ham va;hshiyo;N se muddat maanuus jo rahe hai;N
majnuu;N ko sho;x la;Rke kahne lage hai;N kaakaa

1) {because they / they who} have remained familiar for some time with us wild ones
2) the mischievous boys have begun to call Majnun 'brother/kid/eunuch'



maanuus : 'Associated; attached, friendly, familiar, intimate; —cheering, solacing, gladdening'. (Platts p.986)


kaakaa : '(in Pers.), An old slave (belonging to one's father); an elder brother; —(in Hind.) a father's younger brother; a paternal uncle; a respectful compellation for an elder brother, or cousin, &c'. (Platts p.802)

S. R. Faruqi:

kaakaa = 'little boy'

The verse's thought is a novel one. A thought like this wouldn't occur to anyone but Mir; and even if it had occurred, hardly anyone else would have been able to express it with this excellence and depth.

It's the stage in madness when Mir and other wilderness-dwellers like him, having wandered around all over the place, have come back to the city. The boys see them wandering around in the streets and lanes, and have become familiar with them. In this situation, Majnun appears from somewhere. Since the boys are aware of the wildness of madmen like Mir, Majnun's madness produces no special effect on them; that is, having seen madmen like Mir, how will they have any particular respect for Majnun? Thus in a disdainful tone they address Majnun as kaakaa , 'kid'.

Or it's possible that they might say kaakaa out of respect. In their saying it respectfully there's an extra pleasure: that perhaps these mischievous boys have some awareness of the fact that when they grow up, they too will have to follow Majnun's path. Thus they call Majnun kaakaa (that is, 'older brother').

There can also be the situation that Mir, and other madmen like him, after wandering around everywhere in the streets and lanes of the city, have gone to live in the wilderness. Then Majnun, wandering along from somewhere, arrives in the city. Seeing him, the boys aren't absolutely astonished; rather, having been familiar with Mir and others like him, they recognize Majnun and call him kaakaa .

It's also possible that Majnun might not really have come to the city, but when the boys read about him in a book, then compared to Mir and other madmen like him Majnun seemed very trifling and immature. Thus they began to refer to Majnun as kaakaa . Or they might have referred to him thus out of respect (as was mentioned above).

One meaning of kaakaa is also 'house-born slave', or 'father's slave'. It's obvious that these meanings too are suitable. There's also for kaakaa the meaning of 'supervisor of the ladies' quarters' [;xvaajah-saraa] or 'eunuch' [zanjah]. Ahmad Husain Qamar, the author of :tilism-e haft paikar (vol. 2 p. 227) [from the Dastan of Amir Hamzah], uses it in this sense: 'Mahlal made a leap and came before the Ethiopian. He called out, "Oh you from the kaakaa community [qaum ke kaakaa]! Confront me! Do you only lord it over women?"' It's clear that kaakaa in the sense of 'supervisor of the ladies' quarters' too is suitable in the present verse.

There's also another point: that jo can also be a demonstrative pronoun. That is, those mischievous boys who have remained familiar for some time with madmen like us, they have begun to call Majnun kaakaa .



How cleverly the multiple possibilities have been set up! In the first line, the big question is who are 'we wild ones'? It's a group that includes the speaker and at least a few other people, but does it include Majnun? If it does, then the mischievous boys may address Majnun informally because he's such a familiar character, just one of the group of local nutcases. If it does not, then Majnun is in a separate class, and the possibilities adduced by SRF are available.

And of course, as SRF so well explains, the term kaakaa itself can carry a widely varying set of meanings, from the respectful ('elder brother') through the casual ('kid, young boy') to the insulting ('eunuch').

Moreover, in the ghazal world the normal behavior of 'mischievous boys' is to throw stones at madmen, including mad lovers. The very fact that these boys don't throw stones at Majnun, but simply address him with a nickname or epithet (of what kind?), calls for explanation. Is it because they now throw stones at the much wilder, crazier group mentioned in the first line? Is it because they're so familiar with mad lovers that they've grown bored with harassing them, or perhaps have even begun to sympathize with them?

SRF proposes that the boys may dimly realize that Majnun's fate might one day be their own. Perhaps he was thinking of Ghalib's take on a similar situation: