kaam the ((ishq me;N bahut par miir
ham hai;N faari;G hu))e shitaabii se

1) there were many tasks/desires in passion; but, Mir
2) we have become free of them quickly/hastily



faari;G : 'Free from care, or anxiety; contented; free from labour or business; free, at leisure, unoccupied, unemployed, disengaged; —cleared, absolved, discharged; —ceasing (from labour, &c.), ending, finishing'. (Platts p.775)


shitaabii : 'Quickness, haste, expedition, despatch; celerity, speed'. (Platts p.722)

S. R. Faruqi:

The ambiguity of this verse is very pleasurable. Nothing at all has been explained; thus its interpretation is almost unlimited. By not mentioning the kinds of work/desire in passion, the verse has established all the possibilities. That is, in passion from wandering, disgrace, madness to union with the beloved-- all the kinds of task/desire were present for us, or were easy, or were possible, or were required of us by way of duty.

In shitaabii se faari;G ho jaanaa too there's the same ambiguity. Does it mean that we very quickly brought those tasks/desires to completion, or does it mean that we ignored those tasks/desires and very quickly obtained freedom from passion? Then, what does it mean to obtain freedom from passion? (1) He renounced passion; (2) he renounced life; (3) he kept his passion established, but had no dealings with the tasks/desires of passion-- he simply lay around in a corner.

It should be remembered that the original meaning of faari;G is 'empty'. Thus if we keep this meaning in view, then the meaning emerges that we emptied ourself even of passion. Then, there can also be the meaning that we emptied ourself of passion in the sense that we quickly finished off our passion. It's also possible that we became full of other occupations and emptied ourself of passion. Ghalib:


Ghalib's verse is interesting, but in it he has expressed the idea clearly that the grief of the age has chased away the intoxication of passion. In Mir's verse, it is not even clear what caused the quick freedom from passion. One reason we've already seen: that it was the grief of the age. Or it could be that because of the burden of passion, life couldn't be sustained-- he couldn't endure the beloved's tyranny, or separation from her, etc.

It's hardly a verse-- it's an enchanted world of ambiguity, and in a real sense it is like Derrida's text, in which there's no one center of meaning. Or again, in Bakhtin's words we can call it 'polyphonic', since all meanings are present at once, and none prevails over any other.



As SRF points out, faari;G hu))e is beautifully multivalent. Fortunately we can capture something of it in 'getting free'. What does it mean to 'get free' of something? It can mean to finish it (or to finish it off); or to reject or refuse it; or to somehow avoid or 'get around' it. The verse thus opens up a whole unresolvable spectrum of ways in which 'Mir' might have approached the 'tasks/desires' of passion.

Note for translation fans: If we were really determined to max out the ambiguities, we could also observe that 'quickly' and 'hastily' are not quite the same thing (see the definition of shitaabii above), so that they might amount to two separate meanings. A task may be done 'quickly' as a matter of course, if it is familiar and easy; or it may be done 'hastily' in the sense of hurriedly, in a rush. But here the scale of difference is small enough that questions of translation may get in the way. Were the members of Mir's audience really likely to have had two such distinct notions in their heads-- notions that we can now separate only through English terms? How could we know? (For literary translation purposes, it would be more sensible to use 'quickly', since speed of action is the least common denominator.)