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Gender Changed
by J.S. Broca



I love interacting with children. Recently, I asked a 5 year old sikh boy to recite a poem.
 
He started singing "Machhli Jal Ki Raani Hai" with actions and all, as expected.
 
The original Hindi poem is as under :

Machhli jal ki raani hai,
Jeevan uss ka paani hai.
Haath lagaao tau darr jaaey,
Bahar nikaalo tau marr jaaey
!

Translation :

The female fish is the queen of water.
Water is her life.
If you touch her, she gets frightened.
If you take her out of water, she dies!
 

I next asked him if he knew about a new poem on a "Machhla".
 
As expected, he was perplexed. I told him that the poem he had recited was about a female fish or a "machhli" and did he know a similar poem on a male fish or a "machhla"?
 
He looked first at his mom and then at me, his crazy uncle !
 
I recited my new version of the poem with the gender of the fish changed and replacing some words of the original poem with suitable words to rhyme.
 
Here is my effort :

Machhla jal ka raaja hai,
Jeevan uska baaja hai.
Bajtaa rahey tau bach jaata,
Bandd hovey tau marr jaata.

Translation :

The male fish is the King of water.
Music is his life.
If music keeps playing, he survives.
If it stops, he dies !

Now don't ask me questions about the connection between a male fish and music in the above poem. Can't a poet take some poetic license and imagine some situations?
 
Seeing the boy smile at my gender changed poem, I ventured a bit further.
 
I asked him if he knew the famous poem titled : "Pussy Cat,Pussy Cat"?
 
He nodded his head and on further prodding, he recited the famous poem, with actions. We all clapped to cheer him up !
 
My naughty mind took another turn and I asked him if he knew the new version of the poem where a male cat goes to London and not a female (pussy) cat. He laughed out loud and shook his head but he was all attention to hear my new version with the gender changed, with of course some liberties taken here and there.
 
Here is my version:

Pussa Katta, Pussa Katta,
Where have you been ?
I have been to London
To look at the King.
Pussa Katta, Pussa Katta,
Were you able ?
No, but I frightened a big mousaa,
Under the table.

This time, the child clapped his hands, seemingly enjoying the poem. My effort at gender changing in a poem, had hit bulls eye and the child's smile was ample proof of that. It was also a huge reward for my efforts. 

Sometimes, a little bit of imagination with a large dose of creativity, can help you to win and influence children. What do you say, dear readers? Try your hand to re-write nursery rhymes with the gender change idea and see if you come out with winning compositions to regale our children of today. I shall wait for your responses. Go, take a plunge! 

Image (c) Gettyimages.com

3-Jul-2011
 
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