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113 Glossary I use the term “Hindustani” to refer to the colloquial, spoken language that served as the lingua franca of the subcontinent. Other linguistic traditions (Urdu, Bengali) often adopt words from Hindustani, and these words are therefore part of multiple linguistic traditions. The designation of certain words as Hindustani is based on my sense of everyday usage rather than strict dictionary definitions. Please note that Hindustani does not refer to the language Hindi, though it does include it.1 akhara (Hindustani, Bengali): religious retreat anuvad (Sanskrit): speaking after; a term used in bhasha (modern or vernacular Indian languages) literary theory to denote the rewriting of classical Sanskrit texts ashraf (Urdu): upper-­ class, feudal, respectable, Muslim; the word connotes “respectable people” and refers to the Muslim elite in this book bhadralok (Bengali): upper-­ caste, middle-­ class, Bengali bhajan (Hindustani, Bengali): devotional poetry bhakti (Hindustani, Bengali): devotion bhasha (Hindustani): modern Indian languages bhava (Sanskrit): intense emotion; worship 114 ❘ Glossary chudail (Hindustani, Urdu): witch dukh (Hindustani, Bengali): sadness Gaudiya Vaishnava (Hindustani, Bengali): religious sect founded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu focused on devotion to Krishna ghazal (Hindustani, Urdu): monorhymed lyric poem gopi (Hindustani, Bengali): cowgirl; devotee of Krishna gosain (Hindustani, Bengali): cowherd; devotee of Krishna hoor (Hindustani, Urdu): fairy kotha (Hindustani, Urdu): brothel laundi (Hindustani, Urdu): young girl ma’ani (Urdu): the meaning of a poem madhur rasa (Sanskrit and Bengali): literally,“honey juice”in Sanskrit; used to connote erotic love in Saratchandra’s Bengali essay“Narir Mulya” madhurya (Bengali): amorous conversation majalis (Urdu): gathering of people (originally used in the context of Sufism) mathnavi (Urdu): a form of verse in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Turkish ; a long poem that usually tells a story and is written in internally rhyming couplets that all have the same meter mazmun (Urdu): the theme of a poem mushaira (Hindustani, Urdu): poetry gathering natak (Hindustani, Bengali): play, drama nechari (Urdu): natural pabitrata (Bengali): purity peeriti (Sanskrit, Bengali): intense love prem (Hindustani, Bengali): asexual love purdah (Hindustani, Urdu): the veil purdah-­nasheen (Hindustani, Urdu): veiled woman qata (Urdu): four-­ line poem quam (Hindustani, Urdu): community raandh (Hindustani, Urdu): courtesan, prostitute rasa (Sanskrit, Hindustani): aesthetic pleasure, the bliss of love rasa theory (Sanskrit): theory of Sanskrit literature proposed by Abhinavagupta , a literary scholar of the tenth century Glossary ❘ 115 rekhta (Urdu): linguistic register used for haute poetry; another term for Urdu the language rekhti (Urdu): linguistic register used in narrating the licentious accounts of the sexual experiences of women Sabk-­e-­Hindi (Urdu): Indian style (of poetry) sat (Sanskrit): spiritual purity sati (Hindustani, Bengali): self-­ immolation on funeral pyre satita (Bengali): wifely devotion satyagraha (Sanskrit): insistence on truth; used by Gandhi as a form of civil disobedience sayuja mukti (Hindustani): kenosis sharif (Hindustani, Urdu): respectable she’r/shair (Hindustani, Urdu): monorhymed couplet usually part of a ghazal sringarasa (Sanskrit): fine garments; sexual love sukh (Hindustani, Bengali): happiness takhallus (Hindustani, Urdu): pen name tatvajnana (Sanskrit): truth-­ knowledge tawaif (Hindustani, Urdu): courtesan thumri (Hindustani): erotic poetry sung to music Vaishnava (Hindustani, Bengali): devotee of Krishna vaishya/baishya (Hindustani, Bengali): prostitute zaif (Urdu): literally, “weak”; here, used for women zenana (Hindustani, Urdu): women’s quarters ...


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