In the last years of the eighteenth century, an Indian woman authored a work in Persian intended for the entertainment and guidance of students of that language. Entitled Miftāḥ-i Qulūb-i Mubtadiyān (‘The Key of the Hearts of Beginners’), the work comprised of stories from vernacular oral traditions as well as extracts from well-known Persian poetic, historical and ethical works. Although the work was translated into English in 1908 by Annette Beveridge, it has received no serious scholarly attention. Drawing upon recent scholarship offering new ways of thinking about India's multilingual literary past, this article examines the intersection of multiple vernacular and generic traditions as translated and manifested in Miftāḥ-i Qulūb al-Mubtadīyān. While vernacular languages followed different, and in relative terms, more limited routes of circulation and exchange in comparison with cosmopolitan languages such as Persian, their paths of movement were no less significant. Through a close reading of this work and its context, this article seeks to understand how Bībī Ḥashmat al-Daula crafted a distinct, cosmopolitan voice for herself through her deployment of both Persianate and regional Indian traditions.