ay dost ko))ii mujh saa rusvaa nah hu))aa hogaa
dushman ke bhii dushman par aisaa nah hu))aa hogaa

1) oh friend, no one will [presumably] have become disgraced like me
2) even to a {worst enemy / 'enemy of an enemy'}, such will [presumably] not have happened



S. R. Faruqi:

The verse is commonplace, but in it there's a bit of a twist. The 'enemy of an enemy' is usually a friend; thus the meaning of the second line would be 'not even to a friend will that have happened'. It's clear that this meaning isn't suitable. Thus we'll have to take par in the sense of 'but', and consider hai;N to have been omitted after the second dushman . Now the reading emerges that there are even enemies of my enemy, who keep striving for his ruin and disgrace, but not even those enemies will have done to my enemy, what you (who are my friend) did to me.

Janab Hanif Najmi has informed me that in his area the idiom dushman kaa dushman is used to mean 'the vilest enemy, the most contemptible enemy'. He gave this sentence as an example: 'May the Lord not ensnare even the 'enemy of an enemy' in such a disaster!'. But in most dictionaries this idiom isn't even entered. There's certainly an entry for it in urduu lu;Gat taarii;xii u.suul par , but there it's been defined as 'an enemy-like enemy' [dushman saa dushman]-- as 'a mortal enemy, a bitter enemy'. As a warrant [sanad] for this meaning this verse of Agha Jan 'Aish' has been cited:

yih mara.z sunte ho tum vuh bad-balaa hai dosto
ho nah dushman ke bhii dushman ko yih aazaar-e havas

[this disease-- do you hear me?-- is such a terrible disaster, friends,
may it not happen even to the 'enemy of an enemy', this torment of lust]

It's obvious that here the meaning of 'mortal enemy, bitter enemy' emerges, but 'vilest, most contemptible enemy' too seems appropriate.

The conclusion is that Mir's present verse can be interpreted as 'even my bitterest enemy, or my vilest enemy, will [presumably] not have experienced such disgrace as I have experienced'. But in this interpretation there's the small flaw that there's no 'proof' [;subuut] that the 'enemy of the enemy' will not have experienced such disgrace.



Here's an example of one of the real difficulties of Mir: his colloquialness, his use of idioms. It's so hard to pin down such fluid, orally-generated, regionally specific expressions. It's hard to keep track of them even for current speech-- much less for Ghalib-- much less for Mir. The kind of careful, analytical consultation and dictionary work that SRF does is invaluable; though even then, it's not always definitive, as he's very aware.

Note for grammar fans: This whole ghazal is an exercise in the 'presumptive', the future tense used for present or past action that is probable, and that is assumed, but that cannot be asserted on the basis of complete knowledge. (Think of sentences like 'Right now she will be in Chicago').