Urdu, [Braj]: kachchii -- from Kech?

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

In the Coke Studio 2020 song "Jaag Rahii", the overall subject is a woman staying awake for the sake of her beloved.
At some point she complains as follows:

le ga'e kachchii niiNd uThaa ke
lauT sakaa to maiN aauuNgaa vaapas
sehtaa huuN maiN bhii judaaii tirii


The lyrics in Coke Studio's website, curiously, translate kachchii as "the men from Kech" (the district in Balochistan, Pakistan)

The men from Kech took me away while I was still half-asleep
If I can find a way, I will return to you
I, too, suffer the pain of separation


Is this correct?
Wouldn't it be more obvious to talk about "unfulfilled sleep"?
Or is the -ii really a Kech gentilic valid for plural males in this case?

Thanks in advance for any clarification.
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "kachchii niind" -- literally "unripe sleep" -- means usually the beginning of the sleep cycle, that is, when one is (still) not in sound sleep. It does not necessarily translate to "half-asleep," though in some contexts it may. There is no proper translation of this in English, as far as I know, so it has to be translated differently into English in different contexts.

    For example, a man entering with a lot of noise, and his wife warning him not to make noise since the child just now fell asleep:
    "voh abhii kachchii niind meN hai, shor mat karo"

    I am wondering why you think of Braj (most, if not all, of your Coke Studio songs have nothing to do with Braj), and also why you include Urdu but do not include Hindi for a word that is supposed to have come from Sanskrit!
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I am wondering why you think of Braj (most, if not all, of your Coke Studio songs have nothing to do with Braj), and also why you include Urdu but do not include Hindi for a word that is supposed to have come from Sanskrit!
    I mean no offense. It is they (Coke Studio) that put "Urdu, Braj" in the list of languages involved, and I didn't know for sure it was the "normal" kachchii :) .
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I mean no offense. It is they (Coke Studio) that put "Urdu, Braj" in the list of languages involved, and I didn't know for sure it was the "normal" kachchii :) .

    Do you see "Hindi" listed regularly on Coke Studio Pakistan's website?! Would it be politically ok for them? Even if it had been "kachchhii," the people from Kachchh - a region in Gujarat in India - there's nothing Urdu in that.

    No offence taken, but some members here are quite particular about these things, so it's best for everyone to be particular.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "kachchii niind" -- literally "unripe sleep" -- means usually the beginning of the sleep cycle, that is, when one is (still) not in sound sleep. It does not necessarily translate to "half-asleep," though in some contexts it may. There is no proper translation of this in English, as far as I know, so it has to be translated differently into English in different contexts.

    For example, a man entering with a lot of noise, and his wife warning him not to make noise since the child just now fell asleep:
    "voh abhii kachchii niind meN hai, shor mat karo"

    I am wondering why you think of Braj (most, if not all, of your Coke Studio songs have nothing to do with Braj), and also why you include Urdu but do not include Hindi for a word that is supposed to have come from Sanskrit!
    littlepond Jii, "kachchii niiNd" could be translated as "just dozing off".

    Regarding the song, I have n't heard it myself but I have looked at the lyrics. I am no expert in Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, Bhohpuri and the like but at least part of the song could be in Braj, hence the title. I don't know what percentage of Coke songs are Braj but I do know one thing. All the well known Qawwalis seem to have a mixed recipe where there may be couple of lines or more in Arabic, Persian, Punjabi, Braj and other languages, not necessarily all of them in one Qawwali. Amir Khusrau is one such character whose work abounds in such mixtures.

    I agree with you on your last point. Hindi should have been included in the title.

    (PS. If you get a few spare minutes, please listen to coke Studio's "Kangna" song by Fareed Ayaz and his brother Abu Muhammad)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I am wondering why you think of Braj (most, if not all, of your Coke Studio songs have nothing to do with Braj), and also why you include Urdu but do not include Hindi for a word that is supposed to have come from Sanskrit!
    The song is Braj A to Z. I've just listened to this refined rendition on a traditional Braj theme sung invariably in a sort of classical Braj lingua franca. There is a spoken male line in Urdu. The whole text is written in Urdu. There are no Sanskrit words in it.
    While most TheT/h words are cognate to words in Sanskrit, it's an old-fashioned idea to consider the whole Indic stock as originating from the divine language, in favour of patita language v. sanskrta as our etymological predecessors.
    Another dialect with lots of TheT words was once called by Bharatendu Harishchandra as khaRii bolii arthaat urduu, so TheTh words are per definition associable with the name Urdu and Urdu (Urdu alone or/and dubbed Hindi) possesses the capacity to represent this core element of itself.
    Even if it had been "kachchhii," the people from Kachchh - a region in Gujarat in India - there's nothing Urdu in that.
    Why on Earth would they be singing about a region in Gujarat in India? There is nothing Indian in that.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    littlepond Jii, "kachchii niiNd" could be translated as "just dozing off".

