Ghazal 36, Verse 8


peshe me;N ((aib nahii;N rakhye nah farhaad ko naam
ham hii aashuftah-saro;N me;N vuh javaa;N miir bhii thaa

1) in [his/one's] profession/practice is no defect-- don't give Farhad a [bad] name

2a) among only/emphatically us {disordered/distracted}-headed ones, he was a young champion/chief too
2b) among only/emphatically us {disordered/distracted}-headed ones, was that young champion/chief too


peshah : ''That which is followed'; vocation, profession, craft, trade, business; custom, habit, practice; art, skill'. (Platts p.300)


aashuftah: 'Distracted, disturbed, distressed; disordered; uneasy, wretched, miserable; enamoured, deeply in love'. (Platts p.57)


In place of ham hii... now hamii;N is the idiom. And this speech has departed from its original/true form. (36)

== Nazm page 36


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {36}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, a profession is no defect-- why do you give Farhad a bad name? That is, Farhad too has lived as a passionate lover. We too are a passionate lover, and Mir too was a passionate lover. If the harsh constraints of passion compelled him to take up mountain-digging [koh-kanii], then what's wrong with that? One lover cuts through a mountain, another infatuated one endures [lit. 'cuts through'] days of difficulty, another madman 'cuts through' nights of separation. (71)

Bekhud Mohani:

javaa;N miir = dying at a youthful age. If Farhad was a stone-cutter, then it's no harm. A profession does not remove a person's inborn gentility. Farhad was one of us crazed lovers, one who in his youth played a mortal game with his life. (87)



It's impossible to tell exactly what kind of defense is being made in the first line: is it no defect for one to have a profession, even if it is a humble one? Or is it no defect to be, specifically, a stone-cutter? Or is there no defect in Farhad's 'practice' or 'vocation' or behavior as a stone-cutter (see the definition of peshah )? Or is there no defect in Farhad's 'practice' or 'vocation' as a lover?

The second line brings us the real punch of the verse: the wonderfully apt phrase aashuftah-sar , one whose head is disordered, distracted, wretched. 'We disordered-headed ones', and we alone, or at least emphatically we-- as is made clear by the carefully-placed hii -- constitute the real group of which Farhad was a part. Even the real 'professional' group, perhaps, since the path of passion is construed in the ghazal world as a special vocation that is also a one-way route to death.

When Farhad heard the (false) news of his beloved Shirin's death, he used his stone-cutting axe to split his own skull. Thus he vindicated his profession, and also demonstrated his kinship with the rest of us 'disordered-headed' ones. For what kind of head could be more disordered, distracted, wretched, than one that has been split in two by an axe? Isn't that the direction in which all we lovers are heading? And isn't the lover's only alternative to 'disorderedness' something like 'insensibility', or a recourse to stone (thus vindicating the work of a stone-cutter)?

As Mir says in M{11,4}, if even prison can't settle the mad lover down, the only thing left is stone-- stone to beat your head against:

zindaa;N me;N bhii shorish nah ga))ii apnii junuu;N kii
ab sang mudaavaa hai is aashuftah-sarii kaa

[even/also in prison the tumult of my madness didn't go
now stone is the cure of this disordered-headedness]

For the record, I think that Bekhud Dihlavi misreads when he finds a reference to the poet Mir, and that Bekhud Mohani incorrectly explains javaa;N miir (I think he's confusing it with javaa;N marg ).

For a less favorable interpretation of Farhad's axemanship, see {3,6}.

Note for meter fans: Here rakhiye is scanned rakh-ye , to make it fit into the line.