Machli jal ki rani hai
Jeevan uska paani hai
Haath lagao gey, dar jayegi
Bahar nikaalo gey, mar jayegi
The queen of the water is fish,
And water is her life,
If you touch her she will get frightened,
If you take her out of the water, she will die.
Here's the Devanagari text to this rhyme:
Here's another translation of this rhyme sent with a note by Bhoomika Rawat:
I am giving you a traditional poem from India in Hindi which most kids learn in school or through parents at home.
Fish is the queen of water
Her life is water
Touch her, she will get scared.
Take her out of water, she will die.
"Machli" means "fish" in Hindi - it's from the Sanskrit root word - "Matsya".
Bhoomika said: "I have some friends in the US. One of their kids is learning 'Hindi' in the Montessary school she is admitted somewhere near Washington DC... a 5 yr old kid. It seems in US they teach another version which goes like...
'Machli jal ki rani hai
Jeevan uska pani hai
Haath lagaoge to dar jayegi
Bahar nikaloge to so jayegi.'
'Mar' in Hindi means 'die' while 'so' in Hindi means 'sleep'. It seems the Indian Americans do not want to teach their children a cruel tale of death, but would rather they believe a somewhat happier tale where the fish goes to sleep. Just some food for thought! :) "
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Tarun Pratap Singh for contributing this rhyme! Thanks to Bhoomika Rawat for the 2nd translation and commentary!