Tamanna sings Haathi aaya zhoom ke

Tamanna lives in Gurgaon with her parents, elder sister Anjali and brother Mayank. Tamanna's father, Vazirchand Manjonka was a landless farm labourer in Bhattu village, Fatehabad district, Haryana. Twenty years ago, he came to Delhi and worked as a domestic help. He learned to drive a car and now works as a car driver in Gurgaon.

When Tamanna was six months old, she fell ill and had to be hospitalised. The reason was severe lack of proper nourishment. Her mother was pregnant while Tamanna was still an infant.

Notwithstanding the illness and the subsequent weaker health compared to her siblings, Tamanna, six years old, is a live wire, as can be seen from her recital of the Hindi poem.

हाथी आया झूमके Elephant swayed merrily

हाथी आया झूमके Elephant swayed merrily

धरती मां को चूमके his trunk kissing mother earth

आंखे उसकी छोटी छोटी his eyes so little little

टांगे उसकी मोटी मोटी his legs so big big

पंख जैसे उसके कान his ears are like wings

देखो देखो उसकी शान look at all his glory

आओ जी आओ ना please come, come here now

हमारे घर भी आओ ना come to our house too

हलवा पूरी खाओ ना have some halwa puri now

आओ बैठो कुर्सी पर come sit on this chair

कुर्सी बोली चटर पटर the chair said, "chattar, pattar"

हाथी राजा गये लुडक and elephant raja fell down!

Namita Waikar is a writer, translator and Managing Editor at the People's Archive of Rural India. She is the author of the novel 'The Long March', published in 2018.

Other stories by Namita Waikar