The wide eyes staring up at me from the crib resemble those perfectly shaped cashews floating in a bowl of pal payasam inviting you to taste them. But no, I'm not at all in a mood to enjoy and give a hi5 to my own self for this poetic comparison.
All i need is some sleep. Atleast, a forty winks. And the elders at home suggest playing or singing a lullaby for the munchkin. Being trained at carnatic music since pre-teens I didnt find it hard to sing. But imagine doing this at!! Even an orthodox Brahmin household would not play suprabhatam at that hour.... Moreover, with half-shut eyes, dry as a bone tongue and a hazy mind, I'm not at all in a mood to sing at that time. So, the husband suggests singing during daytime and playing songs in the night at low volume.
Ah yes, this sounds good and went on well for a few days.
Until one fine day, when the elder champ, who loves to pamper his sister, asks me after i sing and put her to sleep: Mom, why do you sing jo jo rama/laali krishna for my 'sissy'? Are there no lullabies for girl child?
That sets my grey cells to work and alas, no. And, I realise all these days I've been singing these songs addressing the male gods of Hindu pantheon and playing general lullabies like hush little baby or some random lullaby from old movies.
But, aren't there any Nilambari for goddesses? Why no lullaby for the women gods who would also be tired after bestowing knowledge, wealth and valour and yearning for a tight sleep? Wont their lotus-eyes long for some rest? Wouldn't She feel tired after continuously pressing Her divine consort's feet? None of the saint-poets or dasarus has written any lullaby verse for Her?
The feminist in me is so pissed off. The BP levels rise gradually how the sleep of a woman has been given a not-so-important tag? I remember how I revolted at my Tamizh class after the teacher read out a Bharathidasan's verse ... "pin thoongi mun ezhundhu...." eulogising women to go to sleep late and rise early in the day!!
Seting aside all these thoughts, I answer a No to my son. Oh, he says in a pensive way and leaves the place. But comes back the next time and sings to his 'sissy': jo jo sita.... laali laali shri rakumayi (rukmani) .... and winks at me gleefully.
Kids these days, i say ..... :-)