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  • Category: Competition Entries

    Gejje naadha: A melody from the baby's anklet bells.

    [Special prize winner for Topic of the Month TOW contest]

    In many parts of India, we follow the tradition of adoring toddlers with a small anklet, an ornament of silver around the ankle of babies, when they start crawling and walking. These have a series of one or two rows of tiny bells.

    These ornaments with the tiny bells are called as Gejje (in Kannada). The sounds made by this are called as gejje naadha (anklet melodious sounds). Traditional dancers, women also wear this, but the ones on the babies ankle are unique to me.

    The sounds of the little bells fill the house, it brings happiness and raises an expectation in the hearts of the elders, who turn around, to follow the sound so that they can catch a glimpse of the little bundle of joy, crawling or running around the house. The very sound brings a smile to the faces of adults in the home and guests. Worries are forgotten momentarily by the sounds of the soft little feet shuffling across the floor.

    What I love is, the child doesn't even know the impact of the bell sounds that it generates. But yet, unknowingly, these tiny bells on tiny little ankles of little children bring joy and warmth to the hearts of the people around it.

    These joyous sounds to me reflect the greatness of the pure hearts of the children and the unique power of these tiny bells that are hardly 1cm-2cm in size. It strikes a pleasant chord in the hearts of the listeners, like the bell chimes of cows in the heart of the cowherd.
  • #631475
    An excellent thread! In Bengal also, the system of tying a bell around the ankle or waist of a child is in vogue. The sound gives immense pleasure to the elderly people. But the baby also feels very happy hearing the sound of the bell. My daughter used to clap whenever she used to hear the sound of the bell tied around her ankle.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #631477
    The anklet bells are not only for decorating the child,but it also serves as a way of monitoring the child's movements. So that the mother or elders can reach the child when it needs. They can also monitor that it does not wander beyond the safe belt area.

    The Tamil devotional singer 'Pithukuli Murugadas '(and others too) used to sing a song 'Aadaathu asangaathu vaa, kannaa..' which very nicely captures the captivating movement of a child (infant Krishna) wearing golden anklets.

  • #631498
    Its a pleasure and enjoyment for the new mothers to watch the small kids moving with their ankle bells giving the sounds and that brings wholesome moments in the home. And it is also the indication that the child is playing nearby and active. Sometimes the mother would be in kitchen and the child is left alone. The ankle bells would prove that the child is moving and active inside the house. Moreover for a girl child having the ankle bells on the two legs gives more attraction and charm and adds to their beauty. I feel children are the stress busters when they run here and there by making sounds from the ankle bells.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #631501
    A nice piece of narration by the author to bring in the subtle sound of bells through the anklet bells tied to the babies.

    As mentioned by other members also the two fold purpose of these ornaments is well understood. To produce music in the atmosphere and as well monitor the movement of the baby.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #631638
    Amazing one, Nice to hear that.

  • #631662
    The watching and listening the bell sound from the anklets is immense enjoying and cannot be explained in words. As #631477 told the song of pithukuli murugadass and another song of 'chalanga katti odi vaarayo' also super to hear and imagining ourselves as Lord Krishna in child form running here and there with anklets. Chalanga katti song can be heared .
    Once my wife planned to buy an anklet to my brother's daughter who was only three years of age. We take the child to the biggest jewellery shop in Chennai. After selecting two out of all shown by them, we told the sales girl to wear that so as to confirm tightness and suitability. After wearing the child was dropped on the floor and asked to walk. To astonish she walked and told no bell sound was there. My wife surprised to hear and select another one with sound. All buyers and sales girls are wondering about this small child asking sound from anklets.

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