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Nineteenth-century prose

Chandrakāntā by Devaki Nandan Khatri (selection from the novel) Urdu
Premsāgar by Lallulal (selection)
Literary criticism by Bhartendu Harishchandra, “Hindī bhāshā” and “Urdū kā syāpā”

Twentieth-century prose

“Sadgati” by Premchand
“Dudh kā dām” by Premchand Urdu
“Urdū, Hindī, aur Hindūstānī” by Premchand Urdu
“Malbe kā mālik” by Mohan Rakesh
“Tanāv” by Rajendra Yadav
“Dillī mẽ ek maut” by Kamleshwar
“Paccīs caukā deṛh sau” by Omprakash Valmiki
Apne-apne pinjare by Mohandas Naimishray Urdu
“Lājwantī” by Rajinder Singh Bedi Urdu


Two Braj Bhasha poets:
  • Kabir Urdu
  • Rahim Urdu
Selections from Braj works: The Chayavad movement, with
  • Selection from the critical essay “Kalpnā ke kānan kī rānī” in Chāyāvād by Namwar Singh
  • “Vishva chavi” by Sumitranand Pant
  • Nīrajā by Mahadevi Varma (selection)
Old Avadhi texts: selections from
  • the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsīdās
  • the Madhumālatī of Manjhan

by Raḥīm

Raḥīm's Dohāvalī is a collection of couplets, often centering on philosophical themes with heavy religious allusions. This Mughal general's collection of poems offers up trenchant and pithy commentary on timeless issues. It also exemplifies his lexical mastery of Sanskritized Braj. Allison Busch and her Fall 2012 class prepared the following glossary for the text.

-Justin Ben-Hain

On this page

PDF availableThe Braj text is available as a PDF

If the Hindi words below appear as boxes or nonsense, please see the introduction page for help.


Dohāvalī, vv. 1-8

दोहा १:
आपुनो: (reflexive adjective) one's own; अपना
चारू: (adj) lovely, beautiful, graceful, elegant.
चकोर: (noun) a type of partridge; a mystical bird that is said to love the beauty of the moon. The bird is said to spend its nights staring at the moon's beauty.
निसि: (noun) night
बासर: (noun) day; morning
कृष्णचंद्र: (noun) it seems to me that this is a rupak alankar, or metaphor, comparing Krsna to the moon; it is difficult to translate a rupak into English, but we can settle to define it, for our purposes, as 'moon-like Krsna.' The play here hinting at the chakor's attraction to the moon and Rahim's attraction to Krsna's moon-like face.
ओर: direction; side; towards

दोहा २:
अच्युत: an epithet for Krsna or Visnu; one who is stable; eternal; indestructible
चरण: (noun) feet
तरंगिनी: (lit.) "possessing waves," and by extension a river
शिव: Shiva
सिर: (noun) head; crown; top; beginning
मालती: jasmine, a type of flower used in deity worship; moonlight
माल: (noun) माला; garland
सुरसरी: (noun) Ganga; possibly vocative context
इंदव-भाल: an epithet for Shiva; one who has a moon on his forehead
*both verbs in the third and fourth segments seem to be in the imperative mood.

दोहा ३:
अधम: (noun) base, vile, sinner, wretched
वचन: (noun) word(s); promise; vow
फल्यो: (verb) फले है; have benefited
छांह: (noun) shade
नीरस: (adjective) without flavor; without interest; without rasa
जग: (noun) world

दोहा ४:
अन्तर: heart; inner self; soul
दाव: fire
धुआं: smoke
प्रगटै: manifests or shows
सोई: (pronoun) वही
जिय: जीव; soul; self; heart and mind

दोहा ५:
अनकीन्हीं: unspeakable; not worthy of being spoken; (lit.) "not done"
सोवत: (present participle) sleeping
सिखाय: (absolutive) having taught
जगायबो: (gerund-verbal noun) wakes up; enlightens
उचित: (adjective) appropriate

दोहा ६:
लघु: small; light
बड़ेन के जोर: बड़े लोगों के साथ; गुनवंत लोगों के साथ; साधू या संत के साथ
ससि: (noun) moon
संजोग: company; union
पचवत: (present participle of पचना) to put out; to quench
आगि: fire; here referring to the fire or flame of desire or passion

दोहा ७:
मानिए: imperative mood for verb to believe or listen
जदपि: (conj.) यद्यपि although; even if; whether
गुराइसु: (noun or adjective) one way to think about this is गुराइ +सु, "with heaviness, i.e. authority." Another possibility that occurs to me is गुर +आयसु, "a weighty command"
गाढ़ि: (adj) firm; solid; tight (thus another possibility is to take it as an absolutive from गाढ़-, intensified, strengthened)
रघुनाथ: Rama - the King of the Raghus
सुजस: (noun) 'सुयश'; good glory; honor
बाढ़ि: greater; higher; possibly an absolutive form, having increased
भरत: Rama's younger brother; Kaikeyi's son in Ramayana.

दोहा ८:
चुप करि रहउ: (compound verb) keep quiet; stay silent; do not waste time speaking
समुझि: (absolutive) having understood
दिनन: (plural noun) days
कर: older postposition meaning “का” in Modern Standard Hindi
फेर: (verb root is फेरना) understanding/realizing the turn of fate, lit. days
नीके: (adjective) pretty; beautiful; good
बनत: (present participle बनना)
देर: (noun) delay; tardiness; deferment; hindrance

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This site last updated by Justin Ben-Hain on 5 November 2013.