’t it!
Congratulations to you and your family! I too became a mother recently and took to your blog to sing lullabies to my child with my mother.
Welcome to motherhood 🙂 This little fellow celebrated his 4th birthday recently! Since this post, I have had two more grandchildren. These children just fill my heart! My blessings to your little one.