yuusuf se le ke taa gul phir gul se le ke taa sham((a
yih ;husn kis ko le kar baazaar tak nah pahu;Nchaa

1) from Yusuf to the rose; then from the rose to the candle--
2) whom has such/'this' beauty not taken and conveyed to the bazaar?



S. R. Faruqi:

Nasikh has presented one aspect of this theme in an allegorical way. But his first line, which contains the claim, is very limp:

jis jagah hai ;husn faura:n qadar-daa;N paidaa hu))aa
chaah me;N yuusuf giraa to kaaravaa;N paidaa hu))aa

[at whichever place beauty is, at once a connoisseur appeared
when Yusuf fell in the well, then a caravan appeared]

Mir has very well included the phrase yih ;husn kis ko le kar , because in it there's also the suggestion that beauty exercises force/violence on the person or the thing in which beauty is found. Through its going to the bazaar connoisseurs are found, but there's also disgrace.

He's also made three interesting kinds of things in which beauty is found: a person, a flower (which is lifeless, but which is also a metaphor for the beloved), and a candle-- in which there's a kind of life, and which is also a metaphor for the lover and the beloved both.

Ghalib has well expressed one aspect of this theme, such that his verse, despite being comparatively one-dimensional, has become out of the ordinary:


[See also {877,6}.]



This is the second verse in a verse-set; for discussion, see the first verse, {96,7}. The first verse is about the problematicalness of beauty that remains veiled and hidden from sight. Now this verse frames-- and laments-- the opposite problem.

Ghalib's verse cited by SRF, G{173,8}, has one great advantage over Mir's: it leaves conspicuously open the possibility that the way beauty 'took' the beautiful one and 'brought' him/her/it to the bazaar, might have been by inciting in the beautiful one the desire for self-display and public admiration. Such a vulgar or unworthy desire might well make the beautiful one complicit in his/her/its own exploitation. By starting with Yusuf, Mir's verse firmly rules out that possibility, for we all know that Yusuf's appearance in the bazaar was entirely involuntary.

But Mir's verse has its own fascination: by linking the three entities (Yusuf, rose, candle) into a kind of sequence, it invites us to speculate about the nature of the sequence. Is it just random (three members of the same wide-ranging class are mentioned as representative examples)? Or is it arranged in terms of descending value (human, plant, object)? Or is it perhaps even arranged in terms of ascending value (mere individual human being, allegorically potent flower, mystically transcendent candle flame)?

The first line contains two occurrences of le ke , which we at once read, rightly, as abstract, as part of a 'from X to Y' structure that has no actual reference to 'having taken'. But then the second line contains le kar , in which the 'having taken' is all too literal. In retrospect, doesn't the first line now look a little suspect as well?