pai;Gaam-e ;Gam jigar kaa gulzaar tak nah pahu;Nchaa
naalah miraa chaman kii diivaar tak nah pahu;Nchaa

1) the message of grief of the liver didn't arrive as far as the garden
2) my lament didn't arrive as far as the wall of the garden



S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction. But the astonishing 'flowingness' of the whole ghazal is present in the opening-verse as well.

Zahra Sabri:

Zahra Sabri is a special guest commentator for this site.

Here, Mir may be using the word tak in two slightly differences senses in the respective refrains of the two lines of this opening-verse. In the first line, tak can be translated as simply ‘till’, and in the second as ‘even till’. In this second use, tak should be vocalized with an extra emphasis to beautifully and succinctly convey a subtle mix of heightened dejection and indignation at fate. It’s a pleasurably conversational use of tak : “ tum se yih tak nah hu))aa kih mujhe bataa do ” (You didn’t so much as tell me); “ logo;N ko kyaa kyaa milaa aur mere na.siib me;N ik chavannii tak nah aa))ii ” (People gained so much, and I was fated to gain not even a farthing). Hence, Mir’s verse is a nice illustration of a highly effective, conversational use of tak in the sense of ‘even’ and ‘so much as’. What hope of reaching the relevant location in the garden when the speaker’s cries of pain and lamentation could not even be transmitted as far as the garden wall?



It wasn't the wall around the garden that stopped the speaker's lament. His lament was so frail, so vitiated, that not only did it not even reach the garden (much less find any sympathetic response within it)-- in fact it never even got as far as the wall.

The speaker might well be a captured bird imprisoned in a cage, but could also be a lover who is cruelly prohibited from joining his beloved in her garden.