Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 2, 1982 p. 49.


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Mir Taqi Mir

AND NOW THE PEN BRINGS FORTH SOME JOKES

Translated by C. M. Nairn

Mir Taqi Mir (d. 1810) wrote an autobiography in Persian called Zikr-e-Mir, which has been edited and published by Maulvi Abdul Haq (Aurangabad:

Anjuman-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu, 1928). One curious aspect of this work is that at its end Mir has put a section containing some sixty or so jokes, obscene and otherwise. These were deleted by Maulvi Sahib for reasons of "propriety." Below we translate fifteen jokes, based on the text of the manuscript at the Raza Library, Rampur.

Mir introduced the jokes with the statement:

"And now the pen brings forth some jokes for the pleasure of my friends."

Once Maulana Rumi and Shaikh Sadruddin arrived together for evening prayers at the mosque in Damascus. The Imam of the mosque was overwhelmed by the presence of these two sages behind him. Totally flustered, he recited in both parts of the prayers the same verse, "Say: '0 you who reject faith. . . .'" When the prayers ended, the Shaikh, nonplussed by the repetition, turned to the Maulana with a questioning look. The Maulana laughed and said: "That was only proper. Once for you and once for me."

Two worthy men were walking together. One was from Khurasan, the other from Khwandsar. They saw that some men had loaded the carcass of a bear on an ass and were coming toward them. The Khurasani nudged the Khwandsari. The Khwandsari, catching on to the implication, said: "My 'dead* nevertheless lies heavy on your 'alive'." The joke here is that asses come from Khurasan and bears from Khwandsar.

One day the poet Anwari was seated at a shop by the roadside. A funeral procession went by, with men weeping and exclaiming, "Alas, alas! We take you to a place which is dark and narrow, which has neither a window nor a lamp." Anwari remarked: "They must be taking him to my house." This incident was reported to the king who gave Anwari a spacious house.

A rascally fellow was busy fucking a she-ass. Someone saw him and asked, "What sort of behavior is that?" The fellow replied: "Go away. How would you know what men of God are up to?"

Mirza Sa'ib was seated in a coffee shop with a number of

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