The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam


There are certain differences between the text of the Rubaiyat quoted here and the quatrain mentioned in contemporary texts.


Author: Omar Khayyam
Title: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Publisher: Collins Clear Type Press
Place of publication: Great Britain
Translator: Edward Fitzgerald
Place of purchase: Sunday Market, Ahmedabad
Purchase cost: Rupees 50
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: Here’s images of a lovely edition of the Rubaiyat I came across at a flea market in Ahmedabad . The date of publishing is unknown, but given by the inscription, it could be anytime around Independence.
The verse  printed below is in Farsi, and was read out to me by the bookseller. 🙂
Transcription, transliteration, and translation of inscription:
[endpaper recto]
B. Salima


“A potter thumping his wet clay, and with its all obliterated tongue it murmured, ‘Gently brother, gently pray.'”

ناکرده گنه در این جهان کیست بگو
آن کس که گنه نکرد چون زیست بگو
من بد کنم و تو بد مکافات دهی
پس فرق میان من و تو چیست بگو

(‘Na kardah gunah dar aen jahan kest bago
An kis keh gunah na karden zest bago
Man bad-kanam o tu bad-makafat dahi
Pes farq meyaan man o tu chest bago’

‘Who is the man who here below has not committed
sin; can you say? Had he not committed it, could he
have lived, can you tell? If, because I do evil, you
punish me for evil, what then is the difference between
you and me, can you say?’
– cited, transcribed, and transliterated by our friend Arshdeep; quatrain 356 of the Rubaiyat, Edward Fitzgerald’s translation)

[endpaper verso]
(‘When you prostrated yourself on the ground, a sound rose from the ground
You have ruined me, your prostration is duplicitous.’
– translated by our friends Tania and Zeinab, transliteration and citation would be appreciated)

[brown tape on binding of title page]
‘Mohammed Salim’ repeated four times – perhaps evidence of another owner of the book.
Submitted by: Niharika Joshi