bin sar ke pho;Re bantii nah thii kohkan ke ta))ii;N
;xusrau se sang-e siinah ko kis :taur ;Taaltaa

1) as for Kohkan, his matter/idea didn't succeed/prosper without his having burst open his head
2) in what way would/could he have {put off / fended off} a stone-on-the-breast like Khusrau?!



baat ban'naa : 'To be successful, prove a success, answer well; to gain credit or honour, to prosper, flourish'. (Platts p.117)


ta))ii;N : 'postpn. (governing gen. with ke ), To, up to: (- ke ta))ii;N = ko )'. (Platts p.353)


;Taalnaa : 'To pass over, go beyond, exceed (a fixed time); to put off, defer, postpone; to reject (a request); to elude by subterfuge, to evade, prevaricate; to avoid; to put or turn aside, to put or turn (one) out of the way, to deter, frighten away; to remove, avert, ward off, fend, obviate, prevent'. (Platts p.354)

S. R. Faruqi:

The verse's negative rhetorical question is very fine. The one who would have no other recourse than bursting open his head (and it's obvious that for bursting open the head only a hand and stone are required)-- how would he be able to throw off the hindering stone on his breast? (Even if he removes it, then with that very stone he'll burst open his head!)

The second reading is that for Farhad, Khusrau was such that he was like a heavy stone on someone's breast. If someone would be lying on the ground and there would be a heavy stone on his breast, then he'd be pressed down by that stone itself and wouldn't be able to remove the stone. In such a situation the escape from the stone could only be that the man would give up his life. That is, such a stone would be thrown off from the breast when life would depart. Thus Khusrau was the kind of stone that couldn't have been escaped from without its taking Farhad's life. Thus Farhad had no means of escaping from Khusrau, except to burst open his head.

'Meaning-creation' and 'mood' have both come together in this verse with great excellence. It's also 'tumult-arousing'.



Well, if Kohkan split open his head, and this was what constituted his 'matter/idea succeeding', what would it have meant for it to fail? What kind of a far worse outcome could we possibly imagine? Since this is the world of the ghazal, of course we can come up with some ideas (since the lover longs to die for the beloved, etc., so that not doing so might be thought of as worse); but still, the general point of direness and haplessness comes across clearly.

The verb ;Taalnaa has a genius of its own; its wide range of meanings (see the definition above) all generally consist of evasive actions that promise only a limited and temporary respite. Khusrau's being such a stone on the breast emphasizes the hopelessness of any attempt, even if made by an expert stone-cutter, to break through that boulder. And the negative rhetorical question invites us to consider whether there was in fact any way to elude Khusrau. Kohkan couldn't find one (or at least, the one that he found was fatal)-- but could anybody else have done any better?

Note for grammar fans: The dangling bantii thii in the first line has as its subject, as usual, a colloquially omitted baat (see the definition above). . And bin sar ke pho;Re (followed by an implied hu))e ) is an archaic use of the adverbial perfect participle: 'without [being in a state of] having burst open the head'. The se is of course short for jaise .

Note for grammar and meter fans: In the first line, we find ke ta))ii;N where we would expect ke li))e or ko or tak (see the definition above). Here we have to read it as something like 'as for Kohkan' or 'with regard to Kohkan'. This versatile archaic postposition is very common in Mir's ghazals. It's also very convenient-- notice that ta))ii;N is here scanned as a single long syllable.