Ghazal 133, Verse 3


rindaan-e dar-e mai-kadah gustaa;x hai;N zaahid
zinhaar nah honaa :taraf un be-adabo;N se

1) the libertines/drunkards of the door of the wine-house are insolent/rude, Ascetic
2) beware! don't get mixed up with those discourteous ones!


rind : 'A sceptic; a knave, rogue; a lewd fellow, reprobate, drunkard, debauchee, blackguard, profligate, libertine, rake'. (Platts p.600)


gustaa;x : 'Presumptuous, arrogant, insolent, audacious, impudent, saucy, uncivil, rude; cruel; abrupt'. (Platts p.910)


Oh Ascetic, the libertines who station themseles at the door of the wine-house are insolent. Beware-- don't mix it up [galnaa] with them! That is, don't mention the forbiddenness of wine in front of them. kisii se :taraf honaa is now rejected [matruuk]; it's an idiom from Mir's time. (143)

== Nazm page 143

Bekhud Mohani:

:taraf honaa : 'to confront, to become entangled with'.... Some libertine is saying this, who still has some regard for the Ascetic, and who considers the Ascetic worthy of respect and the libertines rude. (265)


The reprimand is especially about those libertines who station themselves at the door of the wine-house. They have been declared to be more discourteous and insolent, in comparison with those people who quietly/furtively go in, drink, and come out. The ones who station themselves at the door are the ones who did not attain success inside, who in Mir's words are those with nothing left to lose [maayah baa;xtahgaa;N]. They have nothing to gain or lose. Ascetic Sahib, if you get mixed up with them, you'll be humiliated. If you must deliver a lecture, then go on inside-- the people there will be ashamed, and will listen for a while. From that the point also emerges that although apparently he's expressing sympathy for the Ascetic, the real purpose is that the Maulana should be induced to make a tour of the inside.

== (1989: 257) [2006: 278-79]


WINE-HOUSE: {33,6}

The word rind is wonderful, and nowadays almost untranslatable. We still have 'rakish', which works well for rindaanah , but alas, we really don't use 'rake' any more, so we have to make to with a patchwork of inadequate substitutes. The term rind is a mixed, bittersweet epithet, both a sort of compliment (people might like to be thought a bit 'rakish') and a sort of putdown (the rake's life is limited, and goes against the grain of the larger society's purposes). For further discussion, see {71,10}.

By whom is this inshaa))iyah warning being spoken, and under what circumstances? There's no way whatsoever for us to tell. As so often, we're left with a range of possibilities, with no way to choose among them. Is the speaker a sincere friend of the Ascetic, who wants to spare his dignity? Or a stray passerby on the street, with unknown motives, calling out a prudent warning? Or another of the libertines-- who might be better-mannered than the worst group, or who might be offering the 'advice' as a way of taunting the Ascetic?

And consider the context: most probably the advice is offered because the Ascetic is seen heading down the street toward the wine-house. What is the Ascetic really up to? Is he planning to exhort the debauchees from outside, or to actually enter the wine-house himself? Either way, a warning about the cluster of libertines at the doorway would be very appropriate. And if he's indeed planning to go in, then is it possible that he's backsliding a bit, and looking to have a drink or two himself? (In this context consider {219,9}.) As Faruqi suggests, the real intent of the advice could be to induce him to go in. (Or, of course, to induce him to avoid the wine-house entirely, since its door is guarded by such reprobates.)

Doorways, roadsides, threshholds, crevice-work in walls-- all such liminal places are grist to Ghalib's mill. How they multiply the possibilities of meaning!