Children’s Month: Hukus Bukus

A couple of years ago there was this ICICI bank ad featuring a little girl who would, everyday, after school, run to a shop nearby to buy a little candy.  One day, she’d take her much littler brother too, but loses the money that’d buy her the candies. Dejected, they turn back, but the grumpy looking old shopkeeper calls them back and gives them the candies for free.

I always saw this ad on TV, and I never cared about the song that ran in the background. I don’t know why or how, but I looked up this ad on youtube, and in the description below, I learnt the meaning and the importance of the song in passing down Kashmiri culture from one generation to another. Ever since, I’ve become fascinated with the song and the ad. So, I present them both here. The words that follow are all from the description, as they were.

Excellent Kashmiri Rhyme.
The sequence of the whole song is:
The children start:

“hukus bukus telli wann che kus
onum batta lodum deag,
shaal kich kich waangano,
Brahmi charas puane chhokum,
Brahmish batanye tekhis tyakha.”

The Teacher corrects:
“Itkayne ne Itkayne
Tse Kus Be Kus Teli Wan su Kus
Moh Batuk Logum Deg
Shwas Khich Khich Wang-mayam
Bhruman daras Poyun chokum
Tekis Takya bane Tyuk”

Tse Kus Be Kus Teli Wan su Kus
Who are you and who am I then tell us who is he the creator that permeates through both you and I

Moh Batuk Logum Deg
Each day I feed my senses/body with the food of worldly attachment and material love (Moh = attachment)

Shwas Khich Khich Wang-mayam
For when the breath that I take in reaches the point of complete purification (Shwas = Breath)

Bhruman daras Poyun chokum
It feels like my mind is bathing in the water of divine love (Bhruman = nerve center in the human brain, poyun = water)

Tekis Takya bane Tyuk
Then I know I am like that sandal wood which is pasted for divine fragrance symbolic of universal divinity. I realize that I am, indeed, divine (Tyuk = Tika applied on the forehead)

The message of this poem is rooted in Kashmiri spiritual tradition. The poem itself is ageless. Some say it came up during Lal Ded’s time, other’s say it dates back to the origin of Kashmir and Kashmiri culture itself. The poem, in later years, was made a song for children. For years it served as a poetic medium to pass down the essence of Kashmiri culture to little ones.

It is said that the tones produced by the arrangement of words in this poem as well as its rhythm has a calming effect for infants and toddlers of all times.

 

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