Hindi, Urdu: chaplaayii

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MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

In the song "aplam chaplam chaplaayii re" (which is very famous, for what I understand), from the 1955 Indian film "Azaad", I gather that "aplam-chaplam" are just some meaningless words to obtain a beat.

But what about chaplaayii or chaplaii or chap laii? Does it mean anything?

Is it a Punjabized le + the verb chapnaa (to be compressed / trampled / abashed), or is it using somehow the verb laanaa?
Does it simply go on with the previous invention, meaning: I went "chap" and abandoned the world?
Or the laanaa applies to the "gaalii" afterwards (abashed, I "took" to your street)?


Please orient me.
Below is the first stanza, for context.

aplam chaplam
chap laayii re duniyaa ko choR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, aaii re
ho, duniyaa ko choR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, aaii re
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I gather that "aplam-chaplam" are just some meaningless words to obtain a beat.
    Not so meaningless: the "chaplam" there is referring to "chapaltaa" and deliberately giving it a mumbo-jumbo effect by giving Sanskritised endings. "aplam" is the usual doubling as it takes place in Hindi (e.g., "vaar" in "yaar-vaar").

    But what about chaplaayii or chaplaii or chap laii? Does it mean anything?
    चपलाना = चपलता दिखाना

    Is it a Punjabized le + the verb chapnaa (to be compressed / trampled / abashed), or is it using somehow the verb laanaa?
    The "Punjabized" phenomenon in Hindi-Urdu songs is a modern one (post Daler Mehndi).
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Side note: the first many measures of this song bear a striking similarity with the 1980 Punjabi song "Mundia, Dopatta chhad mera, nahin sharman da ghund lai da...", recently arranged by Coke Studio.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Not so meaningless: the "chaplam" there is referring to "chapaltaa" and deliberately giving it a mumbo-jumbo effect by giving Sanskritised endings. "aplam" is the usual doubling as it takes place in Hindi (e.g., "vaar" in "yaar-vaar").

    चपलाना = चपलता दिखाना...
    I am not sure all this is correct. I don't know how one can deduce "aplam", "chaplam" from "chapaltaa". Is there such a verb as "chaplaanaa"? What does "chap laayii re duniyaa ko choR" mean?
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    [I don't know if I just heard this song a lot when I was very very young or what. It's certainly been a long time since I've heard it, and yet I somehow knew the tune just by reading the lyrics, without having to re-listen to it. Probably a sign of effective music...! Anyway, thanks for asking this question. Despite the fact that the tune had apparently buried itself into my subconscious, I had never thought to wonder about the lyrics lol.]

    I don't know what the songwriter intended, but @littlepond jii's explanation that it's just playing around with the word chapal seems plausible to me.

    For whatever it's worth, the modern adjective chapal does derive from a Sanskrit adjective capala, and my chapter-3-level Sanskrit knowledge tells me that capalam would be its nominative neuter declension (?). It may very well have been intended as "Sanskrit mumbo-jumbo," but perhaps they hit on a real word.

    apalam is maybe also a legitimate Sanskrit nominative neuter nominal: "fleshless; pin, bolt." Unless "bolt" can mean "bolt of lightning" rather than "nuts and bolts," which I doubt, this doesn't make much sense. So @littlepond jii's reduplication explanation seems far more reasonable here.

    Finally, regarding chaplaaii... Another possible explanation is that it's a noun meaning "fickleness," or, with a slight semantic stretch, "fickle one." So then:

    chaplaaii re, duniyaa ko chhoR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, ...
    O fickle one, I've left the world behind to come to your street
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    For whatever it's worth, the modern adjective chapal does derive from a Sanskrit adjective capala, and my chapter-3-level Sanskrit knowledge tells me that capalam would be its nominative neuter declension (?). It may very well have been intended as "Sanskrit mumbo-jumbo," but perhaps they hit on a real word.

    apalam is maybe also a legitimate Sanskrit nominative neuter nominal: "fleshless; pin, bolt." Unless "bolt" can mean "bolt of lightning" rather than "nuts and bolts," which I doubt, this doesn't make much sense. So @littlepond jii's reduplication explanation seems far more reasonable here.

