miir kis ko ab dimaa;G-e guft-guu
((umr gu;zrii re;xtah chhuu;Taa gayaa

1) Mir, who now has a mind/head/mood for conversation/talk?!

2a) the lifetime passed; Rekhtah was abandoned/left, and went [away]
2b) a lifetime ago, Rekhtah was abandoned/left, and went [away]



dimaa;G : 'The brain; head, mind, intellect; spirit; fancy, desire; airs, conceit; pride, haughtiness, arrogance; intoxication; high spirits'. (Platts p.526)


guft-guu : 'Conversation, discourse, dialogue, common talk, chitchat; altercation, dispute, debate, expostulation, controversy, contention squabble'. (Platts p.910)

S. R. Faruqi:

People call a verse a 'creative expression', but Mir took this theme farther and has said that a poet's true conversation is his poetry. This conversation is for the expression of one's condition, and also for the concealment of one's condition. This point too he has conveyed in the first divan itself:


In the present verse, between re;xtah (meaning 'fallen, prostrate') and chhuu;Taa gayaa , there's the pleasure of a zila. Compare


Also please keep in mind this verse of Mir's, from the first divan [{548,3}]

guft-guu re;xte me;N ham se nah kar
yih hamaarii zabaan hai pyaare

[converse with us-- won't you?-- in Rekhtah
this is our language, dear one]

Now one more aspect appears: that if we take re;xtah as 'the language of Rekhtah', then in the present verse the meaning also emerges that now we have left off conversing in the language of Rekhtah; that is, for some time we've been in a state of having forgotten our very own language.



The verse purports to be a melancholy reflection on the end of Mir's life: his lifetime passed, he left off composing in Rekhtah, (command of) the language deserted him. Of course, this verse is from the very first of his six divans, so it's the work of a relatively youthful poet ('natural poetry' fans please take note). Along the same lines, consider {17,8}. For similar verses by Ghalib, see G{66,1}.

It's an 'A,B' verse, with no indication of how the two lines are to be connected to each other. Is the first line a cause, and the second one an effect (people no longer want talk, therefore eventually Rekhtah went away)? Or is the second line a cause, and the first one an effect (people got old and poetic gifts left them, so nowadays nobody's interested in talk)? Or do both lines comment together on the same situation?

The relationship between the 'conversation' in the first line, and 'Rekhtah' in the second line, is left for us to decide. The first line could be asking a merely rhetorical question (with Mir conveying the information that he no longer has a mind, or the verbal skills, for conversation). Or else it could be a question about the future of Rekhtah. Now that Mir himself is gone, who will play the role that he had played, and make fully creative use of the language and its poetry? No one, of course. When Mir's lifetime was over, as in (2a)-- or even long before that, as in (2b)-- Rekhtah too was abandoned and simply left, or faded away.

Except of course that Ghalib picked up the torch, with a (wonderfully back-handed) compliment to Mir:


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