Ghazal 7, Verse 7


yih laash-e be-kafan asad-e ;xastah-jaa;N kii hai
;haq ma;Gfarat kare ((ajab aazaad mard thaa

1) this corpse without a shroud is that of heartbroken/heartsick Asad
2) may God have mercy on him-- he was a strangely/rarely free/emancipated man!


;xastah-jaa;N : 'Heart-broken; sick at heart'. (Platts p.490)


((ajab : 'Wonderful, marvelous, astonishing, amazing, miraculous, strange, extraordinary, rare; droll'. (Platts p.758)


aazaad : 'Free, unfettered, unrestrained, uncontrolled; liberated, discharged, set free, ransomed, emancipated; free born; free from care, at ease, light-hearted; --s.m. A freeman; freedman; a faqiir or Mohammadan devotee who shaves his beard and eye-lashes and vows chastity, but considers himself exempt from all the ceremonial observances of religion; a free-thinker'. (Platts p.45)


That is, he was a strangely free one-- for his corpse too is without a shroud. (8)

== Nazm page 8


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {7}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, while the broken-down Asad remained alive, he remained in a state of freedom. He was absolutely free of confinements and relationships. After death, it is being said, his body was without a shroud, for it too is free of grave and shroud. 'May God have mercy'-- this sentence of prayer has produced an extraordinary pleasure. (19)

Bekhud Mohani:

In this verse, the meaningful words are yih , be-kafan , and ;xastah-jaa;N . yih implies that a picture of the bier without a shroud comes before the hearer.... be-kafan brings the condition of freedom before the eyes: he was such a free one that even his corpse is without a shroud.... ;xastah-jaa;N begins to create a picture of his condition, which is peculiar to those free ones. The late Janab Zauq too has expressed this theme. But the difference between these two [verses] will not remain hidden from people of insight:

kahte hai;N aaj ;zauq jahaa;N se gu;zar gayaa
kyaa ;xuub aadmii thaa ;xudaa ma;Gfarat kare

[they say today Zauq passed from the world
what a fine man he was! may the Lord have mercy on him] (14)



In this verse, ((ajab is treated as an adverb. With its heavily-emphasized range of meaning: it runs from the admiring, through the surprised, to the patronizing. All of which work well with the image of a man so 'strangely free' that even his corpse is without a shroud. Does the speaker feel admiration, amazement, pity, or all three? Is he perhaps even identifying a body-- does he perhaps recognize with a shock the emaciated corpse of someone he used to know well? Or is he the only mourner, keeping watch over the body, and casually explaining the situation to a passer-by?

The speaker exclaims 'may God have mercy on him!' in absolutely the conventional way. But for what exactly, other than because he's dead? Should God forgive him for his free-thinking, emancipated ways? Should God generously compensate him for his extreme poverty and broken-heartedness? Or does he need God's mercy at all? Might he even have been, in his nothing-left-to-lose state, 'free from care, at ease'?

Compare Mir's even more radical vision of the neglectedness of the lover's body after death: M{109,3}.