Punjabi: flying crows

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Is "to fly a crow, to fly crows" an idiom in Punjabi?
I imagine, releasing that bird and trusting its instincts to find one's bearings because, apparently, crows are good at detecting landmasses in the sea, cities in the jungle, etc.

Could it mean being utterly disoriented, making (futile) attempts at getting oriented?

The expression appears in the song "UmraaN laghghiiaaN". It is a poem about a lover that feels forsaken by her beloved, with Sufi undertones.
Apparently, it became a very famous Ghazal, and Coke Studio Pakistan released a more modern version recently.
Below is the first verse for context, with my translation attempt (which tries to be more literal than the Coke Studio captions).

Har vele taaNghaaN yaar diiaaN ......................... At every moment, longing for (my) beloved,
maiN taaN baiṭhii kaaga uḍaaraaN ...................... I therefore sit, "flying crows".
aap vaan̄jhaaN ki maiN kaasad bhejaaN ............... To go myself or to send a messenger?
merā thiiṇ gaiōN haal biimaaraaN ........................ My steadiness is gone, my state sickening

ਹਰ ਵੇਲੇ ਤਾਂਘਾਂ ਯਾਰ ਦੀਆਂ
ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਬੈਠੀ ਕਾਗ ਉਡਾਰਾਂ
ਆਪ ਵਾਂਝਾਂ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਕਾਸਦ ਭੇਜਾਂ
ਮੇਰਾ ਥੀਣ ਗਇਓਂ ਹਾਲ ਬੀਮਾਰਾਂ

ہر ولے تانگهاں یار دیاں
میں تاں ببیٹھی کاگ اڑآراں
آپ ونجھاں کہ میں قاصد بھیجاں
میرا تھیں گائیوں حال بیماراں​

Thanks in advance for any help
 
  • MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    A Punjabi speaker just told me that when a crow sits in your house, traditionally it predicts that a guest will arrive.
    So maybe the song is reflecting her frustration, having to hush away crows, but the expected visit never happening.

    Another speaker tells me that "flying crows" has the general meaning of "having nothing to do, being idle", myths apart.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    More information:

    • Almost everyone I spoke with, is aware of the folk meaning of a crow announcing a guest, so I think it is safe to assume that is what the poet had in mind (poetically indicating her annoyance because the guest, her lover, doesn't come).

    • اڈاراں / ਉਡਾਰਾਂ / uḍaaraaN is 1st person subjunctive, equivalent to اڑاؤں / उड़ाऊँ / uṛaaūN in Hindustani. I don't know enough Punjabi to tell if it is the standard way to build the 1st person subjunctive of ਉਡਾਉਣਾ / اُڈاؤنا / uḍāuṇā, but I suspect it is not.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Here is an Urdu translation based on limited knowledge of Punjabi:

    ہر ویلے تانگهاں/تانگاں یار دیاں
    میں تاں بیٹھی کاگ اڈاراں
    آپ ونجاں کہ میں قاصد بھیجاں
    میرا تھیں گئیوں حال بیماراں

    ہر (ویلے/وقت/لمحہ) (تانگیں/طلب) یار کی
    میں تو بیٹھی کاگ اڑاؤں/اڑاتی رہتی ہوں/اڑانے کو
    آپ جاؤں کہ میں قاصد بھیجوں
    میرا ہو گیا حال مانندِ بیماراں

    عمراں لنگھیاں (پبّاں/پبھاں) پا/پار/بھار
    ہالے نہ وسّ وے کاہلیا/کالیا

    اعمار/عمریں گذریں پنجوں کے بل
    ابھی نہ برسو رے جلدباز/سیاہ

    Note: As can be seen by researching this piece online, there are various spellings used for some words and even multiple interpretations (کاہلیا vs. کالیا, etc.). Forum members with more knowledge of the Punjabi language could provide further details.
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I think the word is not
    تھیں ਥੀਣ
    میرا تھیں گئیوں
    but تھئی گیو or تھئی گیّو however I haven't yet listened to the song.
    اعمار
    This form hardly suits a folk song, doesn't it? میرا حال تو بیماروں کا سا ہو گیا
    اڈاراں / ਉਡਾਰਾਂ / uḍaaraaN is 1st person subjunctive, equivalent to اڑاؤں / उड़ाऊँ / uṛaaūN in ...
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but since I don't know how you understand the meaning of "flying crows" - it is not the sort of flying as in "kite-flying". It means to MAKE fly (away) - to chase them away.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    marrish said:
    This form hardly suits a folk song, doesn't it?
    Yes, but I usually try to incorporate various forms and words in such translations as learners have suggested in the past that it is helpful. عمریں was also included.
    marrish said:
    but تھئی گیو or تھئی گیّو however I haven't yet listened to the song.
    Asad Amanat Ali Khan seems (you could verify/explain further in light of your knowledge of Punjabi) to have pronounced it as تھی/تھئی گیا in various recordings throughout his career. However, تھیں گئیوں is written on multiple websites quoting this piece of Khwaja Ghulam Fareed.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but since I don't know how you understand the meaning of "flying crows" - it is not the sort of flying as in "kite-flying". It means to MAKE fly (away) - to chase them away.
    Yes, thanks. I assume that it is a causative "to cause to fly" and that there is an uḍaarnaa counterpart (it seems there is), and that for something capable of flight like a bird it would mean "to shoo, to scare away"
    I should have been more explicit in my attempted translation.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I listened to it several more times, and, to my untrained ears, despite the caption and translations, it doesn't sound like the singer is pronouncing any "n" or nasalization after تھی

    Perhaps it is not far-fetched to assume that the abundance of references to تھیں might be due to people blindly copying the "official" Coke Studio captions.

    As a matter of fact, I just listened to some of the old versions by Asad Amanat Ali Khan, especially a popular one in which he sustains the "thiiiiiii" for several seconds, and there is no N.
     
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    Pvitr

    Member
    Panjabi
    Fascinating post - having discussed with another Panjabi speaker I think the following may explain.

    Regarding ਕਾਗ ਉਡਾਰਾਂ I believe that Monsieur Gonazalez has mentioned the correct meaning - as she sits waiting for her beloved she plays a game to see if a crow flies away - if it does then her beloved will come, (if it does not then her beloved will not come either). I believe the game involves a rhyme similar to:

    Udd udd kavaaN, thenu kut kut chuRiyaaN pavaaN,
    Fly away crow, I will scatter chuRi for you
    suco suc das mera/meri [person] auga ka nahin?
    Tell me honestly, will [person, eg my beloved/my nani etc] come or not?
    (Apologies for any translation errors)

    ਥੀਣ is an old Panjabi word for 'body' - often used in literature/qissa-tales rather than in day-to-day spoken Panjabi
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Pvitr Ji, there is no game being played. ਥੀਣਾ is another word for the verb ਹੋਣਾ.

    Imagine this scene. The lover is desperately longing to see her beloved. A crow perches itself on the roof top but the crow's crowing, as culturally expected, does not manifest in his appearance. So, she shoos it away hoping that it would come back and crow for the second time making her beloved's visit possible. This process continues ad infinitum until it seems that "ages" (3umraaN) have gone by, she being on her tip-toes in desperate anticipation of a glimpse of her beloved. She even implores the black clouds not to shed their rain lest he is delayed due to bad weather! (Remember there is not much drainage in our part of the world and a small amount of rain will result in a flood and a lot of mud!:))
     
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