Ghazal 149, Verse 3


mastaanah :tay karuu;N huu;N rah-e vaadii-e ;xayaal
taa baaz-gasht se nah rahe mudda((aa mujhe

1) intoxicated(ly), I traverse the road of the valley of thought
2) so that no intention/meaning like turning back would remain to me


mastaanah : 'Drunken, drunk... ; --Like a drunkard, drunkenly, &c.' (Platts p.1031)


karuu;N huu;N is an archaic form of kartaa huu;N (GRAMMAR)


vaadii : 'A valley, vale; low-lying ground; an oasis (in a desert); a desert; --channel (of a river); a river'. (Platts p.1173)


baaz-gasht : 'Turning back, returning; return, retreat'. (Platts p.121)


mudda((aa : 'What is claimed, or alleged, or pretended, or meant; desire, wish; suit; meaning, object, view; scope, tenor, drift; --object of search'. (Platts p.1015)


That is, I want to be so immersed in my thought that I would never be able to emerge again. From Mir Muhammad Husain Sahib Azad we learn that karuu;N huu;N and maruu;N huu;N have for some time been considered contrary to eloquence even in Delhi. [There follows an extremely long discussion of Delhi and Lucknow usages and archaisms.] (158)

== Nazm page 158; Nazm page 159; Nazm page 160; Nazm page 161

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, in the field of thought I am traversing the road in an intoxicated manner, so that I would have absolutely no intention of turning and going back. That is, I would lose myself in such a way that I would never afterwards be able to return to awareness. (216)

Bekhud Mohani:

Now, instead of karuu;N huu;N they say kartaa huu;N . I traverse the field of thought as intoxicated ones do, so that no purpose of turning and going back would remain to me. (289)


ROAD: {10,12}
WINE: {49,1}

This apparently prosy little verse invites speculation:

=Is the speaker doing the traversing in a state of intoxication, or merely in a manner that evokes or imitates that of intoxication? (Is he drunk, or just imitating drunkenness?)

=Since a 'road' and a 'valley' or 'channel' [vaadii] are linear, would walking along them 'intoxicated(ly)' really cause one to lose one's way so irrevocably? Or is the speaker deluding himself?

=Since his goal is that no thought of returning 'would remain' [rahe], is he actually still struggling with a desire to return?

=Is he walking intoxicated(ly) not along a real road, but only along the metaphorical road of the valley of thought, so that his thought will be impaired, and he won't be able even to form a coherent claim or intention or meaning [mudda((aa] about returning?

It's not surprising that the subtleties accumulate, when a wild card like 'thought' is invoked. Don't forget the ominous shufflings of the 'card-player of Thought' in {81,2}.

In addition, we can admire the unobtrusively clever affinity and sound effects between rah-e in the first line, and rahe in the second. Though the former is about traveling, and the latter about remaining, the two are only very subtly distinguishable in pronunciation.