nifaaq-e mardumaa;N ((aajiz se hai zu((m-e takabbur par
kahuu;N kyaa ittifaaq aisaa bhii ho jaataa hai dunyaa me;N

1) the deceit/vexation of people toward the humble one is over the presumption/suspicion of pride/grandeur
2) what can I say-- even/also such concurrence/happenstance comes about in the world!



nifaaq : 'Hypocrisy; —fallacy; —prevarication; dissimulation; deceit, guile'. (Platts p.1144)


mardumaan : 'People, men and women in general'. (Platts p.1022)


((aajiz : 'Lacking strength or power, or ability, powerless, impotent, unable (to do), unequal (to); weak, feeble, helpless; brought low, overcome; lowly, humble; exhausted; dejected; in despair, hopeless; baffled, frustrated'. (Platts p.756)


zu((m : 'Asserting, assertion; thinking, presuming, speaking from belief; —self-assertion; presumption, assurance, arrogance; pride, vanity'. (Platts p.616)


takabbur : 'Pride, haughtiness, arrogance, loftiness, presumption, grandeur'. (Platts p.331)


ittifaaq : 'Concurrence, agreement, accord, correspondence, coincidence; equality; union, unity, concord, harmony, unison, conformity; amity, friendship, affection; similarity of disposition; assent, consent; concert, combination, confederation, conspiracy, collusion; probability, contingency, case, event; circumstance, incident, affair, particular; opportunity; accident, chance, lot, fortune'. (Platts p.16)

S. R. Faruqi:

zu((m = suspicion, doubt [gumaan]

The stereotype of Mir that is famous among us includes Mir's ill-temperedness, and haughtiness as well. When the occasion arises in conversation, the kind of verses that are usually brought up are those that show Mir's ill-temperedness. But verses in which Mir's temperament is shown in a different light are not mentioned. Thus as far as I know, the present verse has not been referred to by any critic.

In this verse Mir has, with extraordinary subtlety/enjoyableness [lu:tf], joked about people who considered him arrogant. But he has no sorrow about this, nor even any anxiety/rejection. He calls himself ((aajiz -- that is, one who is 'submissive, helpless'-- and says that 'People suspect that I am proud; because of this suspicion [gumaan] they are always hostile to me'. But he doesn't even oppose this state of affairs; he only says this: that 'in the world such concurrences [ittifaaqaat] are always happening, after all'.

The zila of nifaaq meaning 'harm, disturbance' [bigaa;R] and ittifaaq meaning 'unity, concord' [itti;haad] is also fine. The pleasure of the theme is in the way he has made people's suspicion/distrust [bad-gumaanii] dependent upon the happenstances [ittifaaqaat] of the world. And the pleasure of the style is in the way there's not a hint of rejection of this suspicion/distrust, or expression of grief and sorrow over it.

Thus together with ((aajizii , there's also a kind of darvesh-like detachment/aloofness: 'We don't care about people's opinion; if they think us arrogant/grandiose, then let them think so.'



In Ghalib and Mir both, any verse that seems to express extreme humility is at once waving a red flag-- might it not have a flip side, might it not also express extreme arrogance? Among many examples, a glorious case in point is the famous:


In the present verse, our suspicions may well be aroused even before we get to that second line. For just look at the first line, with its extravagantly lofty vocabulary. It seems to display grandiosity in its every word. In particular, look at zu((m . SRF defines it as 'suspicion, doubt' [gumaan], and in the course of his discussion elaborates it to bad-gumaanii . But the word itself (see the definition above) also has a clear range from 'assertion, claiming' to 'self-assertion, arrogance'.

Thus it needn't refer merely to a 'suspicion' that people have about the speaker, but could quite well refer to an assertion made by the speaker himself-- including a self-assertion, a show of arrogance. The last part of the line could thus describe 'an assertion, or an arrogance, of pride/loftiness/grandeur'. In other words, it's quite possible that what people dislike about the speaker is his pride, self-assertion, arrogance. When he refers to himself as 'the humble one', this may well be humorous or ironic-- a riff on the stylized, self-deprecating language of courtesy.

The second line cleverly begins with kahuu;N kyaa , which has all the shades and tones of 'What can I say?'. At a minimum, it may be just the verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders, but there are so many more possibilities as well ('It's my fault-- I'm sorry!'; 'It's not my fault-- what can I do about it?'; 'Well, guilty as charged, but who cares?'; 'It's complex beyond description'; 'Let's not go into the sorry details', and so on).

Then comes the superbly chosen word ittifaaq with its wide array of meanings that center on 'concurrence, agreement'. 'Imagine that-- people resent my humble self for my self-assertion, my pride and arrogance-- well, what can I say, they and I may chance to agree on something after all, such things do happen from time to time in the world!'. Or a rhetorical question-- 'Imagine that-- what a coincidence! -- does such concurrence of opinion really happen in the world?' In other words, the 'concurrence' (or the like) could well be between what people think about the speaker, and what the speaker thinks about himself. 'Imagine that-- for once I agree with them!'. Or perhaps, 'They're not very perceptive as a rule, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day'.

SRF assumes that the speaker is (the real) Mir himself, and that through it he is showing us another, less cross-grained side of his temperament. But everything in the verse seems quite in accord with the crazed, contrary persona of the mad lover, so I don't see any reason to put the verse into a special 'autobiographical' category.