Saturday, September 26, 2009

The cat goes on the hajj

Pithy sayings travel and put down roots in different languages and cultures. Here's an example in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian:


"There is a saying in Hindi when a wicked person says something
spiritual or righteous - Na sho cuhá khá kar billii calii prayág snán
[After swallowing nine hundred mice the cat went for a holy bath in
the Prayága.]"

Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Varna Vijinana - Science of Letters, Calcutta :
Ananda Marga Publications, 2003., p. 187.


"In Delhi there was a very famous prostitute named Shīrīñ. She went to
do the Haj. He said,

/It is proper if Shīrīñ leaves Delhi and goes on the Haj
The proverb is, 'Having eaten nine hundred mice, the cat went on the Haj'/."

Muḥammad Ḥusain Āzād, Āb-e ḥayāt: Shaping the Canon of Urdu Poetry,
translated by Frances W. Pritchett and Shamsurraḥmān Fārūqī, Oxford
University Press, 2003, p. 405.


"There is a saying in Persian : After eating 900 mice the cat goes to
Hajj (Mecca). Quite similar to what the Democrats do to gays time and

Reader's comment to a story in the Huffington Post about Bill
Clinton's recent statement that he supports gay marriage, which he
opposed while he was president.