Omanathinkal Kidavo

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Omanathinkal Kidavo (Malayalam: ഓമന തിങ്കള്‍ കിടാവോ) is a lullaby in Malayalam that was composed by Irayimman Thampi on the birth of Maharajah Swathi Thirunal of Travancore. To date, it remains one of the most popular lullabies in the Malayalam language.[1]


The lullaby was composed (1813) by Thampi at the request of the then ruler of Travancore, Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi, to put the baby King Swathi Thirunal to sleep. His birth was a long-awaited event for the royal family since it faced the threat of being annexed into British India under the Doctrine of Lapse for the want of a male heir. The lyrics of the poem reflect this sense of relief when it refers to the baby as a 'treasure from God' and 'the fruit of the tree of fortune'.[2][3]


Originally composed in the Kurinji raga (melodic mode) and set to Adi tala (metre), it is most often performed in the Navaroj or Nilambari ragas.[1][2] An interesting feature of this lullaby is that it doesn't mention the word sleep in it. The sleep is thus induced by the effect of the raga.[4] The song lends itself well to the expressions of the navarasas and is therefore often set to dance.[5]

Lyrics and translation[edit]


The Irayimman Thampi Memorial Trust alleged that the first eight lines of the Oscar nominee Bombay Jayashri's song 'Pi's Lullaby' in the film Life of Pi were not an original composition but a translation into Tamil of the Omanathinkal Kidavo. The song had been nominated in the Original Song category for the Oscar Awards of 2013. Jayashri however maintained that she merely wrote what had come to her heart and denied the allegation against her.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b "Lullaby composed for Swathi: Omana Thingal". Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b Narayanaswami, P P. "Omana Thingal Kidavo." Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Evocative rendition". The Hindu. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  4. ^ Nair, A S. "A Royal Lullaby" (PDF). Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Expressive steps". The Hindu. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Omana Thinkal Kidavo - Fox Strangeways". Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Controversy over Bombay Jayashri's Oscar-nominated song Pi's Lullaby". DNA. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Pi's lullaby: Bombay Jayashri denies allegations of plagiarism". The Hindu. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.