Quick Menu

 Go to main glossary page


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

The Chayavad movement in Hindi poetry

The mid-twentieth century Chayavad movement represents a stark departure from earlier Hindi and Urdu poetic traditions. Its philosophy was that poetry should deal in emotions above all else and that the poet should strive to express those emotions as tenderly as possible. The name “Chayavad” is untranslatable, as the literal meaning, “shadow-espousing,” sounds sinister in English. What is meant by “shadow” in this context is the emotional wake that trails after an event. It is that ripple of emotion and not the event itself that Chayavad poetry aims to capture in verse.

-Arthur Dudney

On this page

The Hindi text (of selections) of an essay by the contemporary critic Namwar Singh is available as a PDF as are the texts of the two poems, “Vishva Chavi” by Sumitranandan Pant and Nīrajā (selection) by Mahadevi Varma.

This page has vocabulary for:

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


Vocabulary list for Namwar Singh essay

स्वाधीनता - f. independence
भारतवासी - resident of India
मानिसक - mental, spiritual
अवश्य - certainly
भाव - m. emotion; (less frequently) being, existence, temperament
अबाध - unconstrained, uninhibited
प्रसार - m. spread, extension
छायावाद - movement in poetry which stressed the importance of expressing the poet's own sensibility
युवक - m. youth, young man
मर्यादा - f. limit, boundary, custom (also morality, code of conduct)
मुक्त - emancipated
परिपाटी- f. succession, method, tradition
निषेध - m,prevention, veto, ban
औचित्य - m. appropriateness
नियमावली - f. body of rules
शिथिल - loose, weak, relaxed
उच्छ्वास - breath, sigh
उमड़ना - to rise/swell
पर्याय - m. synonym
आवेग - fit (of anger or any emotion), surge
अभिव्यक्ति - f. expression, manifestation
सतर्क - cautious, alert
रीतिकाल - m. the period in Hindi literature immediately preceding colonialism; sometimes referred to (arguably incorrectly) as the "Mannerist" period
कदर - to this extent, like this
ढलाना - to pour out, cast
वैशिष्ट्य - m. feature, trait
संयम - m. restraint, control
संयत - restrained
सदैव = सदा - always, continually
सन्तुलित - balanced, equable
अिस्थरता - f.unsteadiness, instability
विह्वलता - f. agitation
धैर्य = धीरज - m. steadfastness, resoluteness, patience (धीर is a related adj.)
विवेक - m. judgment, prudence, discrimination
सन्देह - m. doubt, suspicion
भावावेग - frenzy, emotionality
व्यथा - f. affliction
उल्लास - (m.) radiance, splendour (this also means rapture, which seems appropriate here)
उछ्ललना- v.t. to spring up, leap, bound
अनुभूति - (f.) perception
भय - (m.) fear
संकोच – (m.) hesitation
ह़र्श – (m.) joy
शोक – (m.) sorrow, regret
प्रकट- adj. evident, clear
गम्भीरता - f. depth
भला- adj. good, excellent
जगत् - (m.) the world, creation
संवेदन m. perception
संवेदनशीलता - f. sensitivity
सोपान- (m.) stairs
वस्तु - (f.) thing; (but also) anything real, substance, essence
सामान्य - adj. general, common; (but also) alike, equal
जगानेवाली - "the one who wakes up"
आधार - (m.) base, fountain
तात्पर्य - (m.) aim, intent
रहस्य - (m.) secret, mystery
जिज्ञासु - adj. curious, inquisitive
प्रामाण - (m.) measure, standard, authority, view
अथ्क - adj. unwearied
कुतूहल- (m.) curiosity, eager interest
मंगलाचरण - (m.) an invocation prayer at the beginning of a poem or enterprise
रचनात्मक - adj. creative
अथवा - conj. or

