ab ke bahut hai shor-e bahaaraa;N ham ko mat zanjiir karo
dil kii havas ;Tuk ham bhii nikaale;N dhuume;N ham ko machaane do

1) this time there's much tumult/disturbance/clamor of springtime-- don't chain us up!
2) even/also we would bring out, please/'a little', the heart's desire-- let us create uproars/commotions!



shor : 'Cry, noise, outcry, exclamation, din, clamour, uproar, tumult, disturbance; renown'. (Platts p.736)


bahaaraa;N : 'The spring season'. (Platts p.178)


dhuum machaanaa : 'To make a noise, create an uproar; to make a stir or ado; to cry aloud, to roar'. (Platts p.551)

S. R. Faruqi:

For madness to increase in the spring, and for the madman to break his chains and wander off, or for him to attempt to break his chains, is a common theme. The theme of this verse of Mir's itself seems to have been taken from Muhammad Aman Nisar:

hamaaraa haath mat pak;Ro bahaar aa))ii hai jaane do
garebaa;N kii hame;N ab dhajjiyaa;N yaaro u;Raane do

[don't seize our hands-- spring has come, let us/it go!
permit us now, friends to tear our collar to shreds!]

Shah Muhammadi Bedar has adopted a powerful refrain, and thus made a commonplace idea very effective:

bahaar aa))ii tu;Raane phir lage zanjiir diivaane
hu))aa shor-e junuu;N bar-paa ahaahaahaa ahaahaahaa

[spring came; again the madmen began to break their chains
the turmoil of madness occurred-- hahaha, hahaha!]

But Mir's verse is on a much higher level than both of these. The first reason is that in Mir's verse, as usual, there's a background of realism. This year the tumult of springtime is very great; that is, in past years the spring was not so ebullient. The madman is going to be confined in chains, probably because when it was not spring then his madness was less, and there was no need for chains. Or perhaps there was no madness at all, there was a kind of health. Or perhaps because this year the ebullience of spring is great, he is being chained up as a precaution. On this occasion the madman says, 'This time there's great turmoil of springtime, don't chain us up!'.

In ab ke bahut hai shor-e bahaaraa;N there's also the implication that this year the tumult (fame, commotion) of spring is great, while in the previous year it was perhaps not so great. Or if we take shor to mean 'hustle and bustle', then the point will be that this spring the hustle and bustle, coming and going, clamor and commotion, are great. The normal meaning of shor (turmoil, ebullience) of course remains in place.

From the first line onward, the raised voice and tone of exclamation begin. On one side there's the 'tumult/disturbance of springtime', on the other side there's the tumult/disturbance of the madman, the tumult of his chains, the tumult of his calling out 'Don't chain us up!'.

Then look-- shor-e bahaaraa;N has two meanings. One is that the spring has its own tumult-- the tumult of birds and animals, the tumult of rain, the tumult of people enjoying themselves. And the other meaning is the 'clamor about spring'-- that is, in every direction there's the cry that 'Spring has come, spring has come!'. Shauq Qidva'i:

hu))aa chaaro;N :taraf aq.saa-e ((aalam me;N pukaar aa))ii
bahaar aa))ii bahaar aa))ii bahaar aa))ii bahaar aa))ii

[it happened that in all directions, to the ends of the world, a call came--
'spring has come, spring has come, spring has come, spring has come!']

Thus along with the tumult of springtime, the madman's tumult increases-- 'We too would express our heart's desire'. That is, when everything is expressing the desire of its heart, people are enjoying themselves, the greenery is stirring and rising up, the rains [barsaat] and clouds are venting their fury, then why shouldn't the speaker too have the chance?

Another meaning is that in the madman's heart was the desire to gambol all around, to dance very wildly, to burst out laughing, to rip open his collar, to tear out his hair, to writhe in dust and blood, and so on. But madness was not going along with him. 'Today when there's the ebullience of spring, then madness too is at a height-- today I would fulfill the desire of my heart.'

In 'Don't chain us up', there's also the implication, 'Chain up others, leave us alone! You've left others free, why do you chain up us alone?'. This implication receives support from his having said, in the second line, dil kii havas ;Tuk ham bhii nikaale;N -- that is, 'Other people are expressing the desires of their heart, or have already expressed them; other people have manifested the ebullition of so much madness; now give us too a chance!'.

In the second line, along with the meaning and theme, the melodiousness [aahang] advances, so that as the line moves toward its end, it changes into a single powerful, loud, echoing call. In that call neediness, a challenge to battle, and a feeling of defeat-- everything is there. Defeat because people have already chained up the madman, or won't rest until they've chained him up.

Muhammad Aman Nisar has obtained the theme, but he could not bring all its possibilities into play. Then, his idea was limited; thus he stopped after he spoke of tearing the collar to shreds. In Mir Muhammadi Bedar's verse the refrain is very effective and meaningful, but there's no breadth in the theme. By contrast, in Mir's verse, along with the magic of 'melodiousness', there's a particular/unique/excellent [ek] world of meaning and 'mood'.

[See also {1746,1}.]



I almost always translate bhii as 'even/also', and verses like this are the reason. The madman's cry can be either a cry for justice ('Everybody else is doing it-- let me do it too!') or a cry for mercy ('Everybody is doing it-- please let even hapless me do it!'). The ;Tuk (of which zaraa is the modern counterpart) works particularly well here, with its dictionary meaning of 'a little' and its colloquial sense of 'please'-- both so pathetically appropriate.

The poor madman has a great 'desire, lust' [havas] in his heart-- but for what? Not for sanity, not for freedom, not even for union with the beloved, but only for the chance to create something like an 'uproar' or a 'stir'. Since being chained up wouldn't prevent him from making noise, presumably he longs to do something more conspicuously physical-- as SRF suggests, to dance or gambol, to rend his garments, to 'writhe in dust and blood'. When the rest of nature bursts into fertility, growth, new life, the madman craves for himself, as his heart's desire, a similarly thrilling outburst of creativity-- which consists only of heightened expressions of madness.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line, ab ke should be taken as a colloquially truncated form of ab ke vaqt or something of the sort.