Friday, April 29, 2011

Ukhanas in the time of Will and Kate...(edited with new contributions)

Almost 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post "Ukhanas in the time of IT : Taking the name". Subsequently, a few blog friends, and some who subsequently became blog friends, asked me to make some Ukhanas for them.

For those still wondering what I am talking about, and want to know the gist of it, Ukhanas are rhyming couplets, where the bride pronounces her husband's name as part of the poetry, and vice versa. Most Ukhanas are recited while offering the partner a piece of some sweet which is part of the wedding lunch , which is an elaborate affair, not in courses, but with everything being served together.

Some Ukhanas came to mind/formulated themselves, on the occasion of the British Royal Wedding.

Imagining William and Kate saying these, complete with downcast eyes, shy looks, and sideways glances, mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law looking on, watched by hundreds and thousands of stiff upper lip folks, is a cause for much entertainment.

In these days where people may often be called names, period, it may be slightly comical to recite each others names like this; this was all significant in the days when husbands were never called by name by the wives, but were generally referred to, as in the local vernacular translation of "Thou", and later on, as "so-and-so's father"...

Normally, only wives recited Ukhanas. In keeping with the times, today grooms recite them too.

Some Ukhanas below with English translations . The Marathi UkhaNas rhyme, the English translation will give you the gist, but unfortunately, not the flavor.....

Some Ukhanas for William to recite (weaving in Kate's name):

ट्रफालगर्च्या चौकात कबुतरं असतात फार ,
'केट'च नाव घेउन, अडमिरल नेल्सन ला नमस्कार .....
(Pigeons congregate in Trafalgar Square, and I say Kate's name , paying respects to Admiral Nelson(standing there)....)

रथातून फिरते राणी , डोक्यावर तिच्या हा मुगुट ,
'केट ' ला मी घास देतो, तूप भात आणि मेतकुट ....

(The Queen moves around in a carriage, and she wears a crown; and i give Kate a spoonful of ghee rice, and metkut (comfort food)...)

भाऊ माझा हरी , आणि मेव्हणी माझी पिपा ,
"केट" चं नाव घेउन देतो तिला हिर्याच्या क्लिपा .....
(My brother is Harry, my sister-in-law is Pippa; I present Kate with these diamond hair clips....)

लंडन च्या रस्त्यावर अक्षतांची दिसते रांगोळी ,
"अग केट, हि घे तुला घासाची पुरणपोळी ...."

( Confetti is strewn in a design on the rods of London; I give Kate a piece of PuranPoli, an Indian delicacy)

Then some verses for Kate to say (weaving in Williams name) :

वेस्टमिनिस्टर कार्यालयात आज शुभमंगल सावधान ,
विल्यम चं नाव घेउन ठेवते हो सासुबाइन्चा मान .....
(the final marriage customs at Westminster today, and I pay my respects to my mother-in-law as I say Williams name here....)

माहेर माझा बकलसबरी , आता सासर माझा लंडन ,
विल्यम चं नाव घेउन, राणीसाहेबांना करते वंदन ..
(My maternal home is Bucklesbury, marital home is London, I pay respects to the Queen, as I say Williams name here....)

हा लंडन चा बॉबी , आणि हा मुंबईचा पांडू ,
विल्यम, सोमरस हळू हळू प्या, खाली नका सांडू ...
(London has its Bobbies, and Mumbai has the Pandus, but William, you need to drink a bit slowly, without spilling stuff, okay ?")

Just a little something on the occasion of their Big Day ......

Edited to add contributions from PoetMamma !

For Kate:
राणीच्या महालात थाटात रुखवत आपण मांडू
जगाचं सोड, पण विल्यम, आपण तरी नकोया भांडू

For William:
लंडन म्हणती जगाला- या, लग्नाची सर्कस बघा
पिप्पा चा बरा असला तरी, मला आवडतो केट चाच झगा


  1. :-) Good ones. Ha londancha bobby.. khupach chhan!

  2. Very nice....I didnt know abt the Ukhanas before !!!

  3. Hilarious! I'll share it with my aai- aaji as well! :)

  4. a lovely idea - i have been long admiring your gorgeous headers for Sylvia's blog - lovely to see your own blog with such a great distinctive header too...Greetings from Mexico - love the music on the blog too - who is performing??

  5. Poet Mamma Thank you !

    Bhulog Thank you, and welcome to this blog !

    Purnima @creative Thank you!

    Uma Thank you. Actually the link in the beginning of the post explains more, but this system is quite common even today in Maharashtra...Like you would have said something like :

    "The idli-sambar's piping hot, please do come;
    And for Srini, there's always some payasam...!"

    Bikramjit Thank you !

    Writerzblock Thank you !

    Kavs Thank you !

    Makk Thats because I dont imbibe any :-)

    Rashmi Thank you !

    Catherine Thank you and welcome to my blog ! And what an interesting job you must have, in Mexico ! The music on my blog is a mixture of some music from 50 years ago, as well as some recent hits in my language Marathi. And some of these are performed by a lady who just became 80, and is now making a movie.....

  6. it was hilarious and creative. loved it , copied it on paper so that i can read it to my mom .

  7. You inspired me to make a couple of ukahanas too :-) - Lot of really passionate arguments were going around on if the extravagant attention the royal wedding got makes any sense. The discussion went ahead to calling it a royal circus, down with monarchy, are we any better with film star weddings and so on. Then there was a news bit on how Pippa outshone the bride with her dress. Sharing them with you -

    For Kate:
    राणीच्या महालात थाटात रुखवत आपण मांडू
    जगाचं सोड, पण विल्यम, आपण तरी नकोया भांडू

    For William:
    लंडन म्हणती जगाला- या, लग्नाची सर्कस बघा
    पिप्पा चा बरा असला तरी, मला आवडतो केट चाच झगा

  8. hahahahaha! I am late I know that..but had to tell you that this is amazing work..thank God I understand and read Marathi. It definitely brings out the flavor better in Marathi than the translation :)

  9. kirti Thank you ! Hope they enjoyed this !

    Poet Mamma How wonderful ! Am including your wonderful Ukhanas in the main body of the post !

    R's Mom Thank you! I have actually made some untranslatable one in English, for a Marathi Mulgi(blogger) getting married to a South Indian chap, last year ....

  10. I think I need to rope you in for future weddings in our family. I almost expected you to come up with something like this.Good one's Kaviyatri Surangaji

  11. ha ha ha....I liked the one u penned for me... :) :)

    And Congrats on the Tangy Tuesday Pick.... :) :)

  12. You are such a talented lady. Thank you for the wedding additions.

  13. ha ha ha ha !
    kitti mast...khupach majja aalii !!!

    kaku, you have some talent ! God Bless ! this is totally 'out of imagination' stuff :)


  14. LOL :) These are really cute! Loved them! You are really full of innovative and creative ideas!

  15. You said it well!
    Love (REALLY LOVE!!!) the song!
    Kisses from Greece!

  16. LOL! The PuranPoli one esp. is awesome :)

    Wish I cud understand the Marathi versions!