Day 39

The more I study Urdu, the more I fall in love with it. And mind you, in terms of knowledge, I am still in the kindergarten stage. After some thought, I have decided that it is not just the sounds which appeal to me (although, no doubt, they are most pleasing, being almost feathery, yet lambent). It is the shapes! The lines, the curves, the near-spheres, the almost-triangles! The points, oh, the points, or what are called ''nuqtaas''.
But I digress.
Since my last post (of day 38), we have moved out of the sphere of the alphabets and moved into the world of special signs. Today, it is the turn of the "jazm" (जज़्म). This is a special sign, like an inverted "V", used as a superscript. This is a sign whose use corresponds with the half-letters of Hindi/Devnaagri. It is placed over a letter to indicate that there is a quiescence or that no vowel follows the preceding consonant.
Here is how the "jazm" is written, along with a word which contains it: "dard" (which means ''pain"):

Here is a ghazal which contains the word "dard", penned by that wonderful bard, Amjad Islam Amjad:
Chaand ke saath kaii dard puraane nikale
kitne gham the jo tere gham ke bahaane nikale

Listen to this ghazal, rendered so wonderfully by the late Jagjit Singh:

Day 38

Having covered the gamut of Urdu alphabet, we now turn towards certain special characters. Today, it is the turn of ''hamzaa'' (pronounced "हम्ज़ा" in Devnaagari). This is something between a real letter and a diacritic sign. It is used as a character to indicate the boundaries between two vowel sounds where there is no intervening vowel sound. It is used in conjunction with "wao" و; with "Badi yeh" ۓ; with "Chhoti yeh" ئ; with "Chhoti hey" ۂ‎.  

"Hamzaa" sometimes needs a "chair" to carry it, and at other times, you simply place it above a vowel. The "chair" isn't needed when the last vowel is "wao"  و.The different ways of writing it are as below: 

Here is my attempt at writing two words. In the first, "ghaiib" ("invisible", or "missing"), you will notice the hamza in the medial position. In the second word "charpaii" (literally, ''four-legged", but really "bed"), the hamza is placed over the chhoti yeh in the final position.

Sorry, the words are so humdrum that I could not find any piece of verse or song to match them! 

Day 37

"Badi ye", baṛī ye /baɽiː je/ (बड़ी ये) is used mainly for vowels. Also, it is used only in the final or isolated position. Here's an example:  لڑکے laɽke, (लड़के/boys). It is also combined with the hamza to represent izaafat. But I shall be discussing that in a separate post.
Here is how it is written in various positions: 

This is my attempt at writing the harf ''badi ye" and a word which contains it ''aisa'' (thus...).

Then I noticed a coat-hanger lying about. Reminded me of a "badi ye"! 

Et enfin, I stumbled across a Bashir Badr ghazal, rendered superbly by Chitra Singh which begins with the lafz "aisa":
Aisa lagta hai zindagi tum ho
ajanabi jaise ajanabi tum ho.


Day 36

"Choti yeh'' (छोटी ये) is one of those rare letters which serves both as a consonant and also as a vowel. Here is how it is written in different positions. 

Choti yeh works as a consonant (in the initial or medial position) with words such as "yaar" (friend) یار   or "dayaar" (place) دیار . It is also used as an initial or medial vowel: as in "ek" (one)  ایک or in "kaisa" (how) کیسا    

Placed below is my attempt at writing the letter Choti yeh, and a harf which contains today's lafz: "bayaan" which means "statement" or "narration". 

Today's sher? By Aga Hashr:
Tum aur fareb khaao bayaan-e-raquib se
tum se to kam gilaa hai ziyaada naseeb se.

Here's a marvellous rendition of the ghazal by the incomparable Farida Khanum:

Day 35

This harf, or letter, jostles ''Chhoti hay'' to occupy the position of my favourite letter: ''Do chashmi hay". It is an aspiration marker and used to create aspirated letters composed of two characters such as بھ bʰe  which is bey + do chashmi hay پھ pʰe which is pey + do chashmi hay, or تھ tʰe, which is tey + do chashmi hay.
Here is how chhoti hay is written in various positions: 

This is my attempt at writing the harf and the lafz of the day "phool", which means "flower":

And this, friends, is an image I saw on someone's facebook wall! It reminded me of the do chashmi hay! 

Today's sher, composed by Ahmed Faraz, comes courtesy my friend Akber:
Jis tarah dhun^d mein liptey huey phool
aik aik naqsh tera yaad aaya...

Day 34

"Choti hay" (छोटी हे) is the 34th letter of the Urdu alphabet. It is a consonant: choṭī he ʧʰoʈiː he. In Urdu words, it is used with words which end in /a:/, but with a sound that's softer than the ''ah'' of Alif. Here is how it appears in various positions: 

I am biased towards this harf because it reminds me of one my favourite sweet: modak (मोदक)!

And this is my attempt at writing the harf ''Chhoti hay" and a lafz whih contains "Chhoti hay" in the final position. The lafz is ''ghuncha" (which means flower bud).


Here's a song I rather like "Ghuncha koii mere naam kar diya"...... 

Day 33

Today is it the turn of the harf, the letter ''Wao'' (वाओ in Devnaagri). vāū vɑːuːThis harf is used both as a consonant as well as a vowel.  So, it could form a word as a consonant, say, as in "waalid" (वालिद) :  والد or as a vowel as "log" (लोग):  لوگ 
Here is how it is written in various positions: 

This is my attempt at writingthe harf, and today's lafz: ''watan'', which means "country":

And here is the piece of verse I picked which includes the word "watan": a song from a favourite film, "Kabuliwala". "Aye mere pyaare watan, aye mere bichchade chaman / tujhpe dil qurbaan". A very touching and sentimental song about being far from your motherland.