un .su;hbato;N me;N aa;xir jaane;N hii jaatiyaa;N hai;N
ne ((ishq ko hai .sarfah ne ;husn ko mu;haabaa

1) in those/these meetings, finally, only/emphatically lives go/depart
2) neither does passion have {full expenditure / prudent economy}, nor does beauty have care/caution/mercy



.su;hbat : 'Companionship, society, company; an assembly, meeting, association; a fair; discourse, conversation, intercourse; carnal intercourse, coition, cohabitation:'. (Platts p.743)


jaatiyaa;N hai;N is an archaic form of jaatii hai;N


.sarfah : 'Expending, expense, expenditure; economy; utility, profit; addition, surplus, excess, redundance, profusion'. (Platts p.744)


mu;haabaa : 'Partiality (for); lenient or gentle treatment, kind behaviour; respect, regard, friendship, affection; —caution, care'. (Platts p.1006)

S. R. Faruqi:

How excellently he has used .sarfah , in a number of its meanings! If this single verse would be held to outweigh many whole divans, that wouldn't be wrong. In the first line there's the 'mood' of a heaving a deep sigh, but in the second line there's an extraordinary pride and imperiousness [:tan:tanah].

Passion just will not be finished off, and beauty has no hesitation in shedding blood. If passion is not miserly, then beauty too is limitless. It's a continuing scene that has been versified only through the two words .sarfah and mu;haabaa . The word 'meetings' too is full of meaning, because hidden in it is the aspect of getting up and sitting down together, of mutually conducting affairs [mu((aamalah karnaa].

Between passion and beauty is a mutual grappling [aavezish], but they also have the togetherness of 'blouse and skirt'. Thus at this whole drama there's no surprise, no complaint, no shock. For the theme to be one of sorrow/regret, but for there to be in the tone not weariness but dignity, imposingness, and an air of worldly-wise understanding-- no one commanded this style the way Mir did.

[See also {920,2}; {937,3}; {958,1}.]



The irresistible force meets the immovable object. The beloved's cruelly potent beauty endlessly assaults the lover; while in response the lover's passion endlessly, imprudently, both pours itself out and (up to a point) renews itself. (Passion thus does not manage to completely 'expend' itself; and/or it does not practice a prudent 'economy'; see the definition of .sarfah above). Since neither side will yield, or even blink, the contest is mortal.

From enough of 'those'-- or 'these', it hardly matters in this case-- meetings, no lover gets out alive. The little hi makes it clear that in the course of such meetings it is not people who depart, but 'only', or at least 'emphatically', 'lives'. (It's tempting to think that 'beauty' too could be undone by such deadly contests, but the whole logic of the ghazal world works against any such idea.)

Note for meter fans: The two ne spellings in the second line are there to make the occurrences of nah into long syllables, for the sake of the meter.