.su;hbat me;N us kii kyuu;N-ke rahe mard-e aadmii
vuh sho;x-o-shang-o-be-tah-o-aubaash-o-bad-ma((aash

1a) in her company, how would one remain a gentleman?
1b) in her company, how would a gentleman remain?

2) that mischief-maker and thief and trifler and rogue and blackguard!



mard-e aadmii : 'A gentleman'. (Platts p.1021)


shang : 'Amorously playful, elegant and sweet in manners (a mistress); elegant, beautiful, handsome; —s.m. A thief, robber'. (Platts p.734)


be-tah : 'Bottomless; unmeaning, absurd'. (Platts p.202)


aubaash : 'A bad character, dissolute fellow, profligate, debauchee, rake, libertine; —adj. Dissolute, profligate, rakish, lecherous'. (Platts p.101)


bad-ma((aash : 'Of a bad profession or way of life; immoral; —a person of unsettled character, or of bad livelihood; bad character; lewd fellow, blackguard, rascal, vagabond'. (Platts p.139)

S. R. Faruqi:

The construction of the second line is peerless. Not even one verb, just noun after noun-- and he's completed the idea. Perhaps no one else would ever have given to the beloved so many insults in one single line. In the first line, there's also the implication that people who remain in the company of such a beloved don't have the quality of humanity; it's possible that they might be unmanly/impotent.

Nowadays, mard-e aadmii is usually used sarcastically. If here too it's considered to be sarcastic, then the first line becomes vocative and reflective: 'Oh you fine gentleman, how did you remain in her company?!'.

Here sho;x and shang are enjoyable, because both of them have a good meaning as well as a bad one. Since one meaning of aubaash is also 'a vulgar, low-class kind of people', there's also an affinity between it and bad-ma((aash (that is, one whose way of life or way of livelihood would be displeasing). Mir has also used the word aubaash alone, with the meaning of 'beloved': for example, from the second divan [{961,6}]:

bhii;Re;N ;Talii;N us abruu-e ;xam-daar ke hilte
laakho;N me;N us aubaash ne talvaar chalaa))ii

[crowds quailed, at a movement of that bent eyebrow
that rogue has wielded her sword among hundreds of thousands]

In the second line of the present verse the point is not abuse, but rather there's also in it an aspect of veiled compliment to the beloved. He's composed a fine one.

[See also {1506,1}; {1723,6}.]



As SRF notes, the terms of abuse in the second line shade gradually from the charmingly, flirtatiously naughty to the actually evil and dangerous; thus they reproduce the effect of being in her company, of steadily losing one's gentlemanliness or courtesy or chivalry over time. But of course, the effect is in large part humorous, because the poor lover vainly engages in such abuse, just to vent his feelings, and it obviously doesn't get him anywhere.

For after all, he's still in thrall to her, he's still compelled to be her lover. So if he loves and serves such a scoundrel, what does that make him? There are a number of tones in which this verse could be read, for different kinds of piquant effects.

For more on the abuse of the beloved, see


Note for meter fans: In the first line kyuu;N-ke replaces kyuu;N-kar , 'how?', in order to create a short final syllable, for the sake of the scansion.