Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu: chaRhaayaa چڑھایا


Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina

I would need to abuse this forum's patience with one last query about the Coke Studio song "Hairaan Hua"
At some point, the song relates the execution of the Persian mystic Mansour Hallaj, who apparently was hung or decapitated, and what probably were his last words (or something he used to repeat a lot in his trances).
The lyrics provided by Coke Studio go:

سولی تے منصور چڑھایا 'انا الحق' کلام
सूली ते मंसूर चढ़ाया ['ana al-haq] कलाम
suulii te maNsuur chaRhaayaa 'aanaa al-haq' kalaam

Where "'ana al-haq" is Arabic for "I am the Truth"
My understanding is that "chaRhaayaa" would kind of make sense, since one of its acceptions it "to execute (string up?) sb."
The problem is ... the singer is saying anything but "chaRhaayaa" there :) .

Is anyone familiar with the song, or knows what she is really saying?

[the verse occurs at 8:48 in the official Coke Studio Youtube video clip]
Thanks in advance
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    I have not heard the song, but the verb that you are unable to hear and comprehend may very well be some variant of "chaRhnaa". "soolii chaRhnaa" - to be hanged, to be impaled on a stake.
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    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Thanks, @littlepond
    As a matter of fact, she might be well be saying something like "soolii chaRhaaii" but without the final -aa
    The next word starts with an "aa", though ... I don't know.

    Maybe this is a valid poetic resource, attach a final vowel to the next semi-verse?

    suulii te maNsuur chaRhaaii [pause] 'aanaa al-haq' kalaam
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    Senior Member
    English, Hindustani
    That line of the song is not in Hindi-Urdu/Hindustani. At least for me, the giveaway is the suulii te. That te I recognize to be the Punjabi equivalent of Hindustani pe/par. The Coke Studio website says that there are supposed to be elements of Siraiki in this song, so perhaps this line is in Siraiki.

    I unfortunately don't know much about Punjabi or Siraiki grammar. When I listen to the song, I also hear chaRhaaii. Based on Wikipedia's discussion of Punjabi verbs, it doesn't seem like Punjabi's masculine perfective participle (equivalent to Hindustani chaRhaayaa) should be chaRhaaii. Maybe the situation is different in Siraiki, which I know nothing specific about.

    I'm also a bit puzzled by the lack of postposition after Mansur's name. In Hindustani, I'd expect a ko, since it's a definite direct object. Since I'm mostly only exposed to very Hindustani-ified Punjabi, I want there to be an analogous postposition (probably nuuN) after Mansur's name. But maybe this rule is more lax in Punjabi than it is in Hindi-Urdu, or maybe it's more lax in Siraiki, or maybe it's just poetic license. :confused:

    [By the way, since you left "ana al-haq" untransliterated in Nagari in your original post, I just wanted to point out that अनल-हक़ or अन-अल-हक़ seem to be the typical transliterations one sees. I sort of prefer the latter transliteration since it preserves the integrity of the Arabic definite article, but to each his own. The phrase occurs in a poem by Faiz that was part of a rather absurd controversy in India recently, so you'll find lots of hits on the internet in Devangari.]
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    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Thanks, @aevynn
    You are right, I am not quite consistent about what "foreign" words I transliterate or not. It is mostly laziness: if a word such as "te" or "daa" starts appearing too often in the texts I use, then I tend to just "Hindustanize" them and stop bothering transliterating them.

    With "ana al-haq" it was another layer of laziness. In Urdu was too tempting to just keep writing right-to-left and not changing the script, which I do especially when the letters are the same than in Arabic. But to be consistent, as you point out correctly, I should transliterate in both scripts or in none.

    [I read some of the articles about अनल-हक़ / अन-अल-हक़ with the help of Google translate. Some people apparently have less of a life than I :)]

    It is a consolation that someone competent also spots there is something nonstandard about that chaRhaaii ...

    BTW: Given that we don't know exactly what that is, I can only speculate, but I wonder if this isn't yer another word-play which Sufis seem to like, using the meanings of chaRhaanaa (to elevate) and suulii chaRhaanaa (to execute by hanging). Something like "On the gallows, Mansur elevated [his] words/ Mansur was hanged, [his words]:"