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A Touching Song: “Rakhri Di Tand”

November 7, 2008

Came across this Punjabi song on YouTube. Very touching. This song is about an unborn girl who is being aborted and is urging her mother to sing her a lullaby. “Mother! Sing me a lullaby, even if discreetly from others, Sing a lullaby to this unborn daughter of yours on its departure, on its separation from you. Sing me a lullaby.”

The song is sung by Jasmer Dhatt Jasbir Jassi. It is actually a poem titled ‘Lori” (quest for a lullaby) written by the well-renowned Punjabi poet Gurbhajan Gill. This poem has been declared as a national poem by All India Radio, New Delhi and translated into 22 Indian languages.

.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .

Thanks to Prof. Edleson, here are the lyrics of the song with English translation.

maayein ni annjammi dhee nu, apniaN naloN wichhRhe jee nu,
-> Mom’s unborn daughter, separated love of her’s
jaandi waari maayein ni ikk lori de de.
-> Mom, as I go, for the last time give me a lullaby
babul toN bhaweiN chori ni, ikk lori de de.
-> Even if you need to keep it secret from Dad, give me a lullaby

maayein ni teri godee andar, baithan nu mera jee karda si
-> Mom, I wanted to sit on your lap
babul di tyudi toN darke har vele mera jee dardha si
-> Frightened from Dad’s frown (or raised eyebrows), my heart was scared all the time
dhiyaaN banke jamna ithe kyon ban gayi kamzori
-> Why did being born as a daughter become a weakness?

manneyaaN tere ghar wich wadh gaye dheeyaN wale guddiyaaN patole
-> I agree that the girl toys have increased in your house
tere dil da hauka ni maiN sunndi rahiaaN tere ohle
-> But I was the every painful breath you took, I listened to all your agonizing cries (during pregnancy)
mainu maar mukaun di gall kyoN tooNhiyoN pehlaN tori
-> Why didnt you first stop the talk about killing me?

haspetaal de kamre andar paiyaaN ne jo ajab mashinaaN
-> The weird/amazing machines inside the hospital room
puttran nu eh kuch na aakhan saade lai kyon banan shaginaN
-> They dont say anything to the sons, but why are they messengers of death for us?
daaktaraN chauNh sikkeyaN de khatir katti jeevan dori
-> For a few coins (a little amount of money) the Doctor’s cut the life line (terminate)

dhee titli nu maslan vele chupp kharhe kyoN dharmaN wale
-> Why are the priests (or religious people) so silent, when the butterfly like daughters are being crushed (killed)
goonghay bole ho gaye saare nakk namoojaN sharmA wale
-> They turned mute/deaf, those who used to hold their heads high in pride
bin doli toN dharmi maapeyaN kidhar nu dhee tori
-> Hey you religious/pious/God fearing parents, instead of the ‘Doli’ where did you send me to? (Parents send daughters in ‘Doli’ when they get married and leave their home)

maayein ni meri naani de ghar tooN vi si kade dhee ban jammi
-> Mom, you were also born to Grandmother as a daughter only
kukh wich qatal karavan wali kiyoN keeti tooN gall nikammi
-> Mom, my murderer in the womb, why did you do even say such a thing?
veera labhdi labhdi ho gai kyoN mamta toN kori
-> Searching for a boy for so long, why did you give up all your motherly love?

sutteyaN lai sau yatan vasiley jaagdeyaN nu kiveN jagavaaN
-> Did hundreds of things to wake up the asleep, but how do I wake up those, who are already awake?
rakhri di tand khatre vich hai chup ne kul dharti diyaN mawaN
-> Rakhri (Indian tradition, where brother promises to protect his sister always) is in danger, and the mothers of the race are all silent.
ambriye mainu gurti di thaaN de na jahar khatori
-> Mom, do not give me a bowl of poison instead of ‘gurti’ (a tradition in which an elderly blesses the child at a very young age, and its said that the kid will inherit their wisdom and traits)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. beant singh permalink
    December 24, 2008 5:37 pm

    i don,t have words iwish if i can explain it in words God bless you .keep it up its a wouderful

  2. Mr. Singh permalink*
    December 25, 2008 4:22 am

    Thanks for your wishes. Yes, it is a great poem and the singer too has done justice to it by a great rendering. It is difficult to not be moved after listening this song.

  3. January 14, 2009 10:18 am

    Sat sri akaal g. Mera naam Jasmer Singh Dhatt Hai.Main singer nai han te na hi eh LORI main gaiee hai. Main tan sirf es nu tyaar kar k PUNJABI JAGAT de samne PRESENT keta hai. Jekar es nu sun vekh k ik v BACHI maut de MUNH vicho bach k JANAM lai lavegi tan main Samjanga k mera eh YATAN saarthak hai. eh geet popular singer Jasbir Jassi te Balbir Beera ne gayaa c kise karna T Series ne release nai keeta c te Veer Gurbhajan Gill jo sadi organisation de PATRON ne ton lai k video bana k youtube te post keeta hai te DVD bana k v free distribute kar rahe han. Sabh di Jankari lai das devan k main ik non-profitable te charitable society “Sabhyacharak Sathh Punjab” da Chairman Han. Eh Organisiton PUNJABI JAGAT nu PUNJAB di Society, environment, te CULTURE vicho PARDUSHAN khatam karan Lai 1992 ton thoda bahut YOGDAAN pa rahi hai. Culture vicho Valgurity khatam karna lai eh organisation 1993 ton Miss WORLD PUNJABAN event organise kar rahi hai. detail lai tusi http://www.missworldpunjaban.com
    eh video te song pasand karan lai bahut bahut DHANWAAD g
    Female Feti

    • Mr. Singh permalink*
      January 14, 2009 11:12 am

      Jasmer Singhji,
      Thanks for drawing my attention to the correct singer of this song. I have made the correction.
      Best wishes for your efforts in Punjab.

