Ghazal 351x, Verse 5


;haif be-;haa.silii-e ahl-e riya par ;Gaalib
ya((nii hai;N maa;Ndah az aa;N suu-o-az ii;N suu raa;Ndah

1) alas for the fruitlessness of the 'people of hypocrisy', Ghalib!
2) that is, they are {left behind / fatigued}, from that side; and from this side, rejected


be-;haa.silii : 'Unprofitableness, fruitlessness'. (Platts p.204)


riyaa : 'Acting ostentatiously; affectation, show, pretence, hypocrisy, dissimulation, subterfuge, evasion'. (Platts p.610)


suu : 'Side, part, quarter, direction'. (Platts p.690)


maa;Ndah : 'Left, remaining; fatigued, tired, weary, languid; ailing, indisposed'. (Platts p.985)


raa;Ndah : 'Driven, driven out, expelled; rejected, cast off, forsaken'. (Platts p.584)


Oh Ghalib, it's a great pity about the fruitlessness of the hypocrites. The poor wretches obtain nothing in the world or in religion. From this side they are rejected, and from that side they are fatigued. So to speak, 'the washerman's dog-- neither of the house, nor of the riverbank'.

== Asi, p. 207


That is, the 'people of hypocrisy' are neither of the faith, nor of the world-- they are 'neither of the house, nor of the riverbank'.

== Zamin, p. 311

Gyan Chand:

From doing trickery and deceit, nothing at all is obtained-- not worldly wealth, not wealth in the next world. The 'people of hypocrisy' are the kind of group that on this side would be expelled, and do not arrive on that side-- that is, 'neither of the house, nor of the riverbank'.

== Gyan Chand, p. 321



For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. See also the overview index.

What is meant by (the overtly Persian) 'from that side' and 'from this side'? The commentators unanimously, and very plausibly, take the reference to be to religious versus worldly concerns. They even agree on the appropriate proverb: dhobii kaa kuttaa nah ghar kaa nah ghaa;T kaa (as in 'neither fish nor fowl', or 'falling between two stools').

But there's also some scope for a more psychological reading. 'From that side' could be taken to mean mean 'from the hypocrites' own point of view', just as vaa;N means 'where the beloved is'. Then of course 'from this side' would mean yaa;N , in the sense of 'where the speaker is, from the speaker's point of view'. On this reading, maa;Ndah would be taken in its basic, literal sense of 'fatigued, exhausted' (see the definition above)-- the hypocrites find that the effort required for constant artifice and dissimulation is exhausting. And of course the speaker and his friends reject and disdain such people.

The real center of the verse is its wordplay: the clever interaction between the similar-but-different pair of Persian participles, maa;Ndah and raa;Ndah .