Kanak di Rakhi

by unknown artists (duet)

Translated by Radhika Nagpal

© Copyright 2001 MIT Bhangra

One of the true classics.  A little battle between the sexes, and a portrait of the  "Punjabi" mutiyaar. She complains subtly about the chauvinistic attitude of the men - first they act as if they are in love and then use love and marriage as an excuse to get work done. But she complains only slightly, and mockingly - she can't do the work, not because it is too hard for her, but because it ruins her makeup and jewelery. He, the handsome Gabroo, on the other hand applies every last bit of dripping charm to win her over.
(girl) Teri Kanak di rakhi mundiya Guarding your (teri) fields of corn (kanak), boy (mundiya)
(girl) Hun main nahiyon behndi I won't (nahiyon) sit (behndi) anymore (hun=now)
(guy) Kyon nahiyoon behndi why (kyon) won't you sit?
(girl) Main nahiyon behndi I won't sit
Kadi udawan titar bater,
Sometimes (kadi) I am running after the pheasants (titar bater) 
(udawan=make fly, shoo off)
Kadi udawan kaan Other times I am shooing off the crows (kaan)
Jind meri malook jahi, My life (jind) is very delicate (malook-jehi)
main kidar kidar jawan Where (kidar) all can I run ( jawan=go)
Je maar ke chalan jawa If I leap after them (chalan = leaps)
te meri chajhar lehndi Then my anklets (chajhar) will come off (lehndi)
Chajhar di koi sheh nahi baliye

Anklets are not of any worth (sheh), darling (baliye)
Jaan ve apni devan I would give (devan) my life (jaan) for you
Oye sone da ki paona kurdiye Why wear (paona) gold (sona), girl
Ni to pa le pyaar da gehna Instead, wear the necklace (gehna=jewlery) of love (pyaar)
Main dil tenu dena vaan I am giving you my heart (dil)
tu kyon nahiyon lehndi? Why won't you take it?
Dil je tera le liya maen

If I take your heart (dil)
Pher kenda khoo te behja Then (Phir) you just say, go sit (behja) by the well (khoo)
Nale mere kaparde to de And while you are there, can you wash my clothes (kaparde)
Naale Khetaan nu pani deja And also (naale), give water (pani) to the fields (khetaan)
Khetaan nu paani lavan, But if I water the fields
te meri mehndi lehndi it will ruin my mehndi (henna designs on her hands)
Khetaan di tu malik heeriye
Oh Heer (from Heer-Ranjha), 
you are the true owner (malik) of the fields
Phasal ve tere ghar de And the crops (phasal) comes from your house (ghar)
Tu paven sadi gal na sune Even if you don't listen (sune) to what I say (gal)
Par asi tere te marde (the truth is) I would die for you.
Tu aakhe te vadke kanakan If you just say the word (aakhe), then after cutting (vad) the corn (kanak)
Kad deyanga mehndi I will draw your mehndi myself

Back to MIT Bhangra