Ghazal 25, Verse 9


faa))idah kyaa soch aa;xir tuu bhii daanaa hai asad
dostii naa-daa;N kii hai jii kaa ziyaa;N ho jaa))egaa

1) what gain is there? Think! after all, also/even you are wise, Asad
2) it's a fool's friendship; it will be a loss to your inner-self


daanaa : 'Wise, learned;-- a wise man, a sage'. (Platts p.503)


naa-daa;N : 'Ignorant, unlearned; simple, silly; innocent'. (Platts p.1109)


It's a proverb, 'A fool's friendship: loss to oneself' [naadaa;N kii dostii jii kaa ziyaa;N]. (27)

== Nazm page 27

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The pleasure created in this verse is that he wants to deceive his heart and thus turn aside from passion. And this matter is out of the lover's control, that he would renounce passion in fear for his life. (53)

Bekhud Mohani:

'A fool's friendship: loss to oneself' [naadaa;N kii dostii jii kaa ziyaa;N] is a famous proverb. (64)



Here the phrase naadaa;N kii dostii is made to behave with exactly the kind of multivalence characteristic of i.zaafat constructions. The poet is reminded (by himself or by a companion) that as a wise [daanaa] person he ought not to cultivate 'a fool's friendship', and he'll suffer for it if he does. This is a bit of proverbial wisdom, as Nazm points out.

Since dostii can refer to love as well as friendship, it's also part of the usual prudent advice that is always given to the lover by well-meaning friends. Thus the affinity of 'gain' in the first line and 'loss' in the second-- for a cost-benefit analysis is being urged.

The beloved is reckless, unreliable, mischievous, silly, and radically naadaa;N . Nobody with any brains would get involved with somebody like that! So you'd be foolish to cultivate such 'a fool's friendship'-- the friendship of such a fool.

But of course, naadaa;N kii dostii can mean not only friendship 'with' a fool, but also the friendship 'of' a fool. A daanaa person ought not himself to act like a naadaa;N one, by cultivating such an unsuitable friendship: on this reading, both daanaa and naadaa;N are made to apply to the lover. And what a perfect double description it is. The lover in some sense knows better, but does that ever stop him? As we all know, it doesn't even give him pause.