Pardah Nashin By Sarojini Naidu

Pardah Nashin Poem

Her life is a revolving dream
Of languid and sequestered ease;
Her girdles and her fillets gleam
Like changing fires on sunset seas;
Her raiment is like morning mist
Shot opal, gold and amethyst.
From thieving light of eyes impure,
From coveting sun or wind’s caress,
Her days are guarded and secure
Behind her carven lattices;
Like jewels in a turbaned crest,
Like secrets in a lover’s breast.
But though no hand unsanctioned dares
Unveil the mysteries of her grace,
Time lifts the curtain unawares,
And sorrow looks into her face..
Who shall prevent the subtle years,
Or shield a woman’s eyes from tears?

The pardah Nashin poem Summary

The Pardah Nashin is an exquisite lyric from the last section of The Golden Threshold; Pardah Nashin’ means a lady who lives or sits behind the glorification of purdah. But it stresses one crucial aspect of Muslim culture or the Indian way of life as a whole-which was very much there when the lyric was penned, and purdah still lingers on in conservative Muslim families. Hence we cannot agree with J. H. Cousins when he disapproves of the doormat” view of Indian womanhood presented in the lyric or with those who call the musical ‘Kipling’s India’ and accuse her of giving a false romantic image of Indian womanhood.

The purdah nashin lives a life of ease, comfort security in the harams of the rich. She constantly moves in a world of dreams. She has nothing much to do; she is well sheltered from the burdens of life. Her life is a life of perpetual ease and relaxation. She is bejeweled with diamond-studded girdles around her waist and bright gems in her hair which shines like changing fires on sunset seas. The scintillating brightness of her jewelry puzzle the eyes. Her dress also is soft like the morning mist’ embroidered with opal, gold, and amethyst.

She lives a life of ease and comfort well protected from the lustful looks which the wicked stealthily cast on a woman, from the scorching rays of the sun, and even from the touch of the hot or cold winds. She lives a sheltered and secure life behind the well-decorated windows of her room. She is hidden from the world’s eyes as jewels in the hair are obscured by a turban. She is as unknown to the outside world as “secrets in a lover’s breast.” Sarojini’s use of sensuous concrete imagery is to be noted.

The purdah nashin leads a sheltered life beyond the reach of the wicked and the impure. None can dare unveil her hidden graces without permission none can look at her hidden graces without permission; none can look at her beauty without first obtaining her sanction or that of her guardians. But all her purdah and all the security she enjoys are futile, for they cannot halt the march of time. Even the sheltered and secure Purdah Nashin knows sorrow and suffering with time, leaving their traces on her face. No purdah and no security can prevent the stealthy march of time, which robs her of her happiness and fills her eyes with tears. As purdah is ineffective against the sorrow and suffering of life, it would be wrong to call the lyric a glorification of purdah rather;, the lyric is an exposure of its futility.

stanzas show the poets fascination for the life at the haram, which she Commenting on the lyric, V. S.Naravane writes, “The first two
had observed in the palaces and mansions of Hyderabad. Secure in all their luxury, surrounded by beautiful and precious things dressed in colorful attire soft like the morning mist; the lovely ladies are immersed in perpetual relaxation. They are sheltered from all abusive and unwanted attention. Sarojini saw in their life the poetry of perfect repose. This was a world within a world. Even in Sarojini’s lifetime this interesting pattern in life was fast becoming a thing of the past. Decade after decade. Sarojini saw the gradual disappearance of this realm of beauty and splendor. The interesting is not necessarily desirable. To be fascinated by something is not necessarily to approve of it Sarojini, though actively engaged in the campaign for women’s freedom, had a liking for the purdah. It was a world of courtesy and charm in which women of delicate beauty with henna tinted hands and gem entangled tresses reclined languidly on silken cushions. This world enchanted her like the alabaster box of which she wrote.

Therein I treasure the spice and scent of rich and passionate.
memories blent
Like odours of cinnamon, sandal, and clove at song and sorrow and
and life and love, indeed,

All this wistfulness certainly cannot be taken to imply that she could

Have liked the women of India to opt for a life of this kind. She Knew

that the world of beauty and splendor and ease was also a world of

Inner frustration and pain”. The last stanza of purdah nashin is marked by an undertone of sadness:

But though no hand unsanctioned does unveil the mysteries of her grace,
Time lifts the curtain unawares,
And sorrow looks into her face Who shall prevent the subtle years.
or shield a woman’s eyes from tears?

Important Explanations Of The Pardah Nashin

Her life is a revolving dream Of languid and sequestered ease;

Her girdles and her fillets gleam Like changing fires on sunset seas;

Her raiment is like morning mist Shot opal, gold, and amethyst.