    Yes, sometimes, Qureshpor jii, though "dozing off" is usually better translated as "jhapkii lagnaa." Of course, when one is in a jhapkii, one's neend can be kachchii.

    Regarding the song, I have n't heard it myself but I have looked at the lyrics. I am no expert in Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, Bhohpuri and the like but at least part of the song could be in Braj, hence the title. I don't know what percentage of Coke songs are Braj but I do know one thing. All the well known Qawwalis seem to have a mixed recipe where there may be couple of lines or more in Arabic, Persian, Punjabi, Braj and other languages, not necessarily all of them in one Qawwali. Amir Khusrau is one such character whose work abounds in such mixtures.

    It may be so, but so far most qawwalis that I've had the pleasure to listen to (one must note here though that I don't listen to a lot of qawwalis), including all related to @MonsieurGonzalito's queries, have incorporated elements of Awadhi and Bhojpuri, or are even completely in those, but I have not heard much Braj. I have now listened to this song in question, and I again find no element of Braj in it. I will reply more on that below when I reply to marrish jii's post.

    I agree with you on your last point. Hindi should have been included in the title.

    Thanks!

    (PS. If you get a few spare minutes, please listen to coke Studio's "Kangna" song by Fareed Ayaz and his brother Abu Muhammad)

    I've listened to it now; thanks for the recommendation. Again, the entire song seems to be in Awadhi. Quite brilliant singing, but marred, for me, by the high-pitched energy level and accompaniment of instruments that don't go along with the song -- usually the case with Coke Studio versions. (It would have been bad singing in fact if it had been Braj, as the diction is not at all Braj!) It would have been much nicer to listen to it with a plain old harmonium and tabla, and the singers feeling a bit less excited, more intense.

    The song is Braj A to Z. I've just listened to this refined rendition on a traditional Braj theme sung invariably in a sort of classical Braj lingua franca.

    I am quite non-plussed at this response! It is in eastern UP (and Bihar) -- the Awadhi and Bhojpuri territory -- that people say "kaahe"! If in doubt, you could hear some Bihar politicians' speech or watch the excellent film Shool. Now, the region of Braj is Krishna's region, the region of Mathura. It is the western UP that I come from (and my grandmother used to talk only in Braj, she didn't know modern Hindi). In Braj, there's no "mohe," there's "moe." There's "mo" as the unit, hence "moe,"* "mo kaa", "mo ko," etc. Similarly, "kaa" (not "kaahe")**! And so on. Of course, there is sometimes an overlap between Braj and Awadhi, but that does not make Braj and Awadhi the same!

    As I said earlier, the diction itself of the singers is not Braj, and if it were Braj, it would be a terribly unrefined rendition!

    There are no Sanskrit words in it.

    Did anyone say there are Sanskrit words in the song?

    While most TheT/h words are cognate to words in Sanskrit, it's an old-fashioned idea to consider the whole Indic stock as originating from the divine language, in favour of patita language v. sanskrta as our etymological predecessors.

    It was not me who thinks "kachchii" derives from Sanskrit: many dictionaries, including the oft-cited Platts, do so. That "kachchii" is a Hindi word has nothing to do with where it is derived from, anyway. The only reason I cited the derivation is because some members regard Perso-Arabic origins to imply as if a word were solely Urdu, and "kachchii" does surely not have any Perso-Arabic origins.

    Why on Earth would they be singing about a region in Gujarat in India? There is nothing Indian in that.

    Yes, why on earth: if the song were to be Braj, it doesn't seem that Mathura would have much to do with Gujarat, though both were Krishna's lands! That is something that Coke Studio's subtitlers must answer, as, according to @MonsieurGonzalito jii, the translation on their website is the people from Kachch or Kech. As I don't know of any Kachch or Kech, at the most it could be Kachchh, but again, it wouldn't make sense in the song.

