;Gam-e zamaanah se faari;G hai;N maayah-baa;xtagaa;N
qimaar-;xaanah-e aafaaq me;N hai haar hii jiit

1) they are freed/discharged from the grief of the world/age, those who have played/staked/lost their wealth

2a) in the gaming-house of the horizons, only/emphatically losing is winning
2b) in the gaming-house of the horizons, winning is only/emphatically losing



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)


maayah : 'Source, root, origin, principle, essence, substance ...; wealth, money, cash, means; capital (in trade), stock, principal; fund; —measure; quantity; amount'. (Platts p.988)


baa;xtah : 'Played; staked; lost, beaten (at play)'. (Platts p.118)


qimaar : 'Dice; any game of hazard'. (Platts p.795)

S. R. Faruqi:

He has said this thought in other places as well. In the first divan [{616,3}]:

muqaamir-;xaanah-e aafaaq vuh hai
kih jo aayaa hai yaa;N kuchh kho gayaa hai

[the gamer's-house of the horizons is the one
such that whoever has come here, has lost something]

From the fourth divan:


From the third divan [{1258,5}]:

diin-o-dunyaa kaa ziyaa;N-kaar kaho ham ko miir
do jahaa;N daa))o na;xvastii;N hii me;N ham haar rahe

[call us a damager of faith and the world, Mir
in an undesirable play of the two worlds, we lost]

Verse {1480,3} will be discussed in its own place. Verse {616,3} too is interesting because of the meaningful ambiguity of kuchh kho gayaa hai .

But in the present verse, he has given the theme an entirely new twist: on the one hand he has amplified/dignified destitution, and on the other hand he has created in maayah-ba;xtagaa;N one set after another of meaningful possibilities. For maayah in the sense of 'capital, wealth' can be the heart as well, and life, and honor, and riches, and youth.

Then, baa;xtagaa;N can mean: (1) those who have lost something; (2) those who have lost something at play; (3) those who have wasted something.

The loftily harmonious tone, and the confidence, of the whole verse are also worthy of praise.

[See also {456,8}.]



What a magnificent verse! SRF praises its tone, and though I often have problems with such ascriptions of tone (see {724,2} for examples), here I think it works. The verse has a sort of cosmic dignity, and incorporates both grief and repose, defeat and victory, into an effortless, calm, judicious-feeling overview.

The word faari;G is part of the effect: I have translated it as 'freed', rather than 'free' (like aazaad ), because it suggests a change of state: one normally becomes faari;G by being 'finished' or 'discharged' or 'at leisure' from something (see the definition above). When one is faari;G from something, one is through doing it (at least for the present) and ready to do something else. It is a much more human, time-bound adjective than the potentially absolute aazaad .

The first line thus gives us a temporal cause and effect sequence: those who 'stake' or 'play' or 'lose' their wealth (of any and every kind), then become 'freed' from the grief of the world/age. Since they no longer have anything to lose, why should they feel anxious or oppressed over the cares of the world? By 'losing' everything, they have 'won' an end to grief.

Then in the second line, the 'symmetry' intensifies the effect of this paradox. For just as defeat is victory (since the losers 'win'), victory is defeat (any hypothetical 'winners' would lose by not achieving an end to grief). Moreover, the intriguing little hii opens two further possibilities: is it that 'only' defeat (and nothing else) is victory, or is it that 'defeat itself', most emphatically, is victory? Either way, the verse makes it clear that for humans, the only way out of this life is through it. We have no choice but to play our hands, and then inevitably to lose-- and thus to win our way through to whatever lies beyond, even if it's only the chance to be freed from the sorrow of this world.