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“FLATTERY”

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A translation of “Khush Aamad” Written by sir Syed in Urdu

By: Abbas Ali

“Among the diseases of the heart, the most fatal is to consider flattery as good. When such material is born in the human body, which comes under the influence of pandemic air, that is the time a man catches a fatal disease.

Similarly, when a man is affected by the disease of flattery, a material is born in his heart that desires poison of venomous talks. As the melody of a musical singer and the pleasing sound of a violin softens the heart of a man, similarly flattery melts the heart of a man, and it becomes vulnerable to the prick of a thorn.

Initially, a man indulges in self-flattery, considers everything beautiful, praises himself, and keeps his heart happy. By and by, the flattery of other people starts affecting him, and eventually, he falls in self-love, and the love adopts rebellion and befriends the external foes. Moreover, his flatterers get the same passion and sympathy for themselves. Our passion tells us that it is quite right and justified to be sympathetic to the flatterers who consider our talks and value them too much. It softens our heart that it is enticed with such deception that our mind is corrupted and turns blind; hence our nature is dominated by deceit and con.

However, suppose everyone realizes how the passion for flattery is born out of idiot and wretched causes. In that case, undoubtedly, the person desirous of flattery shall be considered an idiot and pathetic to the same degree. When we get interested in a quality which we lack or we wish to be like that which in reality we are not, at that very moment, we let ourselves into the hands of the flatterers who ascribe the qualities of others to us. Although his flatteries make us happy because of the wretched interest, they do not suit us similarly to another person’s clothes, which do not fit our body. Instead of leaving our reality and considering others’ qualities in ourselves, it is better to correct our reality and cultivate such qualities in ourselves and become an original soul than a copy. People’s shades of nature are beneficial in a given situation. An intelligent natured, sharp, and clever man is as helpful in a given opportunity as a gloomy-faced silent man in his given situation.

Pride- a quality which can destroy a man, when it is in slumber the flattery awakens and incites it, and whosoever is flattered, the ability of levity develops in him. However, it is mandatory to keep in mind that the flattery is a worse quality, but on the other hand, genuine praising is outstanding quality. As a knowledgeable poet praises others so that people shall remember them with their verses which they hail, and with the quality of their poetry, the names of the poets become memorable in the world. Both the persons become happy—one due to his ability and the second by recognizing that ability. However, poetry’s power is that it ought to be like a master painter so that it keeps the natural face and color and shape and design too remains intact, still then make such a beautiful painting.

Asian poets have the same noticeable flaw that they keep in mind. Those whom they praise describe such qualities that are lies and impossible. Because of this, the praise does not remain praise but becomes a fictitious set of ideas.

The example of fame is like a lovely fragrance; when people praise us genuinely with caution and truthfully, it affects us just like a pleasant perfume. But if a weak-minded person is forcefully injected with the smell, it irritates the mind like a strong stench. A generous man is much concerned about fame and defame; a high-spirited man gets strength with suitable honor and praises just like he gets demotivated with hatred and by being ignored. Those who are above the level of ordinary men affect people the most, just as part of a transparent thermometer above the rest is affected the most.”

(Anwar Sidiqi, Intikhaab Mazameen Sir Syed, pp.82 to 84)

Abbas42@rediffmail.com

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