jab junuu;N se hame;N tavassul thaa
apnii zanjiir-e paa hii kaa ;Gul thaa

1) when we had access/conjunction with/through madness
2) there was a clamor of only/emphatically our foot-chains



tavassul : 'Introduction (to another person); conjunction; copulation'. (Platts p.343)


;Gul : 'Noise, din, clamour, confusion of voices, outcry, tumult'. (Platts p.771)


;Gul : 'A yoke'. (Steingass p.891)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the verse there are a number of pleasures. The meanings of tavassul , in addition to 'access' and 'relationship', are 'to join' and 'to be together' as well. Between the latter two meanings and 'foot-chains' there is an affinity of meaning, because the links of a chain are joined to each other.

The original meaning of ;Gul is 'foot-fetter' or 'neck-ring'; thus with 'chains' it has a double pleasure. But in ;Gul there's one more kind of double meaning. The clashing of chains is ;Gul in two senses. One is that the noise of the clashing traveled very far, the second is that the fame of my foot-chains traveled very far.

It's a thing of the past; he has not explained why the mutual clashing of the chains from madness gradually diminished. But the amount of grief he feels at its passing, is less than his pride at the tumult-creation and fame of it. And the mood of that time has in it, in addition to the derangement of madness, the complete self-transcendence and absorption of passion. It's a verse in Mir's special style.



[See also {84,4}; {124,2}; {1781,1}.]



What kind of tavassul was it that the speaker had? Thanks to the versatility of se , it could have been 'with' madness (he and madness were merged in a mutual intimacy of some kind), or else 'through' madness (madness enabled him to have a vivid mental 'conjunction' or 'copulation' with the beloved). Thus the clamor and clashing of the foot-chains-- was it just madness, or was it erotic bliss? And was the clamor 'only' of the foot-chains (so that he himself was raptly, mystically silent the whole time), or was it 'emphatically' of the foot-chains (so that the emphasis falls on what a frenzied, physical experience he was having)? Thanks to the versatility of hii , we're left to choose for ourselves.

The simplest means, and an uncluttered, unforced effect-- and yet, such complexity! Truly a brilliant verse. I had no idea that ;Gul meant 'foot-fetter'. I'm grateful to have SRF's own extremely helpful work to translate and draw on for this project. And you, dear reader, are lucky too, since this way I can offer you much more than my own all too limited knowledge. And Mir is lucky too-- he'll have more of a chance of being rescued, at long last, from his terrible reputation as a poet of 'innocence' and 'naivete'.

Note for grammar fans: In the second line the apnii is short for hamaarii apnii , 'our own'.