While waiting in my neighbourhood salon yesterday, I heard the owner’s 3 year daughter, Prakshi self-absorbed in chanting-singing to herself:
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
*Pati Patavan* Sheeta Ram
I got to know later, that ‘ma’am’ in school, had sung this song, the same morning, hence, Prakshi’s reminiscing.
After about four loops of the couplet, I decided to croon with her. I hadn’t even reached half the couplet when her immediate reaction stopped me.
I think I had broken into her zone. She stopped singing and gave a jerky look at me. I said, “Gaao”(please sing) and she replied “Nayi”(No!), authoritatively. I wanted to make up for my folly. I remembered recording for an a cappella version of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram a year back. I searched for it on Youtube (have to type Shivangini or the better half production along with the song lyrics otherwise one can only listen to Hrithik Roshan’s Raghupati). I thought I’ll play the song close to her and she might forgive me.
Her reaction: Startled by the different sounding Raghupati (due to layers of choral harmonies), she got hold of my phone and held it possessively for 1 minute 40 seconds, the length of the song. She followed the video keenly, a simple black and white slide show of all the singers. I didn’t imagine this to work so well in the situation. Don’t children like colourful and animated videos? That’s what they love to watch on every screen. Probably, this was a fresh change from the otherwise colourful videos of her world, who knows?!
Prakshi had me play the song again and again. I thought she liked our song as she also sang each time it played and by now she sang Pateet Paavan and not Pati Patavan. Next up, I decided to play Bhole Nath, our freshest song about to release this coming Tuesday. It’s an mp3 file on my phone. No video yet. We’ve had a great response from everyone who has heard the it in progress over the last month and I was sure to win over this child too.
However, madam Prakshi got fidgety in the first 10 seconds of the song and rejected it outright in the next 5. She took the phone from me for scrutiny and wondered why she couldn’t ‘watch’ the song. I even dragged the song to where my vocals start and also to the hooky chorus. All she said was, Yeh ganda hai(this is a bad song), Raghupati Raghav sunao please, bar bar chalao(play Raghupati Raghav again and again). I played her request(command).
In her world(with an overwhelming population), a song is a video. You can’t call an mp3 file playing from a phone, a song! Thankfully, a video is on its way for Bhole Nath too. I think I am sure she will like it yet I am prepared for the opposite. This one is going to be extra colourful…
I must confess- I was so in love with my own song that despite all my engagement experiences with children, rejection was not even the remotest of possibilities I had considered, that too for Bhole Nath.