Hindi, Urdu: ghanan-ghanan

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MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

What does ghanan-ghanan mean?
I find it in songs related to seasons and raining, and it is surely something clouds do, but, what?
Thundering? Mushrooming? Gathering? Hammering?
Is it an onomatopoeia? Or some sort of adverbial phrase equivalent to English gerund in -ing ?

Examples:

("Ghanan Ghanan", from the movie "Lagaan")
ghanan-ghanan ghir ghir aaye badraa
ghan ghanghor kaare chaaye badraa



("Garaj Garaj", from the series "Bandish Bandits")
garaj garaj aaj megh
ghanan-ghanan chaayo re
damak damak camke bijurii
kahte hai riRturaaj aayo


[Edit: And I guess the same doubt applies for "garaj-garaj", "damak-damak", etc., only that those words happen to mean something in isolation, but not "ghanan-ghanan", AFAIK.]


Please advice
 
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  • MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    ... but sometimes (always in the context of a rainstorm or similar), it seems to be applied to lightning, for example:

    MIYAAN KI MALHAAR (Coke studio season 6, example Youtube u7R4kdCi1zY)

    بجری چمکے گرجے برسے
    bijuri chamke garje barse
    Lightning flashes, thunder crashes

    گھنن گھنن گھن بجری چمکے
    ghanan ghanan ghan bijuri chamke
    Lightning slashes across the sky

    I can't picture "thick, dense, compact" as applied to lightning.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    One could also say "ghan-ghan" barse. "ghan" is cloud, also a hammer, and also dense, and also a bell or another metallic instrument used for music (from Dasa: धातु का, ढालकर बनाया हुआ बाजा जो प्राय: ताल देने के काम आता है । जैसे—झाँझ, मँजीरा, करताल इत्यादि), and hence heavy hitting rain can be very easily imagined to be "ghanghor baarish." As a sound, thus, "ghan" is a loud roar (think of hammer and dense again) or a bell-like metallic sound.

    From Platts:

    ghan-garāj, s.m. The roar of thunder; thunder; — a deep loud roar; any loud noise; — adj. Loud-sounding
    ghan-ghor, adj. & s.m. Loud-sounding; roaring aloud; — very cloudy; — roaring of thunder; thunder; — gathering of clouds, cloudiness

    H گهنگهن घनघन ghan-ghan (i.q. khan-khan, q.v.), s.f. Jingle; tinkle; clink; ring; droning, drone; murmur, rumbling, noise (as of a mill, &c.).
    H گهنگهنانا घनघनाना ghanghanānā (fr. ghan-ghan), v.n. To jingle, tinkle, clink, ring; to murmur, to drone (as a revolving wheel).

    From Dasa:

    घनघनाना - घन् घन् शब्द होना । घंटे की सी ध्वनि निकलना
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    MIYAAN KI MALHAAR (Coke studio season 6, example Youtube u7R4kdCi1zY)

    بجری چمکے گرجے برسے
    bijuri chamke garje barse
    Lightning flashes, thunder crashes

    گھنن گھنن گھن بجری چمکے
    ghanan ghanan ghan bijuri chamke
    Lightning slashes across the sky

    I can't picture "thick, dense, compact" as applied to lightning.
    That's because your translation is wrong: you are constantly missing the cloud!

    What is doing the "garje, barse"? Not lightning definitely! It's the cloud ("ghan"): hence, "lightning flashes, the cloud thunders and rains."

    Again, in the next line, "the cloud roars, and the lightning flashes."

    (Always remember that Hindi, like many other languages -- Mandarin Chinese and Turkish come to mind -- uses repetition very often as a mild intensifier, hence the "ghanan ghanan" or "ghan ghan.")
     
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