y:Üen:v:es:ýXi A:ôf em:eS:g:n:

m:j:al: hò !  'How dare you!'

Notes on  m:j:al:,  ehmm:t:, and  s:ahs:.

       To express intense emotional outrage or to make a defiant challenge speakers of Hindi-Urdu may use the nouns m:j:al: 'temerity', ehmm:t: 'courage', or s:ahs: 'boldness' either with ka of subject and a clause in the subjunctive (1) or with ka or kað of subject and a dependent infinitive (2):

  1.  t:Øm:n:ð Ap:n:ð kað s:m:J:a Vy:a hò ?  t:Ømhari Et:n:i m:j:al: ek m:ðri b:hÜ p:r haT: uYaAað.
     'Who do you think you are? How dare you raise a hand to my daughter-in-law!'

     (from Chapter Four of  )ðm:c:nd's  g:aðdan:. See context.)

  2.  l:_eky:aðø kað RaúXt:ð T:ð,  s:m:J:at:ð T:ð;  p:r s:b:-ki-s:b: K:Øll:m:K:Øll:a kht:i T:iø  -- t:Øm:kað hm:arð b:ic: m:ðø b:aðl:n:ð ka kÙC m:j:al: n:hiø hò.  hm: Ap:n:ð m:n: ki ran:i hòø,  j:að hm:ari EcCa haðg:i,  v:h hm: krðøg:ð.
   b:ðc:ara b:ap: j:v:an:
-j:v:an: l:_eky:aðø s:ð Vy:a b:aðl:ð ?
   'He tried scolding the girls and then cajoling them but they told him quite openly, "How dare you interfere? We are our own masters and we'll do whatever we want!"    What could the poor father say to these lively young girls?'

     (from Chapter Five of  g:aðdan:. See context.)

      The nouns  ehmm:t: and  s:ahs: 'courage; nerve' can be used in ways similar to these uses of  m:j:al:, either with an infinitive (3 & 5) or with a  ek-clause (4 & 6):

  3.  m:al:t:i j:l: g:y:i  --  Aap:ki ehmm:t: n: p:_i b:ahr en:kl:n:ð ki.
     'Mâlatî countered sharply, "You didn't have the courage to come out (to compete)."'

     (from Chapter Thirteen of   g:aðdan:. See context.)

  4.  ray: s:ahb: ki ehmm:t: hò ek m:ØJ:ð j:ðl: l:ð j:ay:ú ?
     'Does Rây Sâhab have the courage to cart me off to jail?'

     (from Chapter Sixteen of  g:aðdan:. See context.)

  5.  us:ka j:i c:aht:a hò p:hl:ð J:Øen:y:a s:ð em:l:kr Ap:n:a Ap:raD: x:m:a kray:ð;   l:ðekn: Aødr j:an:ð ka s:ahs: n:hiø haðt:a.
     'He really wants to meet Jhuniya first and get her to forgive him for what he has done, but he doesn't have the courage to go inside.'

     (from Chapter Twenty of  g:aðdan:. See context.)

  6.  Aaòr Ab: us:m:ðø Et:n:a s:ahs: n: T:a ek s:am:n:ð Aakr khð  --  haú, m:òøn:ð ec:ùg:ari Pðùki T:i.
     'And now he didn't have the courage to come forward and say, "Yes, I was the one who set the spark."'

     (from Chapter Twelve of  g:aðdan:. See context.)

      However,  ehmm:t: and  s:ahs: differ from  m:j:al: in two respects: Only  m:j:al: is able to occur in its clause without a supporting verb [see examples (1), (7), and (9)]. This is not possible for  ehmm:t: or  s:ahs:. Perhaps related to this is the greater degree of emotional outrage or of extreme challenge that can be expressed by using  m:j:al:. By using  m:j:al: the speaker is making an accusation of temerity: 'How dare he...!' Constructions headed by  ehmm:t: or  s:ahs: are more matter-of-fact.

      Note: If the  m:j:al:-clause is in the past tense then a  j:að-clause dependent on it may be in the past subjunctive. Compare the  l:ð j:ay:ú of (7) with the  l:ð j:at:a of (8):

  7.  t:að ePr p:hl:ð m:òø unhiø s:ð j:akr s:m:J:t:a hÜú. un:ki y:h m:j:al: ek m:ðrð ¾ar p:r s:ð b:òl: K:aðl: l:ð j:ay:ú ! y:h Raka hò, K:Øl:a hÙAa Raka !
     'First I'm going to have a word with him. How dare he take the bullocks from right in front of my door! Robbery, that's what this is, plain and simple robbery!'