Reference: These lines have been taken from the poem ‘The Pardah Nashin,’ an exquisite lyric taken from the last section of The Golden Threshold.’ It has been written by Sarojini Naidu, who is one of the leading Indian English poets. Her poems have an enduring quality and will continue to bring delight to the future generation of English educated Indians: About the verses given in The Golden Threshold, it has rightly been saying: “The pictures are of the East, it is true, but there is something fundamentally human in them that seems to prove that the best song knows nothing of East and West.”

Context: Pardah Nashin’ means a lady who lives or sits behind a veil. Here the poet’s fascination for the life of the haram, which she had observed in the palaces and mansions of Hyderabad, is shown. Secure in all their luxury, surrounded by beautiful and precious things, dressed in colourful raimant, soft like the morning mist, the lovely ladies are immersed in perpetual relaxation. They are sheltered from all obtrusive and wanted attention. Sarojini saw in their life the poetry of perfect repose.

Explanation: The Pardah Nashin lives a life of ease, comfort, and security in the harems (the inner portion of the palatial house made for the family’s women). She constantly moves in a world of dreams. The world she lives in is far removed from the real world’s reality, which is full of turmoil and tension, problems, and worries. She has nothing much to do. She is well sheltered from the burden of life. Her life is a life of perpetual ease and relaxation. She is bejeweled with diamond-studded girdles around her waist, and bright gems in her hair shine like “changing fires on sunset seas”. This exquisite image brings home to the readers the scintillating brightness of her jewelry. Her dress also is soft like the morning mist embroidered with opal, gold, and amethyst.

From thieving light of eyes impure, From coveting sun or wind’s caress,

Her days are guarded and secure Behind her carven lattices;

Like jewels in a turbaned crest, Like secrets in a lover’s breast.

Reference: These lines have been taken from the poem The Pardah Nashin’, an exquisite lyric taken from the last section of The Golden Threshold, a collection of short, melodic, beautiful vocals. They’ve been written by Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India. “it is a cons durable delight to come across such genuine poetry as is contained in The Golden Threshold” was the glowing tribute paid to this poetic endeavor of Sarojini Naidu. Sarojini is almost the first Indo-English singer to have a wide reputation-both here and abroad due to the melody of her songs and the pure Indian complexion of her poetry.

Context: ‘Pardah Nashin’ means a lady who lives or sits behind a veil. Here the poetess fascination for the life of the harem, which she bad observed in the palaces and mansions of Hyderabad, is shown. Secure in all their luxury, surrounded by beautiful and precious things, dressed in colourful raimant, soft like the morning mist, and the lovely ladies are immersed in perpetual relaxation. They are sheltered from all obtrusive and unwanted attention. Sarojini saw in their life the poetry of perfect repose.

Explanation: Sarojini Naidu describes the life lived by the Pardah Nashin in the inner sanctuary of the palatial house of some rich man. She lives a life of ease and comfort, well protected from the lustful looks which the wicked stealthily cast on a woman, from the scorching rays of the sun, and even from the touch of the hot and cold winds. No lecherous man can ravage her innocence, and nor can the elements of nature harm her physical self. She lives a sheltered and secure life behind the well-decorated windows of her room. She is hidden from the world’s eyes as jewels in the hair are obscured by a turban. She is as unknown to the outside world and hidden away from the outside world as secrets are kept hidden in a lover’s heart. Sarojini’s use of sensual, concrete imagery is to be noted.

But though no hand unsanctioned dares 

Unveil the mysteries of her grace, 

time lifts the curtain unawares,

And sorrow looks into her face.

Who shall prevent the subtle years,

Or shield a woman’s eyes from tears.

Reference: These lines have been taken from the poem Pardah Nashin’, an exquisite lyric taken from the last section of The Golden Threshold, which is a collection of short, melodic, gorgeous lyrics They have been written by Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India. It is a considerable delight to come across such genuine poetry as is contained in The Golden Threshold” was the glowing tribute paid to this poetic endeavour of Sarojini Naidu. Sarojini is almost the first Indo-English singer to have a wide reputation-both here and abroad due to the melody of her songs and the pure Indian complexion of her poetry.

Context: ‘Pardah Nashin’ means a lady who lives or sits behind a veil. Here the poet’s fascination for the life of the harem, which she had observed in the palaces and mansions of Hyderabad, is shown. Secure in all their luxury, surrounded by beautiful and precious things, dressed in colourful raimant, soft like the morning mist; the lovely ladies are immersed in perpetual relaxation. They are sheltered from all obtrusive and unwanted attention. Sarojini saw in their life the poetry of perfect repost.

Explanation: The poetess speaks of the sequestered and secluded life of the Pardah Nashin. The Pardah Nashin leads a sheltered life beyond the reach of the wicked and the impure. None can dare unveil her hidden graces without permission; none can look at her beauty without first obtaining her sanction or that of her guardians. But all her purdah and all the security she enjoys are futile, for they cannot halt the march of time. With time even the sheltered and secure Purdah Nashin knows sorrow and suffering, which leave their traces on her face. No Purdah and no security can prevent the stealthy march of time which robs her of her happiness and Fills her eyes with tears.

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