Thursday, August 30, 2007

the golden bird

aug 30th, 2007

speaking about india's golden ages, somebody (mckinsey?) talked about the 'golden bird'.

this, i suppose, is a literal translation of the urdu phrase 'sone ki chidiya'.

but i am not aware of such a phrase to describe india in any other indian language, certainly not in malayalam, my forte. or sanskrit, or tamil, or any others.

can someone correct me if they know that this phrase 'golden bird' exists in some other regional language?

my belief is that it was coined by mohammedan invaders who were looking upon india as the goose that laid the golden egg, in a manner of speaking. i don't think it is an indigenous phrase.


Ghost Writer said...

You are right - the Indian classical world does not make any mention of India by that name.

Modern languages, including Hindi and my mother tongue Punjabi (of which there are at least 4 main dialects that I know of) have borrowed this phrase from the Islamic-Persian world via Urdu.

Incidentally - the likes of the wise Chidambaram would do well to read Chapter VII of Camoens Lusiads
The lusiads tell the story of Vasco de Gama's "discovery" of India and is replete with not only descriptions of her riches (thank you Mr. FM), but also about the "pagan hell" where people worship the devils. Camoens is in no doubt as to what a "good" Chritians should do to them - which formed the basis of the Goan inquisition (that and "Saint" Francis Xavier). Reflect also on this couplet (variously translated by many authors but I have provided the gist)

"There also te Land of Bengal,
So fertile - she outranks them all"

This when Camoens never went further than Malabar - imagine the riches of the place.And look what the Communists have made it!

Anonymous said...


The concept of goose with golden feathers is based on an Indian story in the Jataka tales.

See the link below:

Anonymous said...

In the version of the story I had first learnt, The goose happens to be the late husband of the widow (the greedy poor mother in the above story), who wishes to help his family in difficult times.