aaho;N ke shu((le jis jaa u;Thte the miir se shab
vaa;N jaa ke .sub;h dekhaa musht-e ;Gubaar paayaa

1) in the place where flames of sighs used to arise from Mir, last night--
2) having gone there at dawn and looked, I found a handful of dust



S. R. Faruqi:

In the verse the 'implication' is very fine. He has not made it clear that the handful of dust was Mir's; he's only suggested it. He's also established the possibility that the handful of dust wouldn't be Mir's, but rather would be the straw and twigs in the vicinity, which had burned up from the spark-shedding sighs. This possibility is because the meaning of miir se can also be 'because of Mir'. If miir se would be taken to mean 'from Mir's heart', then the interpretation becomes that Mir, while lamenting, burned up from the heat of his own sighs and became dust. There's a strange kind of dramaticness in the verse.

Mir has composed this theme with the same dramaticness, but without the implication, like this in the second divan [{720,9}]:

ek ;Dherii raakh kii thii .sub;h jaa-e miir par
barso;N se jaltaa thaa shaayad raat jal kar rah gayaa

[there was a single small heap of ashes, at dawn, in Mir's place
he'd been burning for years; perhaps in the night he burnt up once and for all]

In the sixth divan [{1796,2}]:

logo;N ne paa))ii raakh kii ;Dherii mirii jagah
ik shu((lah mere dil se u;Thaa thaa chalaa gayaa

[people found a small heap of ashes in my place
a single flame arose from my heart-- I went away]

In addition to composing it again and again in Urdu, Mir composed this theme twice in Persian:

'In the place where Mir was burning in the fire of love
there at dawn I saw a handful of ashes lying.'

'The place where, at night, flames of sighs were rising high from my body
there at dawn nothing could be seen but a handful of ashes.'

[See also {1502,4}.]



The verses with similar themes [ma.zmuun , pl. ma.zaamiin] that SRF provides for comparative study are really an excellent tool for us students, especially because his commentary on them is so incisive. I can see that I'm going to end up translating practically the whole of his commentary, in the course of this project. This verse is an unusually clear example, because its 'theme' is relatively straightforward and simple, and it's obviously one that Mir favored and used again and again, not only in Urdu but in Persian as well.

Mir's kulliyat [kulliyaat] or 'complete works' is of course huge; it comprises six separate divans [diivaan] or 'volumes', compiled at intervals throughout his very long and productive life. Naturally this sequential compilation led him to play with the same themes in successive divans, as in the present case. Unlike Ghalib, he never went back and pruned his ghazals into any smaller selection. Many people since have done it for him, of course. But of them all, only SRF has added a commentary-- and such a treasure of a one! Believe me, dear reader, we students of Mir owe more to SRF than we'll ever be able to repay.