    Finally, regarding chaplaaii... Another possible explanation is that it's a noun meaning "fickleness," or, with a slight semantic stretch, "fickle one." So then:

    chaplaaii re, duniyaa ko chhoR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, ...
    O fickle one, I've left the world behind to come to your street
    Thank you aevynn Jii for your response. It would be good to see if someone like Au101 could confirm your explanations from Sanskrit's prospective. I think reading "chaplaaii" as "fickle one" is stretching this to a breaking point.

    I am afraid the explanations provided so far have been more conjecture than anything. It would be good if we can have some language based solution. By the way, is there such a verb as "chaplaanaa"?
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Could you please shed some light on what this phenomenon is.
    Being not an Indian, and as far as I can gather, as you are not that keen on modern Hindi-Urdu songs, it is possible you don't know that phenomenon: in that case, you could read several threads of @MonsieurGonzalito jii for that, in which he asks about Punjabi words thrown into Hindi songs just for effect.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Finally, regarding chaplaaii... Another possible explanation is that it's a noun meaning "fickleness," or, with a slight semantic stretch, "fickle one." So then:

    chaplaaii re, duniyaa ko chhoR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, ...
    O fickle one, I've left the world behind to come to your street
    I read it rather as "chaplaii re duniyaa ko" = "chaplaaii duniyaa ko." I have left the cunning/fickle/wanton world to come to your street.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Being not an Indian, and as far as I can gather, as you are not that keen on modern Hindi-Urdu songs, it is possible you don't know that phenomenon: in that case, you could read several threads of @MonsieurGonzalito jii for that, in which he asks about Punjabi words thrown into Hindi songs just for effect.
    Ah, I see. You are talking about Punjabi words thrown into Bollywood songs.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    It is a "language-based solution." However, you are welcome to post your solution(s).
    Dialectically, yes, and it's already answered in post 2; you won't probably find it in dictionaries.
    Well, littlepond Jii, I have n't seen any language based solutions, as yet. I don't have a solution for the time being and that is why I am asking these questions. If aplam-chaplam and chap laa'ii were Urdu words, I might have had some idea.

    What dialect does "chaplaanaa" belong to? Perhaps we can search for verbs in that particular dialect.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I read it rather as "chaplaii re duniyaa ko" = "chaplaaii duniyaa ko." I have left the cunning/fickle/wanton world to come to your street.
    But "chaplaa'ii" is the same as "chapaltaa", meaning "fickleness" or similar. How are you changing it into an adjective to qualify "dunyaa"?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ....The "Punjabized" phenomenon in Hindi-Urdu songs is a modern one (post Daler Mehndi).
    Daler Mehndi came into the limelight around 1985. The film "Loafer"- 1973 has this song..

    ko'ii shahrii baabuu dil-lahrii baabuu haaye re
    pag baaNdh gayaa ghuNgruu
    maiN chham chham nachdii phiraaN
    .......

    haaye ve mere rabbaa maiN kii karaaN
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    But "chaplaa'ii" is the same as "chapaltaa", meaning "fickleness" or similar. How are you changing it into an adjective to qualify "dunyaa"?
    I think this is a continuation of @littlepond jii's verb analysis. If chaplaanaa might be used to mean something like "to become fickle," then chaplaii would be its perfective participle and a chaplaaii duniyaa would be a "world that has become fickle," ie, "a fickle world."

    It would be good to see if someone like Au101 could confirm your explanations from Sanskrit's prospective.
    I agree, I too hope that a Sanskritist like @Au101 or @Dib might confirm :)

    I think reading "chaplaaii" as "fickle one" is stretching this to a breaking point.
    I think it's probably not that uncommon for an abstract noun (eg, "the property of being X") to also be used in the sense of "one who embodies said abstraction" for poetic effect. In fact, I strongly suspect this phenomenon crosses all linguistic boundaries.

