Ghazal 141, Verse 6


va;hshat pah merii ((ar.sah-e aafaaq tang thaa
daryaa zamiin ko ((araq-e infi((aal hai

1) upon my madness/wildness, the space of the horizons was narrow
2) the sea, to the land, is the 'sweat of shame'


((ar.sah tang honaa : ''Space or room to be scanty'; to be in a strait, or in difficulties, to be hard pressed'. (Platts p.760)


((araq : 'Sweat; exuded moisture, exudation; moisture, sap, juice, liquor; extract, essence, spirit; the root (of anything)'. (Platts p.760)


infi((aal : 'An act which causes a blush (as its effect); shame, modesty; confusion'. (Platts p.94)


When for my desert-wandering the breadth of the earth proved contemptible, then the earth became bathed in the sweat of shame. This sea is, so to speak, the 'sweat of shame'. (152)

== Nazm page 152

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the field of the world is, compared to my desert-wandering, very small. And for this reason the earth is drowned in the sweat of shame. It is as if this sea and ocean do the work of the 'sweat of shame' for the land. (209)

Bekhud Mohani:

The breadth of the world was not enough for my madness. For this reason, the earth felt the sweat of shame. The sea is not the sea, but is rather the earth's 'sweat of shame'.


MADNESS: {14,3}

That initial phrase 'upon my madness' [va;hshat pah merii] sounds a bit odd, so that we're alerted to examine it closely. And in fact it yields two quite different meanings:

=For/upon the speaker's madness, the horizons were too narrow (just as a garment might be too tight 'for' the shoulders, or too binding 'upon' the body), etc. His madness tried to expand beyond the horizons, and found them constricting. (See the definition of ((ar.sah tang honaa above.)

=Upon the speaker's [entering the state of] madness, this madness caused him to imagine that the very horizons were too narrow, and that the sea was the land's sweat, and other bizarre things that had no basis in reality.

The second line further develops the double vision. If even the horizons (which extend beyond the land to include sky and sea as well) are too narrow for the speaker in his madness, the mere earth/land [zamiin] is obviously still more hopelessly narrow, confining, inadequate. No wonder the earth feels shame and embarrassment, such that its brow is covered with sweat! (Another 'sweat of shame' verse: {266x,3}.)

Enjoyably, the sweat is a whole immense oceanful-- a vivid image that drives home both how wide is the land that could generate such sweat, and how correspondingly much wider are the demands of the speaker's madness. (And/or, how extreme his madness is, that he could come up with such extravagant imagery.) For a similar complaint about the narrowness of the whole zamaanah , see {214,15x}.

Another (and a truly brilliant) verse about the power and uncontrollability of va;hshat : {5,4}.