Urdu, Hindi: koii maaNjhii chale saath

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MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

Could someone please tell me what are they really saying in the last verse of this stanza?
What does "koii maaNjhii chale saath" really mean?
It belongs to the song "Bholay Bhalay", featured in Coke Studio Pakistan season 9
The song is about a woman narrating how his (deceptively) innocent-looking lover is actually entrapping.

I am posting the lyrics and the (very free, IMO) translation provided by their website

aise pakRe dil kaa chorایسے پکڑیں دل کا چورHe captures the secrets of my heart
jaise machlii kaaNmTaa Dorجیسے مچھلی کانٹا ڈورAs a fishhook captures fish
ham-raahii aise jaise koii maaNjhii chale saath reہمراہی ایسے جیسے کوئی مانجھی چلے ساتھ رےIt’s like my companion is a hunter and my secrets his prey!

[Sample youtube 7w8AR7jnhpc at 1:08]

I thought a "maaNjhii" was a boatman, an oarsman?
Please orient me

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    "maaNjhii" is originally (i.e. I don't know its further origin) a Santhali/Munda word that means something like "leader", "village head", etc. From there it entered into the neighbouring languages, e.g. in Bengali where it was adopted in the boating context, the main means of long-distance travel in the region in the olden days. Thus, in Bengali a "maajhii" (vowel nasalization is neutralised in Bengali around nasal consonants) is, properly speaking, only the "head boatman", the one that mans the rudder and leads the crew. The rest, the oarsmen, are "daaNRii" (< daaNR = oar). So, the meaning you mentioned in Hindi/Urdu (boatman, oarsman) shows the same development of meaning, whether through Bengali or not. It is possible that other neighbouring cultures/languages adopted the word maaNjhii from the partially hunting-gathering Santhali/Munda people in the hunting context. So, while I am not familiar with the "hunter" meaning of the word, it doesn't particularly surprise me.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "maaNjhii" is originally (i.e. I don't know its further origin) a Santhali/Munda word that means something like "leader", "village head", etc. From there it entered into the neighbouring languages, e.g. in Bengali where it was adopted in the boating context, the main means of long-distance travel in the region in the olden days. Thus, in Bengali a "maajhii" (vowel nasalization is neutralised in Bengali around nasal consonants) is, properly speaking, only the "head boatman", the one that mans the rudder and leads the crew. The rest, the oarsmen, are "daaNRii" (< daaNR = oar). So, the meaning you mentioned in Hindi/Urdu (boatman, oarsman) shows the same development of meaning, whether through Bengali or not. It is possible that other neighbouring cultures/languages adopted the word maaNjhii from the partially hunting-gathering Santhali/Munda people in the hunting context. So, while I am not familiar with the "hunter" meaning of the word, it doesn't particularly surprise me.
    In Urdu, maaNjh also means "in the middle of" as in maaNjh-dhaar/maNjhdhaar (mid-stream). Is the word maaNjhii connected with this word in any way?
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    In Urdu, maaNjh also means "in the middle of" as in maaNjh-dhaar/maNjhdhaar (mid-stream). Is the word maaNjhii connected with this word in any way?
    Good observation. Incidentally, in Bengali "maajh" is the main word for "middle". It is the tadbhava form of Sanskrit "madhya-". However, I have no idea if this "maa(N)jh" has any relation to "maa(N)jhii". The meanings (middle vs. leader) seem a bit difficult, though not impossible, to reconcile.
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    "maaNjhii" is originally (i.e. I don't know its further origin) a Santhali/Munda word that means something like "leader", "village head", etc. From there it entered into the neighbouring languages...

    @Dib jii, would you be willing to share a reference or something that justifies this derivation from Santali? I notice that Biswas's dictionary does list the Santali meaning for maa(N)jhii that you mention, but then I also see the following blurb on Wikipedia's description of Santali phonology:
    ... the 10 aspirated stops which occur primarily, but not exclusively, in Indo-Aryan loanwords ...
    I would suspect that, if a word containing an aspirated jh such as maa(N)jhii is expected to have entered Indo-Aryan languages from Santali, there's probably some fun and interesting historical data backing this up! :)
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    aise pakRe dil kaa chor
    jaise machlii kaaNmTaa Dor
    ham-raahii aise jaise koii maaNjhii chale saath re

    ...

    I thought a "maaNjhii" was a boatman, an oarsman?
    While I'm incredibly excited about the possibility that @Dib jii suggested, another possible explanation for the lyrics that comes to mind here is that maaNjhii sometimes drifts slightly from "boatman" to "fisherman." In other words, the analogy of the singer's secrets being fish is being sustained in the third line of the lyrics, and the ham-raahii is analogized to the fisherman who "hunts" (ie, fishes out) these fish-secrets.

    I went looking on Google Books a bit to see if I could see evidence of maaNjhii being used more like "fisherman" and I did find some snippets along these lines.

    ... use maaNjhii kii tarah jis tejii se jaal phailaanaa hai, usii tejii se sameTnaa bhii to hai!​
    - Ramvriksh Benipuri(?)​
    machhlii kaa shikaar to ham saboN ne milkar kiyaa hai, iskii taiyaarii kaa bhaar keval maaNjhii ke sir par jaae yah Thiik nahiiN.​
    - Shaligram​
    jaal-sameTaa karne meN bhii​
    samay lagaa kartaa hai, maaNjhii,​
    moh machhliyoN kaa ab chhoR​
    - Harivansh Rai Bachchan​
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ aevynn SaaHib, thank you for this. Let me cast the net a bit further in the river or sea to bring in Punjabi and Persian!

    In Punjabi, one word for boat is "machhu'aa" and the person who stears it is known as a "maachhii". In his spare time, he catches fish too! So he is both an oarsman and a fisherman. The word for fish in Punjabi is "machchhii".

    Now coming to Persian. The word for fish in Persian is "maahii".
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Aside from the origins and the translation offered by Coke Studio, wouldn't it work simply as "steerman"?

    ham-raahii aise jaise koii maaNjhii chale saath re
    Oh, such is my companion, (like) some steerman with (my) conduct


    ?
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Coming late to the discussion, I think both @Dib jii's and @aevynn jii's explanations are delightful and warrant in themselves further researches. However, my own interpretation is the same as post no. 8's: that of a steersman, the meaning in which "maanjhii" is used primarily, and that doesn't stand in opposition with the rest of the song.

    Also, I would interpret "dil kaa chor" here as "man kaa chor," which means rather the foibles, weaknesses, temptations that reside in oneself, one's heart, rather than secrets. The expression "man kaa chor pakaR lenaa" is a very common one in Hindi.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Does it mean anything different from the individual meanings of the words?
    The individual meanings, stringed together, would be "to catch a thief in the heart," so it of course cannot mean that literally.* "man kaa chor" is usually used to refer to a weakness/temptation that has beset one's heart that one can succumb to.

    A fish, when it catches** hold of the string and the hook (as in the song), is catching the bait, its weakness (not its secret***). Similarly, the man has baited the girl (catching hold of her through some weakness of hers - for example, maybe by paying her compliments and satisfying that need of hers).

    *If you thought of a "to steal the heart" in the lover sense, the more usual expression would be "dil churaane vaalaa," with "dil churaanaa" as the verb.
    **The translation in OP, "fishhook captures fish," is nowhere in the original: rather, it is the fish catching the hook and line in the song.
    ***It is "man meN chor" rather which means something like a secret (more specifically, a secret of the wrong kind, that is, something one is hiding that would invite censure/disapproval).
     
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