Nineteenth-century proseChandrakāntā by Devaki Nandan Khatri (selection from the novel)
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
“Urdū, Hindī, aur Hindūstānī” by Premchand
“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
“Lājwantī” by Rajinder Singh Bedi
PoetryTwo Braj Bhasha poets:
- Raḥīm - Dohāvalī
- Raḥīm - Nagaraśobhā
- Keśavdās - Rasikapriyā chapter 3
- Keśavdās - Rasikapriyā chapter 7
- Bihārīlāl - Satsaī Commentary
- 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)
- the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsīdās
- the Madhumālatī of Manjhan
Raḥīm's Nagaraśobhā (The City's Radiance ]) compares with the Persian genre of śahrāśūb (Lament for the City ). While cruel, beautiful men dazzle the city at the heart of the śahrāśūb genre, Raḥīm's Nagaraśobhā focuses on the beauty of Indian women. This work has some quasi-ethnographic features in that the women are classified by their respective professions, but it also hearkens back to the tradition of nāyikā bheda (a classification system from Sanskrit poetics) and is suffused with śṛngāra, the erotic sentiment. Still, there is something distinctly feisty and provocative about the women who come under Raḥīm’s poetic gaze. The Nagaraśobhā is composed in a mixed idiom that is characteristic of Raḥīm's oeuvre with its often piquant multivalent registers. Allison Busch and her Fall 2012 class prepared the following glossary for the text.
On this page
The Braj text is available as a PDF.
If the Hindi words below appear as boxes or nonsense, please see the introduction page for help.
Nagaraśobhā, vv. 1-18
अदि: beginning, primary
दुति: light, splendor
परम: highest, perfect, ultimate
लघु: light, small.
मति: understanding, mind.
अस्तुति: speaking ill of someone, state of disgrace; note that this need not be negative, i.e. स्तुति (compare अस्नान in verse 4, which means स्नान). Occasionally modern speakers of Hindi-Urdu insert a vowel before an initial conjunct sibilant.
निरखि: absolutive from निरखना, to observe, AB
भाँति: various kinds
उत्तम: best, highest
लुभाय: to entice
परसत: take परस- as a verb derived from स्पर्श, to touch
परजापति: the creator, title of Brahma, king (the father of goddess Parvati)
रति: enjoyment, love, intercourse.
खतरानी: the primary meaning is female kshatriya; the secondary meaning is danger, which may be intended as a pun
इतरान: the dictionary glossed this as इतराना: to behave with pride or conceit; strut
पारस: According to Platts, a “stone which, according to Hindū legend, immediately converts into gold any metal it touches:—pāras-patthar, pāras-patthal (S. sparśa+prastara, s.m.=pāras,"
मनो: brbh = मानों
पूतरी: पुतली, f. puppet, doll; lovely woman
कंचल: कंचन, gold
बिलसै: be delighted
जौहरिन: jeweler [specifically a female jeweller--all of these verses are about women, AB]
मुकुत: मुक्ता, pearl; a trope in Urdu and Persian poetry is the motif of tears as pearls. The bursting into tears idea seems particularly good because it provides a contrast to the imagery of laughing in the first line. This imagery does not come from the Indic Kavya tradition, as women are not portrayed crying.
बिरह: विरह: separation, anguish of separation.
चोट: wound, injury
पीरा: suffering, pain
कथन: to narrate; to speak; take closely with पार--to be able, "the Kayasth's wife is not able to say/speak..."
छाती: chest, breast.
बरुनि-बार:Eyelash-hair; one strand of eyelash
काजरि: kohl; from काजल
प्रेमाखर: Love’s letter. From प्रेम (love) अक्षर (letter, of the alphabet)
बांचन: Read; from बांचना which means to read
चितेरिन: A woman painter
खंजन: Wagtail (A typical simile for a woman's eyes, because wagtails dart quickly)
डारई: from डालना, subjunctive form
नेकु: Not one; not even a little
सुरंग: Golden colored
बरन: color (from वर्ण, colour)
खवाये: Makes you eat
पान: betel-leaf; can also mean leaf as well as hand, from पाणि
बिरही: Separated one
प्राण: Life, soul
अति: Ultra; very
चन्दन: Sandalwood; yellow
खौरे: टीका, तिलक; sandalwood paste smeared on her body, a typical erotic adornment, and one befitting a panwali
परसत: Touching (cf. v. 3)
बीरी: this is a prepared pan, cf. MSH बीड़ा
अधर: Lips, especially lower lips
पीरी: yellow; (possibly) to turn pale
बरन: Body, form, color, quality
सोभित: शोभित, splendid, adorned
सुनारी: Goldsmith’s wife
ढारी: ढालना means to cast
बिधिना: Fate, God
गढ़ी: (perfect tense) to make, to shape
बह्सनी: Arguing; to be talkative
घेरि: absolutive form of घेरना, to encircle
बनिआइन: Wife of the trader
पेक: पेक is attested as पायक, which means फेरीवाला or hawker. This gives us the right mercantile imagery. Another possibility might be पेंग , which means swinging . Or possibly from पेख< प्रेक्ष, to see
हेरि कै: upon seeing
टारत: Avert, defer, evade
बाट: Weights; path/marketplace
तराजू: Weighing scale
डांडी मारना: Shirk, dodge, cheat