marg-e majnuu;N se ((aql gum hai miir
kyaa divaane ne maut paa))ii hai

1) through the death of Majnun, the intelligence is confounded/distracted/'lost', Mir
2) what a madman has attained/'found' death!



((aql : 'Intelligence, wisdom, sense, understanding, intellect, mind, reason, knowledge'. (Platts p.763)


gum : 'Lost; wanting; missing; absent; invisible; —wandering, distracted, confounded'. (Platts p.914)

S. R. Faruqi:

This is one of the best verses of 'mood', but here too Mir has not ignored wordplay. 'Majnun' is not only the epithet given to Qais, but also itself means 'mad, madness-stricken'. Thus there's an affinity between majnuu;N and divaane . This affinity also augments the meaning, and a great portion of the meaning would have been lost if the second line had been

kyaa bichaare ne maut paa))ii hai .

In the word divaane there's admiration, reverence, love, sorrow-- there's everything; while in bichaare there's only a bit of sorrow, and that too of an utterly conventional kind. Bringing together majnuu;N and divaanah is not repetition, but rather majnuu;N as a proper nameand divaanah as the name of a quality reinforce each other. Even beyond this, the word divaanah itself in this context is noun-like, as though another of Majnun's names would be divaanah .

In the second line the insha'iyah structure too is fine, because in it the style of the word divaanah conveys admiration, reverence, love, surprise-- all the effects are present. Then, because of the affinity of majnuu;N and divaane , to say ((aql gum hai is also very fine.

Despite all this commentary, some aspects of the verse remain ambiguous. It's been a long time since Majnun died. But the style of the verse is as though it's expressing an opinion about some fresh event. It's as if for the speaker the story/event of Majnun and Laila is not in the past, but always remains immediately before his eyes.

Then, in Majnun's death there's nothing especially dramatic (as there is, for example, in the death of Farhad or Hir) that deserves any special mention. It's possible that the point might be that Majnun didn't really die, but rather has eternal life, and the intelligence is absorbed in amazement that instead of death, eternal life has been vouchsafed to an ordinary desert-dweller.

Another possibility is that more important than Majnun's death is the idea that he died in a state of madness. But in his madness too there was an excellence, and as with Saint Francis, the animals and birds were his companions. Or again, the point may be that Nizami, Khusrau, and Jami, three great poets of Persian-- or rather, of the world-- wrote masnavis about the passion of Majnun. This honor was not vouchsafed to anyone else at all. This abundance and variety of possibilities enhances the pleasure of the verse.



Why does Majnun's 'finding' of death confound or bewilder the intelligence-- or even cause it to be 'lost', so that the speaker might himself become mad? Surely because Majnun was so much the ultimate, archetypal, indispensable madman that it's almost impossible to believe that he could actually have died. The second line thus readily becomes a sort of memorial tribute to him: what a (peerless) madman has been lost! (The wordplay of 'lost' and 'found' works elegantly here.) The emotional depth and resonance of this exclamation make this reading far richer and more compelling than any other possibility.

It would also be possible to take the second line almost as an expression of envy: 'Has a madman 'found' or 'attained' death?!' (How astonishing, when the speaker himself so often seeks for it in vain!) Or else it could be an expression of disbelief: 'Has that madman actually died?!' (Who would have thought it-- he seemed set to live forever!) But these readings pale before the power of the second line as a cri de coeur.