Ghazal 44, Verse 5x


fahm zanjiirii-e berab:tii-e dil hai yaa rab
kis zabaa;N me;N hai laqab ;xvaab-e pareshaa;N meraa

1) understanding/intellect is enchained by the disconnectedness of the heart, oh Lord
2) in which language is my epithet 'distracted/disturbed dream/sleep'?


fahm : 'Understanding, conception, perception, apprehension, comprehension, intellect, intelligence, sense'. (Platts p.784)


zanjiirii : 'Chained, in chains; mad, insane; --a prisoner; --a maniac'. (Platts p.618)


rab:t : 'Binding, connecting, uniting; connexion, bond, relation, dependence; consistency, fixity; friendship, intercourse; familiarity, practice, habit, use'. (Platts p.586)


laqab : 'A title, an appellation of honour; a surname; a by-name, a nickname'. (Platts p.958)


;xvaab : 'Sleep; dream, vision'. (Platts p.494)

Gyan Chand:

Understanding, because of my disconnected imaginings, has become an enchained prisoner. That is, I think such disconnected things that my comprehension itself doesn't manage to understand them; it has ended up paralyzed and afflicted. People have given me the nickname 'distracted dream', but in which language have they given it? 'To some extent 'distracted dream' can be understood; my words absolutely can't be understood at all. I seem to be the 'distracted dream' of some mysterious language. (115)


BONDAGE: {1,5}
DREAMS: {3,3}
MADNESS: {14,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices.

To be 'enchained' by something that's just the opposite of a sequential, linked-together chain-- to be enchained by a radically broken chain, by 'disconnectedness'! It makes for a fascinatingly paradoxical first line. It sounds crazy, and it surely is, for in the ghazal world it's madmen who are chained up, and what could be more mad than such a condition? If this claim really describes the speaker's mental situation, then he's clearly mad; and if it doesn't describe it, then he's mad to make such a claim. His mind, he says, has been rendered helpless by his heart. Where can the second line possibly go from here?

As so often, the second line starts completely afresh, giving the verse an 'A,B' structure and requiring us to figure out for ourselves the relationship between the two lines. The speaker is asking a bewildered-sounding question about language. Here are some ways in which his question might be connected to the first line:

=the people around the speaker have given him a teasing nickname, the aptness of which is proved by his inability to understand it
=the speaker in his madness fancies that he has a grand official title, though somehow he can't understand the language it's in
=the mind has one language, and the heart another: since in the speaker's case the two are at war, which of them has given him his all-too-appropriate epithet?
=the enchained mind has language, while the disconnected heart has only emotion: the result is a life that's like an incoherent dream, and the speaker's inability even to find or understand the words to express his condition

For an unforgettably elegant use of a 'disturbed dream', see {155,2}.