    * And, even then, "mo ko" is much more common than "moe": for example, "ai, mo ko kaa pataa!" - "mujhe kyaa pataa!"
    ** Some Braj speakers do use "kaahe" when meaning "why." Many, though, use "kaa ko."
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Do you see "Hindi" listed regularly on Coke Studio Pakistan's website?! Would it be politically ok for them? Even if it had been "kachchhii," the people from Kachchh - a region in Gujarat in India - there's nothing Urdu in that.

    No offence taken, but some members here are quite particular about these things, so it's best for everyone to be particular.
    littlepond Jii. I shall try my best to avoid any controversy.

    Questions 1 & 2

    No they would not put Hindi in the website if the language that is being presented, as far as *their* understanding goes, is Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, Bhojpuri or another language such as Punjabi but is not Hindi. If it is a language they believe *is* Hindi as we know it, then there is no reason why it would not be "politically ok" for them to write "Hindi" in the label.

    Comment 1

    With regard to the state of Gujarat, Urdu has had long associations there. One of the earliest Urdu poets (Wali Mohammed Wali) is variously known as Wali Dakkani, Wali Aurangabadi and Wali Gujarati. He died in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and was buried there. Two of his famous poems are, "ta3riif-i-shahr-i-Surat" (In praise of the city of Surat) and "dar firaaq-i-Gujarat" (On parting from Gujarat). His tomb was annhilated in the 2002 Gujarat riots. It was he who went to Delhi on one occasion where the residents there were so impressed with his poetry that Urdu began a kind of renaissance there. While looking through Urdu literary heritage in Gujarat, I came across a book called "shu3araa-i-Gujarat" published in Urdu in India that records the time and works of dozens of Urdu poets.

    Comment 2

    I agree with you 100% that the title should accurately reflect the language/s in question. As far as the word "kachchii" is concerned, it is part and parcel of both everyday Urdu and Hindi, both of which share identical ancestory. "kachchaa/kachchii" is in fact also found in Punjabi and it may well be found in other languages of the Subcontinent. For these kinds of words, both the languages ought to be put in the title.

    Then there are words from khaRii-Boli or from other languages of the Subcontinent in addition to Persian and Arabic (which I would like to also think of as Indian languages bearing in mind their very long history in the Subcontinent) which speakers of both Urdu and Hindi consider as their own. So, let the title reflect this.

    Finally, you will agree, there are words in Urdu and Hindi which are used by speakers and writers of one language but not by the other, e.g pesh-xaimah and vaataavaraNRa. The title should reflect this.

    The person asking the question may not necessarily be aware of this. I know that a certain @lafz_puchnevala who often asked questions about words that were invariably Urdu and not Hindi. He almost always labeled his posts as Hindi/Urdu and continued to do so even when it was pointed out to him.
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I am only now reading the "lyrics comments" part of CokeStudio's page for this song, and this paragraph caught my attention, because the "kachchii" sibject seems to meake a reappearance. (I don't know if it is true or relevant)

    Originally written by Zahid Abbas and composed by Mujahid Hussain, the song has been performed by Fariha Pervez who is suffering sleepless nights, longing to be united with her Beloved. The counter-perspective, which is the male narrative brought by Ali Noor’s voice responds to this longing by explaining that he suffers the same predicament and that she is not forgotten. There is also a reference to folklore (katchi) adding a spiritual dimension to the track.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    @Qureshpor jii, I agree with you by and large in what you have said in post 9. Of course, I don't have any problems with Urdu and Gujarat having any associations: there are Urdu speakers in Gujarat, after all, and Gujarat is a neighbour of Sindh (whose primary language is Sindhi, ok, but Urdu is also there). It was @marrish jii who, in post 7, discounted the idea of Gujarat having to do anything with Urdu or the singer (I don't know which one), if I understood correctly. In any case, I don't think the singer is referring to Gujarat's desert region or any folklore (see post 10). But if @MonsieurGonzalito is up to something new, I'd be glad to know.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    @Qureshpor....... In any case, I don't think the singer is referring to Gujarat's desert region or any folklore (see post 10). But if @MonsieurGonzalito is up to something new, I'd be glad to know.

    The word "kachchii" as you, I, the rest of the world and their dog know is linked to "niiNd" and has nothing to do whatsoever with Kachchh in Gujarat or Kech in Balochistan, Pakistan (or even kaaNch/glass)!:) Frankly I can't believe how the translator, Zahra Sabri, has made such an elementary error!
     
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