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The lafz ‘fitoor’ of Arabic origins (also pronounced futuur), means disorder or unsoundness (typically of mind, colloquially as ‘dimaagh ka fitoor’). A phrase in Hindi that could come close to this meaning is ‘us par bhoot savaar ho gaya hai’ as if to say, the spirits have taken control of one’s mind! The word/phrase is not used as an insult, but to comment on a person’s illogical craze for something.

It was used very appropriately in the recently released Yash Chopra romance, Jab Tak Hain Jaan when the protagonist Samar Anand (played by Shahrukh Khan) refers to the crazy obsession (caused by the unsound mind) of Akira Rai, the Discovery Channel journalist (played by Anushka Sharma) to complete the documentary on his life in the army, despite all odds. The dialogue is: “Har Aadmi ka ek fitoor hota hai……uska fitoor agar poora nahi hua…toh woh paagal ho jaata hai…….Ek Paagal tumhare saamne hai…aur dusre paagal ki yahan pe jagaa nahi hai!”
Every person is crazy about something. If that craze is not fulfilled, one can go mad. One crazy person is standing before you and there isn’t any place for a second one here!

It was also used by the Urdu legend Daagh Dehlvi in this couplet:
payaambar se vuh shab-e-vadaa bigad baithe
bane banaaye huye kaam mein fitoor aayaa
She got annoyed with the messenger, when on the agreed night
All the plans and arrangements were thrown into disarray

Urduwallahs pay tribute to Master Filmmaker Yash Chopra through the month of November.