jigar-chaakii naa-kaamii dunyaa hai aa;xir
nahii;N aa))e jo miir kuchh kaam hogaa

1) liver-rending, non-{success/'work'}-- it's the world, after all!
2) since Mir didn't come, he must [presumably] have some work/desire [to accomplish]



S. R. Faruqi:

How well Muhammad Hasan Askari has said, about this verse and other verses of this type, 'The lover can lament his ill-fortune, but to complain of the beloved is absolutely inappropriate. Solitude is the law of life, and in the face of it both lover and beloved are helpless and under duress.'

In the present verse an additional excellence is that the speaker has interpreted liver-rending and non-success as everyday tasks of the world; and Mir himself is not making this interpretation, but rather some other person is making it who is making excuses on behalf of Mir-- if he didn't come to some gathering, then how is that strange? The work of the world-- that is, liver-rending, non-success, goes on as long as life does; he must somehow have gotten ensnared in some task somewhere.

To say an uncommon thing in a tone as though someone would be saying something obvious, and for the importance of the thing still to remain established, is Mir's special style.

This same theme, at a very low level, he has expressed in the third divan:




[See also {185,4}; {1574,6}.]



Literally, the first line gives us 'X Y Z is finally'. It thus forms a kind of 'list'. We have to decide for ourselves which of these three feminine nouns is being equated with which (or whether something else is going on), and on the basis of the first line we're entirely unable to do so.

Thus we have to wait-- and under mushairah performance conditions, the wait is as long as can be conveniently managed-- to hear the second line. And even then, the whole thing cannot be put together until at the last possible moment the 'punch' word kaam suddenly wraps it all up. Also in classic mushairah-verse style, we've now fully 'got' it, and are ready to move on.

For the friendly, neighborly speaker is making social excuses on Mir's behalf. After all, the work of the world has to get done, and Mir is a busy man. If he didn't come, it was surely because he had some 'work' to do in which he had found himself bogged down. The listeners, as men of the world, can surely make allowances. The speaker reminds them of some of the tasks Mir might be busy with. He has to do such 'work' as the rending of his liver; this might be thought of a task like the splitting of wood, except that the result is not useful but destructive. Most enjoyably, however, he has to do the 'work' of failure, which of course is literally 'non-work' (or 'non-success').

Such paradoxical pleasures of wordplay (and meaning-play) as the work of non-work are enhanced by the complex meanings of the superbly multivalent word kaam , which include 'desire'; for more on these, see {7,1}.

Note for grammar fans: The hogaa provides an excellently colloquial-feeling example of the use of the 'presumptive'.