    Sometimes, this is well-established enough that both meanings will be recorded in a dictionary. The English word beauty comes to mind right away. One can say both "The princess's beauty left her stunned," where "beauty" is an abstract noun. But one can also say "The princess is a beauty," where it means "one who is beautiful." Merriam-Webster records both of these definitions.

    But sometimes, lexicographers may not recorded the personified-abstraction meaning in a dictionary, but writers use it anyway. For example, the noun Husn means "the property of being beautiful/good/..." according to Platts and the Urdu Lughat and the Shabdsagar. None of these dictionaries records a meaning of the form "one who is beautiful/good/..." And yet, poets use it in this way. Jaun Elia, for example, says:

    Husn kahtaa thaa chheRne vaale​
    chheRnaa hii to bas nahiiN chhuu bhii​
    I at least do not understand this to mean "the property of being beautiful says...," since properties don't talk. Rather, I understand this to mean "one who is beautiful says..." and this doesn't feel like much of a stretch to me. Certainly not "to a breaking point."
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think this is a continuation of @littlepond jii's verb analysis. If chaplaanaa might be used to mean something like "to become fickle," then chaplaii would be its perfective participle and a chaplaaii duniyaa would be a "world that has become fickle," ie, "a fickle world."


    But sometimes, lexicographers may not recorded the personified-abstraction meaning in a dictionary, but writers use it anyway. For example, the noun Husn means "the property of being beautiful/good/..." according to Platts and the Urdu Lughat and the Shabdsagar. None of these dictionaries records a meaning of the form "one who is beautiful/good/..." And yet, poets use it in this way. Jaun Elia, for example, says:

    Husn kahtaa thaa chheRne vaale​
    chheRnaa hii to bas nahiiN chhuu bhii​
    I at least do not understand this to mean "the property of being beautiful says...," since properties don't talk. Rather, I understand this to mean "one who is beautiful says..." and this doesn't feel like much of a stretch to me. Certainly not "to a breaking point."
    But there is no verb "chaplaanaa" that I can find. So, where does the past participle come from when there is no verb?

    When you look up this shi3r in Rekhta, click on the word "Husn" and see the meaning that is provided. Of course, the implication is the person possessing the beauty was speaking. But, can we place "Husn" in front of another word, say "dunyaa" and get "a beautiful world"? I do not think so.

    Could "chap laa'ii" re, also be "aplam-chaplam" to rhyme with "aa'ii" re?
     
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    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    When you look up this shi3r in Rekhta, click on the word "Husn" and see the meaning that is provided. Of course, the implication is the person possessing the beauty was speaking. But, can we place "Husn" in front of another word, say "dunyaa" and get "a beautiful world"? I do not think so.
    Yes, my proposed analysis of chaplaaii is not the same as @littlepond jii's proposed analysis. My suggestion was that chaplaaii (the abstract noun meaning "fickleness", whose dictionary entry I linked to earlier) might actually mean "one who possesses fickleness" in the song, in the same way that Husn actually means "one who possesses beauty" in Jaun Elia's poem.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Whilst you were composing your reply, aevynn SaaHib, I had to edit my post because it got a bit messed up. I hope you can look at it again.

    Your analysis for noun being used as an adjective is fine. A good way to test this would be to see if we can find examples where this happens.

    A similar word to chaplaa'ii is "buraa'ii". buraa'ii is a noun. buraa/burii is an adjective. Can we have "buraa'ii dunyaa"? From what I have been able to find so far is that "aplam chaplam" are two rhyming non-sensical words and no more but I have not been able to work out the sense of the sentence that follows it.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    So, chaplaaii is the feminine perfective of chaplaana, or an abstract noun meaning fickleness, nimbleness, agility?
    And the female narrator is speaking about herself, or about the world?

