mai;N nah kahtaa thaa kih mu;Nh kar dil kii or
ab kahaa;N vuh aa))inah ;Tuu;Taa gayaa

1) I used to say-- didn't I?!-- 'turn your face toward the heart'?!
2) now where is that mirror? --it broke, and went [away]



S. R. Faruqi:

The addressee of the verse can be the beloved, or else the speaker himself. The speaker says to the beloved, 'My heart was like a mirror; that is, you used to be able to look at your face in it and adorn yourself. That is, you could inspect your reality and your beauty. But you didn't turn your face toward the heart, and now that mirror has already broken (that is, in the heart there's no more clearness left, or no more endurance for passion).'

If the speaker himself is the addressee, then the meaning would emerge that 'Your heart was like a mirror, in which your reality was apparent (or in which all reality was apparent). You didn't turn your face toward the heart, you remained ignorant of your own reality, and now that mirror has already broken.'

In this verse too nah is emphatic [taakiidii]. The prose will be like this: mai;N kahtaa nah thaa kih dil kii or mu;Nh kar ['Did I not say, turn your face toward the heart?'].



For further discussion of the use of nah , see the previous verse, {52,2}.

The 'heart is a mirror' theme is central to the ghazal world; for discussion, see G{128,1}. The mirror can be either metal or glass. It can be broken by the beloved's (deliberate or casual) cruelty (for a detailed discussion of mirror imagery, see G{8,3}). But in the present verse, the mirror has been 'broken' by the beloved's negligence or indifference, by her failure to look 'toward' or into it. SRF moves quickly into interpretation: the mirror's being 'broken' means that it has no more 'clearness' (so that it can't do its reflective work), or that it has no more strength for the 'endurance' of passion.

But on the level of the actual imagery, it's hard to visualize a metal mirror that 'breaks' from sheer disuse, and it's almost as hard to visualize a glass mirror that does so. Moreover, in either case the mirror that had been 'broken' wouldn't then 'go away'; it would simply lie around in fragments. The imagery of this verse seems awkwardly put together: the 'heart' and the 'mirror' haven't been properly made to merge. In commenting on {52,1}, SRF rightly praises that verse for providing a 'proof' or 'justification' [javaaz] for the bursting of the heart (i.e., that the heart had been much pounded upon). In the present verse, a similarly elegant and effective 'justification' for the breaking of the mirror is exactly what we lack.

Most members of our poetry reading group, fresh from the discussion of nah in {52,2}, tended to feel (Mar. 2016) that in the present verse the nah was similarly ambiguous, so that the first line could also be read as a sort of rebuke: 'I never told you to turn your face toward the heart!'. ('Now look what you've done!-- it's broken, and gone!'). On this reading the 'objective correlative' imagery works a bit better, because it's not so hard to imagine that the glory and radiance of the beloved's gaze melted the (metal) mirror, the way the sun instantly vaporizes a drop of dew. The speaker's cautionary wish that the beloved not turn her gaze toward the heart seems to identify him as someone other than the lover; that's not impossible, especially since Mir has such a line in 'neighbors' verses. But still, this reading feels awkward, because it's such an unlikely, contrived-sounding thing for someone to say.

On the grammar of ;Tuu;Taa gayaa , see {52,1}.