lete hii naam us kaa sote se cho;Nk u;The ho
hai ;xair miir .saa;hib kuchh tum ne ;xvaab dekhaa

1) the moment we/you mentioned her name, you've woken with a start from sleep
2) it's all right, Mir Sahib-- you've just had/'seen' a dream



S. R. Faruqi:

An excellence of Mir's romantic poetry is that in it the lover, with his traditional exaggerated qualities (cruelty-suffering, madness, wandering, weeping, weakness, disgrace, woundedness, murderedness, etc.), can definitely be seen. But here and there a man of daily life can be seen-- that is, a man who seems to be not the traditional, imaginary lover of poetry, but a living, moving character from some novel. Sometimes it happens that to express the lover's personality, or his circumstances, or his mental state, some other individual becomes the speaker in the verse. In this way the highest rank in narrative character depiction-- that is, dramatic character depiction-- is achieved. In this special trait Mir has no rival; he shows such individuality that not even a suspicion of it is found in others.

In the present verse, this excellence is fully displayed. The scene is not specified, but in the verse all the hints are present. Two persons are conversing with each other. The lover, tired and worn out, is sleeping. Suddenly, in the midst of the conversation, the beloved's name comes to someone's lips, and the lover wakes and sits up with a start. The reaction to this startledness too is extremely narrative. The speakers consider (or perhaps with deliberate naivete they pretend to consider) that the lover has had some disturbing dream. In the second line, the appropriateness of the phrasing is worthy of praise.

Then, look at it from the point of view of meaning. The lover's sleep is fitful, even in sleep he thinks of the beloved. The lover's life is like a disturbed dream; he doesn't manage even to sleep well. Mir has composed a peerless verse. For the narrative 'dramaticness' of the character of the lover, see the introduction to SSA, volume 1.

Another possibility is that the beloved's name might have come, in a dream, to the lips of Mir himself, and the moment he spoke it, his sleep would have been broken. In such a case a new aspect for the speech is created: that the poet considers himself to be somebody else, and Mir to be somebody else.



Verses of this pragmatic kind are indeed, as SRF says, a trademark of Mir's. I'm calling them 'neighbors' verses, because they express the perspective of ordinary, normal, common-sensical people who are sympathetic to the lover's hyperbolic agonies, but definitely don't share them. Sometimes the lover himself, for his part, worries about disturbing his neighbors' sleep with his moans and groans. It's a larger human perspective, with overtones of humor and compassion. There are dozens of such verses by Mir, and hardly a single one by Ghalib.

Thus the speaker-- the neighbor, as I call him-- addresses Mir courteously as 'Mir Sahib', but also uses toward him the familiar tum . The kuchh here is idiomatic, and works to minimize what it modifies. Thus it suits the neighbor's desire to comfort Mir and to put his sudden shock into a more soothing perspective: it was 'just' a dream.