Ghazal 112, Verse 5


shoriidagii ke haath se hai sar vabaal-e dosh
.sa;hraa me;N ay ;xudaa ko))ii diivaar bhii nahii;N

1) at the hands of derangement/madness, the head is a burden to the shoulders
2) in the desert, oh Lord, there's not even any wall!


shoriidagii : 'Derangement, distractedness, madness (from love); love, insane passion'. (Platts p.736)


If there were a wall, then he would smash his head open and find liberation from this burden. (121)

== Nazm page 121

Bekhud Mohani:

From the turmoil of madness, the head is a burden to the body. My God, what shall I do? In the wilderness there's no wall of the beloved, such that I would have smashed my head against it and given up my life. That is, there's pleasure in dying by smashing the head against that door. (226)


Compare {166,5}. (289)


In this verse are two points to which people have not paid attention. One is that in the first line there's an affinity among 'hand', 'head', and 'shoulder'. The second point is that the usual understanding of the verse is devoid of pleasure [lu:tf se ((aarii].... In addition, if this is the interpretation, then coming into the desert by reason of an excess of madness becomes meaningless. The madness is so much that the head is a burden to the shoulders. It's a matter of smashing it. But if that's how things were, then what's the point of leaving home and coming into the desert? In the house there are walls upon walls; he could have smashed his head right there.... There's no need for restrictions about desert or walls: {126,4}.

Accordingly, the emotion of the second line is not longing, but surprise and distractedness.... As if someone would say, 'Oh Lord, in the sea there's nothing but water! There's no dry land-- where can I build a house?' Rather, it's that level of madness in which there's no longer any distinction made between the expected and unexpected, the accustomed and the unaccustomed, the logical and the illogical. (1989: 184-85) [2006: 206-07]


DESERT: {3,1}
MADNESS: {14,3}

Faruqi cites two points neglected by the commentators: the first involves wordplay and verbal affinity; the second involves the commentators' settling for a prosaic meaning that is 'devoid of pleasure'; both kinds of neglect are all too familiar. Faruqi's suggestion that the second line be read with 'not longing, but surprise and distractedness' greatly increases the charm, complexity, and liveliness of the verse.

For other verses featuring wordplay, a head filled with shor , and the search for a wall, see {15,5} and {166,5}.