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Ever wondered how the act of making counterfeit notes and the word ‘Qalb’, or heart, are related? Sounding much like medical lingo, counterfeiting notes is known as ‘Qalb-Saazi’, which is made from the Arabic ‘Qalb’ and the Persian ‘Saazi’, meaning, making, or creating. Although Qalb is commonly used for the heart, it also means to inverse, turn upside down, or transform completely. The term ‘Qalb-Saazi’ can be best understood with respect to these other meanings of the word Qalb.
Miyan Dad Khan ‘Sayyaah’ (1829/30 – 1907), a famous and playful Urdu poet with a thing for traveling, was tried under ‘Muqaddama-e-Qalb-Saazi’ for printing counterfeit currency notes and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. On the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Silver Jubilee, he wrote and sent an ode in Her honor, as a result of which his sentence was shortened by several years.