    The former seems to make more sense (to me). My interpretation was something like:

    Aplam-chaplam!
    I became restive and left the world ...
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    And the female narrator is speaking about herself, or about the world?
    Your analysis for noun being used as an adjective is fine. A good way to test this would be to see if we can find examples where this happens.

    A similar word to chaplaa'ii is "buraa'ii". buraa'ii is a noun. buraa/burii is an adjective. Can we have "buraa'ii dunyaa"?

    I have probably been unclear about my suggestion. My suggestion was *not* that chaplaaii is modifying duniyaa. My suggestion was that it's being used as a noun all on its own in a *vocative* way: the singer is addressing her beloved, calling him/her/them a "fickle one."
    chaplaaii re, duniyaa ko chhoR terii galii aaii re, aaii re, ...
    O fickle one, I've left the world behind to come to your street
    She does, after all, go on to talk about how difficult it is to love her beloved in later verses ("maar diyaa haay tere pyaar ne," "daGaa dene vaalaa dekho daGaa de gayaa," etc). If she felt her beloved to be fickle, it would make sense that she feels love to be a teRhaa-meRhaa khel.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you aevynn Jii. I follow your train of thought and you may well be right but I am finding it very difficult to come to terms with it. You, no doubt will have the same reservations about my explanation. We will probably never know precisely what the poet had meant to convey.

    Just before the "aplam-japlam" song sequence, the dancing girls who are apparently sisters come to the heroine and say to her...

    -Shobha diidii, chalo hamaare saath
    - kahaaN Gopii ? (addressing one of them and then the other one replies)
    - aaj hamaare baabaa kaa janam din hai, aa'o tumheN naach sikhaa'eN. aisaa naach tum ne kabhii nahiiN dekhaa ho gaa
    -achchaa!

    If we think of "chaplaa'ii" as "chap laa'ii" where "chap" is the shortened form of "chaap", "the sound of foot steps", we can read the sentence as follows.

    ap-lam, chap-lam

    chap laa'ii re dunyaa ko chhoR
    terii galii aa'ii re aa'ii re aa'ii re

    The world behind me, I bring the beat of my feet
    In your street, I have set my feet, I've set my feet
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    For me, "aplam-chaplam" is the name of a savoury "candy" you get in a specific shop in Calcutta - something like the better known (at least in India) "aam paachak" or "hajmola". Anyway, there is a slight chance that that is not the reference in the song. ;)

    More seriously, I don't know what it means or what the source of the "word" is. While there may be a connection to Sanskrit "chapala", which is a pretty well-known word in Hindi, in the way of being pretend Sanskrit (or even pretend "Madrasi") with its -am ending, as littlepond suggested, I don't think Sanskrit can throw any more light on this.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    But there is no verb "chaplaanaa" that I can find. So, where does the past participle come from when there is no verb?
    I think everyone got it that in your world, there is no such verb. The past participle comes from the world where that verb exists or can exist.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Meanwhile, according to this Hindi dictionary, the verb "chaplaanaa" can mean "chalnaa, hilnaa-Dolnaa." It again comes from "chapal," and I would suggest that in this context it would mean "chaaluu duniyaa," again meaning a fickle/cunning world.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    The "Punjabized" phenomenon in Hindi-Urdu songs is a modern one (post Daler Mehndi).
    I just learnt that Meena Shorey was called the "Lara Lappa Girl", and this is around 1950, so it would seem some inter-pollination did exist, even back then. But granted, nothing to do with today's situation.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    It is India: a land of languages and languages, and of course there is a lot of "inter-pollination." You will not only find Punjabi, but Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu and many other languages in Hindi songs. That complete, beautiful stanza of "laara lappa" has nothing to do with the modern phenomenon of inserting some Punjabi word at random in the song, that too, when neither the character not the actor is even a Punjabi!

    Thanks for reviving memories of the immensely popular "laara lappa" song - I'm listening to it again after so many years - but, as you said, nothing to do with today's situation. You might be interested in this quite excellent thread.
     
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