"Vishva Chavi" by Sumitranandan Pant

विश्व m. universe
छवि (f.) = 1) beauty, 2) brilliance
मुसकुराते - smiling
सुभग - fortunate
भोला - innocent
दुलकना - to drip down/roll down
हिमजल - m.cold water
हिम (m.) = cold, ice, winter, snow
जल (m.) = water
लोचन - m. eye
अधिखला - half-bloom
अखिला - adj. undeveloped/unblossomed
तन - m. body
मन - mind
धूलि - f. dust
स्वभाव - behavior, nature
दुकूल - fine cloth
मृदुल - soft
छवि - f. beauty
स्व-विस्मित-सा - astonished (literally: as though surprised by itself)
प्राण् (m.) = 1) air 2) breath 3) life
खिलना = to bloom, blossom; to be happy
मृदु - soft
पृथुल adj. wide, broad
यौवन - m.youth
उभार - m. rising
मधुर - melodious
मधु - m. honey (also nectar, sweetness)
व्यापार - m. business, trade
चुभना - to pierce
उर - heart
शूल - m.pointed weapon
उत्मुक - eager
सहज - natural
प्रमुदित - delighted
गुलाब् (m.) = 1) rose
रन्गीला = happy
कंटीला = sharp (as in thorny)
जटिल = arduous, tangled, complicated
वास - fragrance (m) (this word also means dwelling)
हास - laughter (m)
झूलना- to swing, sway
के अनुकूल - in accordance with
दिव्य - divine
विकास - budding, development (m)
सजग - vigilant
मिलन - a meeting (m)
सुकृति - a good act or deed (f)
सुमन - beauty (m)
सुरभित - fragrant
उद्यान - garden (m)
मधुदान - a gift of nectar
मूल - root, origin, source (m)
स्वप्न - dream (m)
नव्य - new
धूलि - dust (f)
धूसर - dusty
परिवर्तन - change, transformation (m)
पार्थिव - from/of the earth
नवल - novel (in the sense of new)
दुहराना - to repeat
अवसान - death, end (m)
करुण - piteous, sad (adj) (the related feminine noun is करुणा)

Selection from Nīrajā

पुलक - m. thrill
उर - m. heart
सिहर - shiver
तन - m. body
नयन - eyes
भरना - to fill
सकुच - shyness
सलज - embarrassed
खिलना - to bloom
शेफाली - plant
अलस - lazy (also m. langor)
मौलश्री - kind of tree
डाली - branch
बुनना - to sew (more specifically to weave or to knit)
नव - new
प्रवाल - m. coral
कुंज - m. grove
ररजत - m. and adj. means silver, bright. रजना is also a verb meaning to look brilliant
श्याम -adj. dark (also a name of Krishna)
तोरा - star
जाली - net
शिथिल - weak (also loose, slack)
मधु-पवन - gentle breeze
गिनना - to count
हरिसंगार - kind of tree
पिक - cuckoo bird
मधुमय - melodious
वंशी - flute
नाच -m. dance
अिलनी - bumble bee
सजल - moist
पाटल - flower
बरसाना - to rain upon
तम - darkness
पराग - pollen
रोली - marks
मृदुल= मृदु adj. soft
अंक - mark
सर - head/arrow
निशा - f.night
नयन- eye, eyelid
m. आंसू- tears
तारक- pupil (eye); (can also mean saviour/deliverer or star/planet)
सुमन- beautiful, benevolent, happy
सेज- bed
बिछाना- to be spread out, laid out (particularly used of a bed)
कम्पित- ad. shaking
वानीर f. monkey
विहाग- adj. sad (expressing separation) (also m. a sad song, name of a particular raga)
उन्मन- disturbed in mind
लौटना- to return
संचित- collected together, amassed
चित्रित- drawn, traced delineated
सजल- tearful; damp
मेघ- m. cloud
धूमित- smoke-colored, dim
जग- world
चिर- long-lasting
नूतन- new
पुलकित- enraptured, estatic
पाहुन- guest
पलक m. eyelid; eyelash; blinking of an eye (a moment, instant)
पग- the foot; a step
धरना - to place or hold
सा at end of lines in last stanza just means "like," "as if"

^ Go back to top

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