duur bai;Thaa ;Gubaar-e miir us se
((ishq bin yih adab nahii;N aataa

1) the dust-cloud of Mir settled/'sat' far from her
2) without passion, this courtesy/discipline/urbanity does not come [to people]



adab : Discipline, training; deportment; good breeding; good manners, politeness, courtesy, urbanity; etiquette; polite literature'. (Platts p.31)

S. R. Faruqi:



In the present verse, an additional excellence is that after we've turned to dust, the resulting dust-cloud that wanders around in the whole world also shows respect for the beloved. With regard to 'dust-cloud', 'to sit' [bai;Thnaa] is very fine, because a dust-cloud wanders here and there, and then settles; this stopping and settling is called 'to sit'.

In life Mir always used to sit far from her; the process of becoming dust he's interpreted as a kind of education, that in this way we learned this courtesy [adab]; the one who has not loved is not able to have vouchsafed to him this kind of preservation of respect.

This theme he has composed a number of times]; from the second divan [{858,10}]:

turbat se hamaarii nah u;Thii gard bhii ai miir
jii se ga))e lekin nah kiyaa tark-e adab ham

[from the grave even our dust did not arise, oh Mir
we departed from ourself, but did not renounce courtesy]

From the third divan [{1174,5}]:

duur kyaa us se jo bai;The hai ;Gubaar apnaa duur
paas us :taur ke bhii ((ishq ke aadaab me;N hai;N

[it's not as if we are far from her, if our dust-cloud has settled afar!
there is respect/'nearness' of even/also that kind, in the courtesy of passion]

From the fifth divan [{1667,3}]:

paas us kaa ba((d-e marg hai aadaab ((ishq ke
bai;Thaa hai miir ;xaak se u;Th kar ;Gubaar alag

[respect for her after death is the courtesy of passion
Mir, the dust-cloud, having arisen from the dirt/dust, has settled apart]

From the fifth divan [{1688,3}]:

uftaadagii par bhii nah chhuvaa daaman unho;N kaa
kotaahii nah kii dil-rubo;N ke ham ne adab me;N

[even when weakness came, we didn't touch her garment-hem
we didn't fall short in the courtesy due to heart-stealers]







SRF points to the enjoyable idiomatic wordplay about the dust 'sitting' when it settles.

The use of adab creates in the verse a distinct sense of pride. The speaker is pluming himself not just on his respect in a general way, but on his elaborately, provocatively, exquisitely sustained show of courtesy. Only passion, not just good breeding, can sustain such discipline beyond the grave. Might he not be hoping, even now, that it would have some effect? And yet, a display that consists of keeping away, holding aloof, not putting oneself forward-- can such a display have much chance of even being noticed (much less appreciated)?

Note for meter fans: Metrically speaking, there doesn't have to be an izafat after ;Gubaar ; a reading without the izafat would turn the 'Mir' into a simple (and possibly self-directed?) vocative. There would be a small gain in generality (the observation would then be that of a bystander, and could apply to any dead lover's dust-cloud), but the price would be a big loss in vividness-- we would no longer recognize the particular dust-cloud of as that of 'Mir' himself, and would thus lose the touching, naive-seeming air of personal pride.