naa-tavaanii se nahii;N baal-fishaanii kaa dimaa;G
varnah taa baa;G qafa.s se mirii parvaaz hai ek

1) from weakness, there is no mind for wing-fluttering
2) otherwise, to the garden from the cage my flight is 'one'



dimaa;G : 'The brain; head, mind, intellect; spirit; fancy, desire; airs, conceit; pride, haughtiness, arrogance; intoxication'. (Platts p.526)


ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)

S. R. Faruqi:

dimaa;G = desire, wish

Tek Chand Bahar has written in [the Persian dictionary] bahaar-e ((ajam that on occasions of respect and veneration dimaa;G is used with the meaning of 'desire'; that is, this is used for a person whose greatness is sought to be shown. And even if he says it about himself, then too the point is to show his own venerableness. [A Persian example.] In this context the meaningfulness of the verse is doubled. He is speaking of weakness, but he's calling the lack of desire for wing-fluttering dimaa;G nah honaa . That is, he nevertheless feels his own grandeur and venerableness.

In this regard, the second line can never be sufficiently praised. That is, 'if you want to know the truth, then I would just give one wing-flap and from the cage, arrive in the garden'. For such a grandiloquent one it's fitting to use 'have a mind for' instead of 'desire'.

This verse is the finest kind of example of 'connection' of the two lines. In the first line, by saying dimaa;G he has alluded to his own grandeur, and in the second line he has established his loftiness. 'The rope burned but its twists didn't depart'-- this is just when they say this [proverb]. For because of weakness it wasn't even possible to flutter his wings-- and yet so much pomp and grandeur remain that 'if I should want, then in a single flight I would be able to make the cage and the garden one'.

In the first divan, he has versified a theme similar to this one, but based on grandeur alone, and because of the superbness of the similitude he has enhanced its effect many-fold:




The flight from the cage to the garden is no doubt 'one' in the sense of 'generated by a single wing-flap' as SRF reads it; but given all the other possibilities for ek (see the definition above), it could also be 'excellent' or 'unique'. Or it could be 'a certain one', a particular flight-path that the bird has planned out. Or it could be a 'single, sole' flight, the only one the bird ever thinks of making.

Compare Ghalib's bird, who has his own rationalization for his 'choice' not to fly: