tafrah baa:til thaa :tuur par apne
varnah jaate yih dau;R ham bhii phalaa;Ng

1) our pride/leap was vain, over Mount Tur/Sinai
2) otherwise, we too would have taken a running jump over it



tafrah : 'Pride; affected magnificence'. (Platts p.329)


tafrah : 'A leap, upward spring'. (Steingass, p.816)


:tuur : 'A mountain; Mount Sinai'. (Platts p.754)


phalaa;Ng : 'A long stride; a leap, jump, spring, bound'. (Platts p.288)

S. R. Faruqi:

tafrah = pride

Among the editions of the Kulliyat of Mir that I have seen, these two verses [the previous one, {263,7}, and the present one] have never been shown as a verse-set [qi:tah-band]. But my view is that if they're read as a verse-set, then the 'seating' of the meaning will seem better.

In the present verse, tafrah , meaning 'pride, arrogance', is an extremely excellent word, and doesn't even appear in most dictionaries. If we consider it with regard to meaning, then in the previous verse [{236,7}] we're constrained to consider the mountain real.

We felt pride over our own Tur (that is, over our style of activity), but this turned out to be false. Because however much we climb on that mountain, it seems to get that much higher again. If our pride were justified, then we would take a running jump.

In the word bhii there's the suggestion that there were (or are) some other people who have already done this deed.



The prose order of the second line would seem to be: varnah ham bhii dau;R ( kar ) phalaa;Ng ( kar ) jaate . ('If we truly had the power that we wrongly and foolishly pride ourselves upon, we wouldn't even have to climb our particular Mount Tur-- with all the risks of the peak appearing always at the same distance, no matter how high we climb (as in {236,7}). Instead, we'd just take a running jump (or a flying leap?) right over it.')

Moreover, legitimate and illegitimate forms of pride are alike imagined in Urdu as lifting themselves up, or raising their heads high-- as in these examples (Platts p.648):

sar-buland : 'Having the head raised high, exalted, eminent, glorious, excellent'
sar-faraaz : 'Having the head raised; exalted, eminent, distinguished, honoured
sar-kash : 'Rearing the head, refractory, rebellious... ; obstinate; proud, arrogant, insolent'

This general metaphoric tendency serves to frame 'pride' as carrying one's head (too) high, like a tall mountain that overtops all lower hills; this framing further strengthens the imagery of the verse-set. And of course, in Persian tafrah means 'leap' (see the definitions above).

The question of the bhii remains piquant. Since Hazrat Musa didn't take a flying leap over Mount Tur, who would be the original, successful high-jumper whom we might be tempted to emulate?

The verse also deserves 'fresh word' credit, as SRF notes, for the extremely rare tafrah .