     (from Chapter Twenty of  g:aðdan:. See context.)

 8.  t:Øm:n:ð g:aúv: m:ðø eks:i s:ð kØC kha n:hiø, n:hiø B:aðl:a ki m:j:al: T:i ek t:Ømharð ¾ar s:ð b:òl: K:aðl: l:ð j:at:a !
     'You didn't say anything (about buying the cow) to anyone in the village. Otherwise, Bhola wouldn't have dared take (her) away from your door.'

     (from Chapter Seventeen of  g:aðdan:. See context.)
      Since the word  m:j:al: comes from an Arabic word that meant 'power' or 'scope' it is not perhaps surprising to find it used sometimes in the meaning of 'opportunity' or 'possibility' in situations where there is no question of temerity:

  9.  b:az:ar ka c:`av: - ut:ar kaðI Aakesm:k G:Xn:a n:hiø.  Es:ka B:i ev:wan: hò.  Ok b:ar us:ð ^:aòr s:ð dðK: l:iej:O,  ePr Vy:a m:j:al: ek D:aðK:a hað j:ay:.
      'The market doesn't move up and down at random. There is a science to it, too. Once you study it carefully, there is no more possibility that you will be fooled.'

      (from Chapter Seven of  g:aðdan:. See context.)
10.  Vy:a m:j:al: hò ek j:i Aaòr s:ahb: eb:n:a s:Øn:ð eks:i kað hXn:a p:_ð.
      'There is no way that anyone would have to step aside without hearing a deferential "jî" or "sâhab" addressed to them.'

      (from Part One of  us:n:ð kha T:a. See context.)
      While  m:j:al: is, strictly speaking, a noun, it is an unusual one, one that functions at times as if it were itself a verb. This ambiguous identity is reflected in  m:j:al: 's ability to appear without a supporting verb and in its peculiar ability to survive deletion of a negative element (such as  n:hiø or  Vy:a ) without reversal of meaning:
11.  j:m:al: ki m:j:al: n:hiø )  j:að j:ij:i j:an: ki j:aen:b: G:Ürkr dðK:ð !
      'How dare Jamal stare at Jiji Jan!'

      The phrase Vy:a m:j:al: has evolved into an idiomatic negative adverb in the sense of 'not so much as...':

12.  l:ðekn: Vy:a m:j:al: us:n:ð kB:i B:i eks:i kam: kñ el:y:ð Ok p:òs:a B:i m:aúg:a hað !
      'But he never so much as asked for a single paisa for anything he did!'

      (from a story by  n:rðødÓ kÙm:ar es:nha  in his collection  AD:Ürð s:p:n:ð,  p. 30.)

        *         *         *        

Comments from  kÙs:Øm: j:òn::  Notice that the deletion of  n:hiø entails the use of a different intonation on  m:j:al:. Furthermore, the noun  ehmm:t: seems to have the same property:

13.  us:ki ehmm:t: n:hiø )  ( )  ek m:ðrð G:r m:ðö p:òr D:rð !
      'How dare she set foot inside my house!'

        *         *         *        

 To exercise on use of  m:j:al:,  ehmm:t:, and  s:ahs:.

 Other sections dealing with negation:

        1.  V-n:ðv:al:a  to express disapproval, disbelief, defiance or denial.
        2.  m:ar K:aO eb:n:a n:hiø m:an:t:a H  Without V-ing.
        3.  rha n:hiø j:at:a H  Passive of incapacity
        4.  b:n:aO n: b:n:ð H  Paired verbs and incapacity.
        5.  j:an:ð ka n:am: n:hiø l:ðt:a H  Empahtic negation.
To index of grammatical notes.

To index of  m:lhar.

Drafted 19-21 Jan 2001. Posted 21-22 Jan 2001. Checked by KJ 29 Jan 2001. Augmented 30 Jan 2001. Corrected 2 Feb 2001. Augmented and reformatted 26 Apr 2001. Augmented again 28 June 2004 & 1 July 2004. Cross-referenced 22 Aug 2004.