This post has been " commissioned" by Sue and the Tulika Blogathon. Sue had asked for something originating from the North East. As I am so late with this post Ive thrown in one from the (former) North West (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)...I forget the term but vegetable sellers in our part of the world have this endearing habit of throwing in the coriander, chillies for free when you buy your vegetables.
The translation is literal not lyrical...will revise (all in good time!)
From the North East we have one in Assamese (অসমীয়া Ôxômiya):
Jonbai-e beji eti diya
Beji nu kele?
Muna xhi boloi.
Muna nu kele?
Dhon nu kele?
Hati kini boloi.
Hati nu kele?
Uthi phuri boloi.
Uthile nu ki hoi?
Bor manuh hoi.
Hatit uthi Paniram ghoroloi jai,
Ali bator manuhe ghuri ghuri sai."
Jonabai, give me a needle
Why a needle?
To sew a sack
Why a sack?
To make more money
Why more money?
To buy an elephant
Why an elephant?
To go on rides
What happens when we go on rides?
You become one of the big people
Paniram will ride the elephant to go home
With all the people on Ali road looking up to you
And from my part of the world we have in Pushto (Naskh: پښتو - [paʂˈto]; also Pakhto)
yaw wana wa
wanay laandai gatta wa
Gattay laandai maar o
Maar pa khulay kai taar o
taar zama pakaar o
Naskam da jabeen obo
khula ba mai tarhaaka shee
Kabul ba raa na patay shee.
There was a tree
With a rock underneath
Underneath the rock lived a snake
The snake has a thread in its mouth
which I want
I will not drink the water off its forehead
My mouth will turn bitter
And I will have to let go of Kabul
Clearly even as toddlers we were worried that our acts of mischief could have powerful ramifications when it came to Af-Pak relations.
p.s: some of us use the term ghanna (thicket) instead of the gatta rock