  4. jassy sekhon permalink
    January 19, 2009 8:48 am

    i don’t have words to explain how touchy this lori is.i was feelind very sad when i was lookin at has give his this lori on utube.jassi has gave his best performance and mr. gurbhajan gill did a marvelous job by write this lori.thanks gill saab again.

  5. Kuljit Singh permalink
    August 4, 2009 7:02 pm

    Hi, I was searching up some rakhri songs for my brother (although my last name is Singh, I am a girl) and I happened to come by this lohri. I come from a family where we are 2 sisters and one brother. Sometimes we do feel that we are not appreciated the way our brother is, but atleast we were not aborted. This lohri has sincereley touched my heart. Thank you so much for exposing it, so many more of us can enjoy it. God bless.

    BTW I have taken the time to read your blog now, and I must say that the fact you do not expose your true name does make it so all the attention goes on the topic of the poor children. Thank you for staying true.

    • August 4, 2009 10:16 pm

      Hi Kuljeet,
      No matter how many times I listen to this song, it never fails to move me each time I listen to it. I hope people out there are as fortunate as I was to come across this song on the net.

      I am glad you think the same way I do about this blog. The blog is not about me but about the girl-child that is either being denied the chance to be born or when born, is being denied the same privileges as the boy-child. And to keep attention on them rather than me is why I try not insinuating myself on this blog.

      I hope you have a great rakhri. Your brother is definitely lucky to have a sister as you who has taken the time to search for a thoughtful gift for him on this occasion. Also, thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

  6. August 14, 2009 10:33 am

    This is a beautiful song. I had a Punjabi graduate student of mine translate this for my class. Here is his and his mother’s translation:

    maayein ni annjammi dhee nu, apniaN naloN wichhRhe jee nu,
    -> Mom’s unborn daughter, separated love of her’s
    jaandi waari maayein ni ikk lori de de.
    -> Mom, as I go, for the last time give me a lullaby
    babul toN bhaweiN chori ni, ikk lori de de.
    -> Even if you need to keep it secret from Dad, give me a lullaby
    maayein ni teri godee andar, baithan nu mera jee karda si
    -> Mom, I wanted to sit on your lap
    babul di tyudi toN darke har vele mera jee dardha si
    -> Frightened from Dad’s frown (or raised eyebrows), my heart is scared all the time
    dhiyaaN banke jamna ithe kyon ban gayi kamzori
    -> Why did being born as a daughter become a weakness?

    manneyaaN tere ghar wich wadh gaye dheeyaN wale guddiyaaN patole
    -> I agree that the girl toys have increased in your house
    tere dil da hauka ni maiN sunndi rahiaaN tere ohle
    -> But I was the every painful breath you took, I listened to all your agonizing cries (during pregnancy)
    mainu maar mukaun di gall kyoN tooNhiyoN pehlaN tori
    -> Why didnt you first stop the talk about killing me?

    haspetaal de kamre andar paiyaaN ne jo ajab mashinaaN
    -> The weird/amazing machines inside the hospital room
    puttran nu eh kuch na aakhan saade lai kyon banan shaginaN
    -> They dont say anything to the sons, but why are they messengers of death for us?
    daaktaraN chauNh sikkeyaN de khatir katti jeevan dori
    -> For a few coins (a little amount of money) the Doctor’s cut the life line (terminate)

    dhee titli nu maslan vele chupp kharhe kyoN dharmaN wale
    -> Why are the priests (or religious people) so silent, when the butterfly like daughters are being crushed (killed)
    goonghay bole ho gaye saare nakk namoojaN sharmA wale
    -> They turned mute/deaf, those who used to hold their heads high in pride
    bin doli toN dharmi maapeyaN kidhar nu dhee tori
    -> Hey you religious/pious/God fearing parents, instead of the ‘Doli’ where did you send me to? (Parents send daughters in ‘Doli’ when they get married and leave their home)

    maayein ni meri naani de ghar tooN vi si kade dhee ban jammi
    -> Mom, you were also born to Grandmother as a daughter only
    kukh wich qatal karavan wali kiyoN keeti tooN gall nikammi
    -> Mom, my murderer in the womb, why did you do even say such a thing?
    veera labhdi labhdi ho gai kyoN mamta toN kori
    -> Searching for a boy for so long, why did you giveup all your motherly love?

    sutteyaN lai sau yatan vasiley jaagdeyaN nu kiveN jagavaaN
    -> Did hundreds of things to wake up the asleep, but how do I wake up those, who are already awake?
    rakhri di tand khatre vich hai chup ne kul dharti diyaN mawaN
    -> Rakhri (Indian tradition, where brother promises to protect his sister always) is in danger, and the mothers of the race are all silent.
    ambriye mainu gurti di thaaN de na jahar khatori
    -> Mom, do not give me a bowl of poison instead of ‘gurti’ (a tradition in which an elderly blesses the child at a very young age, and its said that the kid will inherit their wisdom and traits)

  7. geeta mohan permalink
    December 28, 2011 11:25 am

    this is the great song for all girl who are pregnant this time please think it kudiya vi rab da ji hundiya na rab dai ji nahi marida.

  8. bobby permalink
    September 17, 2012 3:04 am

    1 great song n a gift for all gals n moms

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