((ishq-o-mai-;xvaarii nibhe hai ko))ii darveshii ke biich
us :tara;h ke ;xarch-e laa-;haa.sil ko daulat chaahiye

1) passion and wine-drinking-- are they sustained at all, in the midst of darvesh-ness?
2) for that kind of fruitless expenditure, wealth is required



nibhnaa : 'To be accomplished, or performed, or effected; to succeed; —to serve, do, pass; to live, subsist, eke out a livelihood; to last, continue, endure'. (Platts p.1121)


ko))ii : 'Any, anyone, anybody; someone, somebody; some, a few; a, an; ... —in any degree, at all'. (Platts p.866)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mir has often used a theme of this kind, and on every occasion he created some new idea. For example, consider:




Then, there are also the following verses. From the second divan [{839,4}]:

chaahne kaa mujh se be-qudrat kaa kyaa hai i((tibaar
((ishq karne ko kisuu ke chaahiye maqduur ;Tuk

[for loving, what credit/authority of a powerless one like me?
to practice passion, one needs a bit of capacity]

From the second divan [{1038,3}]:

siimii;N-tano;N kaa milnaa chaahe hai kuchh tamavvul
shaahid-parastiyo;N kaa ham paas-e zar kahaa;N hai

[to meet with silver-bodied ones requires some riches
we worshippers of beauty-- where is our custody of gold?!]

From the fourth divan [{1470,8}]:

;Gariibo;N kii to pag;Rii jaame tak le hai utarvaa to
tujhe ay siim-bar le bar me;N jo zar-daar ((aashiq ho

[when even the turban and robe of the poor would be taken off them, then
oh silver-bosomed one, in choosing, the gold-possessing lover would take you]

Despite the existence of these verses, the present verse has its own individuality. The first point is that it mentions both passion and wine-drinking-- that is, they are both things of exactly the same rank. Both rakishness and beauty-worship have the same importance or status.

A second point is that by saying darveshii he has created an extraordinary, subtle sarcasm-- that we are a darvesh, but we want to engage in wine-drinking and lover-ship. Or again, there's the implication that from these tasks, or from the attraction of these things, no one can escape. Whether it be a darvesh or someone else, a worldly person or a 'person of the heart', there's no recourse except passion and wine-drinking.

A third point is that he's called both these things a 'fruitless expenditure'. In this there's undoubtedly the pleasure of sarcasm, but there are also two meanings. (1) The gold that is expended on passion and wine-drinking is fruitless, because these pursuits bring no benefit, nothing comes to hand through them. (2) In passion and wine-drinking the man himself becomes expended-- that is, a man wastes himself, or his resources and powers. And for that kind of frivolous expenditure, wealth is necessary.

Like that of the opening-verse [{490,1}], the tone of this verse too is coolly patronizing/condescending. There's not even the remotest hint of self-pity and pathos. He's composed it well.



On the theme of poverty, see also:


And while we're on the subject of wine-drinking and money, I can't resist adding to the repertoire Ghalib's irresistibly rakish way of paying his own wine-bill:


Note for grammar fans: The verb nibhnaa is formed from the transitive nibaahnaa ; here it applies to the 'passion and wine-drinking' (with the usual tendency after a list for the verb to agree with the last item). Thus the ko))ii doesn't refer to 'someone' as it usually does, but means 'in any degree, at all' (see the definition above). And the whole first line is idiomatically framed, since colloquial usage and poetic context compel us to read it only as a yes-or-no rhetorical question ('Is it ever sustained? of course not!'), but since there's no kyaa , nothing in the grammar actually enforces this reading. A similar Ghalibian case: G{91,9}.