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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 Premchand

This is one of the best known stories by Premchand (1880 - 1936) and a classic example of Progressive writers’ concern with the lives of people from oppressed classes. The main character, Dukhi, is from the untouchable Chamar caste, and his meager life is made difficult by social forces he does not understand. The action of the story revolves around his attempt to get the village Brahmin to cast his daughter's wedding horoscope. The ironic title, which is a Hindu theological term literally meaning “the right path,” has often been rendered into English as “Deliverance.”

-Arthur Dudney

On this page

PDF availableThe Hindi text of the story is available as a PDF with pages corresponding to the page numbers below.

There is also an audio recording available from historytalking.com.

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


Page 111

खैर inter. - really! indeed!
बरौठा - m. porchway, inner sitting room
भवें - dialect for भौंहें meaning eyebrows
पोथी-पत्र - book knowledge, learning
फेर - "lost in"
सुधी f. - the ability to discriminate or tell right from wrong
सराय m. - temporary home
दाढ़ीजार m. - bearded man
लुआठा m. - a burning piece of wood
झुलसना - to burn with scorching heat
गरजना v - to bellow or roar
अभाग m. - misfortune or ill fate
भनक f. - low sound or whisper
पछताना - v to regret
नाहक adv - improper or inappropriate
घूंघट f - end of a sari used to cover the face by women

Page 112

चिनगारी - a spark
सत्यानाश - total destruction
गलना - v. to melt (here refering to limbs wasting away, as with leprosy)
खट-खट - m. knocking
प्रस्ताव - suggestion/proposal
व्यावहारिक - practical
क्षेत्र - m. area/range
चोकर - barley/wheat husks
लिट्टि - bread cake
ठोक्ना - to drive in, sink in, hammer
फाड़ना - to split
फटना - to tear, be split
हलाकान - harassed, wearied
ढोना - to carry

Page 113

मूँछ – (f.) moustache
ताव – (m.) heat (here “curling” i.e. of moustache)
बेगार – (m.) unpaid labour
मज़दूरी – (f.) manual work
आफ़त – (f.) misfortune, trouble
सँभलना –to be proper up; to recover; to pay attention
दरार – (f.) crack, gap
चीरना – to split, tear, cut
कार-परोजन - dialect for कार्य-प्रयोजन
घटी – (f.) decrease
भूसा = भूसी – husk, chaff
झौवा = झौना – large open basket
फ़रलांग- furlong (English measure of distance)
ज्यों-का-त्यों - unaltered, "just like that"
मुट्ठी – (f.) fist, handful
साइत = Urdu ساعت – (f.) hour, time
घँसना = घिसना – to be rubbed
जलपान –m. drinking of water; a snack
अवकाश – m. opportunity; leisure

Page 114

बढ़ावा देना - (vt) to encourage
कसके in this it seems adv. - forcibly
गुप्त - adj. hidden, kept secret
बाहुबल - m. strength of arm, bodily strength, vigor.
वज्र - m. lightning bolt
उन्माद - m. mania, delirium
छूटना - v.i. to be released
पुकारना - v.t. to call out
चैली - f. a splinter or chip of wood.
दिक करना - to pester, to pain
बूटी - f. any medicinal herb
छानना - v. to strain
शौच - m. purification
शंका - f. doubt, misgiving
अकड़ना - v.i. to become twisted or crooked, to shrivel
बदहवास - adj. confused, senseless
हकबकाना - v.i. to be taken aback, to be aghast
मुर्दा - m. a dead body
क्षण - m. A moment, an instant
बस्ती - f. settlement, suburb
लाश - f. a corpse
तहकीकात - f. enquiries
दिल्लगी - f. application of heart or mind, joke

Page 115

हाय-हाय – interj., sounds of grief or distress; + करना = to sigh, lament
पीटना – v.t. to beat, strike
धमकाना – v.t. to threaten, berate
मिन्नत – f. kindness, favor; entreaty, supplication; + करना = beseech
रोब – m. causing fear; commanding or awe-inspiring presence; dignity
मिनकना – v.i. to speak very softly; (in the negative: to take no notice, not to react)
निराश – adj. without hope, despairing
झुंझलाना – v.i. to be irritable, to flare up in anger
डाईन – f. a demoness, witch; pej. a shrewish or ugly old woman
खोपड़ी – f. a shell; colloq. the skull, the head
खोपड़ी चाटना – to plague, to worry; to torment;
चुड़ैल – f. ghost of a woman who dies while pregnant; an evil spirit; pej. a witch, hag
कोलाहल – m. uproar, din; shouting;
मचाना – v.t. to cause, to produce; to stir up (a noise, strife)
मनहूस – adj. unlucky, wretched; ominous
दुर्गन्ध –f. bad smell
घिन – f. aversion, nausea; + लगना – to feel aversion, disgust, to feel nausea
भ्रष्ठ – adj. fallen, corrupted; debased, polluted
फैलना – v.i. to spread, increase
फन्दा – m. noose, snare, trap; difficulty
मुरदा – adj. dead; m. a dead body
खींचना – v.t. to pull, drag, draw (this verb is also used for taking a photograph)
धुंधलका –adj. misty, foggy; blurry; dull; m. dawn, twilight
घसीटना – v.t. to drag, haul
छिड़कना – v.t. to sprinkle, spray, scatter
गीदड़ – m. a jackal;
गिद्ध – m. a vulture;
कौए – m. crow (corruption of कौवा)
नोचना – v.t. to scratch, claw
पर्यन्त – m. boundary, limit; ppn. up to, until
जीवन – पर्यन्त – adv. for the length of life; until death
निष्ठा – f. faith, belief, devotion
पुरस्कार – m. placing before, honoring: a reward, prize

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