paida kahaa;N hai;N aise paraagandah-:tab((a log
afsos tum ko miir se .su;hbat nahii;N rahii

1) where are they born, people of such scattered/distracted temperament?!
2) alas, that you did not have the companionship of Mir!



paraagandah : 'Widely separated or parted, widely sundered, scattered, dispersed, dissipated, routed; distracted, disturbed (in mind)'. (Platts p.236)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse is deservedly famous for its 'mood', and the dignity of its tone; the speaker's superior tone toward the addressee is also fine: 'Alas that you are not among those fortunate ones, or those worthy ones, who regularly passed their time with Mir! If you had met him, you would have attained the honor of meeting a rarity of the age.' In this there are two implications as well. First, that the speaker had been honored with Mir's acquaintance; and second, that the addressee's not having met Mir has left some deficiency in his personality.

And of course there's the implication that now Mir is not in this world, or at least is not among people. The occasion on which the verse is spoken has been left ambiguous. Has someone asked about Mir? Or perhaps instances of madness and mental disturbance, and the behavior of mentally disturbed people, have been under discussion. Then the speaker says, in a slightly pitying, patronizing style, 'What do you people know about mentally disturbed people?! And now, where are there any people like Mir, whom you could observe in order to understand? This knowledge was available only to those of us who had Mir's companionship.'

Now the question is, what is meant by paraagandah-:tab((a , and why has it been brought so approvingly into the course of the conversation? In Barkati's dictionary and in urdu lu;Gat taarii;xii ((u.suul par , it does not appear (although in the latter paraagandah ;haal is given). In any case, Mir has used the word paraagandagii like this in the sixth divan [{1880,4}]:

thaa do-dilaa vi.saal me;N bhii mai;N kih hijr me;N
paa;Ncho;N ;havaas kii to paraagandagii hu))ii

[I was distracted even/also in union, for in separation
all five senses had become scattered/dispersed]

Thus a paraagandah-:tab((a person is one in whose temperament there would be no stability, whose senses would constantly be scattered. That is, a stage a little less than madness has been reached. A hangaamah-aaraa dil-farosh is what Mir has called a person who would be lost in himself, and from the intensity of this feeling would create turmoil, but would have no awareness of what he was doing. From the fifth divan [{1636,5}]:

kaisaa ;xvud-gum sar-bikhere miir hai baazaar me;N
aisaa ab paidaa nahii;N hangaamah-aaraa dil-farosh

[what a self-lost scattered-head Mir is! in the bazaar
now no such a turmoil-creating heart-seller appears]

In this verse too there's the same idea-- that now a turmoil-creator like Mir will not be born. But in {1636,5}, the turmoil-creation is because Mir is immersed in his own being; and in the present verse whatever turmoil-creation there is, is probably caused by distractedness of temperament and scatteredness of the senses.

The basic point is that wildness and turmoil-creation, whether caused by self-transcendence or by intensity of feeling, is something worth seeing. From the third divan [{1255,9}]:

dakkhan puurab pachchhim se log aa kar mujh ko dekhe;N hai;N
;haif kih parvaa tum ko nahii;N hai mu:tliq merii .su;hbat kii

[from the Deccan, the east, the west, people come to see me
alas, that you have no care whatsoever for my company!]

This verse doesn't have the 'dramaticness' that has been created in the present verse by the fact that Mir himself is not present, and some people are conversing about him. The basic theme is the sanctity of madness, which we have already discussed in




But in the present verse, the tone has raised the verse to another level. In the third divan, he used 'dramaticness' to bring out a good theme [{1263,5}]:

hai;N ;xuubiyaa;N hii ;xuubiyaa;N va;hshii -tabii((at miir me;N
par uns-e kam ham se daliil ab ke yih saudaa par bhii hai

[there are excellences upon excellences in the wild-temperament-possessing Mir
but little affection for us-- this, now, is even/also proof of madness]

[See also {31,9}; {958,1}.]



In the first line, the kahaa;N creates a variant of the 'kya effect'. Thus the line can be read as an indignant negative exclamation: 'As if such people are [normally] born! Not at all-- they are so rare that they almost never appear!'. Or it can be read as a genuine, reflective question: 'Where are such people born? How do such rare creatures come to exist?'