kin nii;Ndo;N ab tuu sotii hai ai chashm-e giryah-naak
mizhgaa;N to khol shahr ko sailaab le gayaa

1) 'what kind of sleep do you now sleep', oh weeping-afflicted eyes?
2) open your eyelids-- the flood has carried away the city!



S. R. Faruqi:

This 'city' is, with regard to both 'mood' and meaning, very fine. In order to form an estimate of its beauty, place before it this verse of Sauda's:

;Daruu;N huu;N bah nah jaave shahr ba;Ndh kar taar rone kaa
na:zar aataa hai phir aa;Nkho;N me;N kuchh aa;saar rone kaa

[I fear lest the city would flow away-- bind up the thread of weeping!
again some signs of weeping are seen in the eyes]

In Sauda's second line there's an interesting hyperbole [mubaali;Gah], and in the first line a fresh 'device' [.san((at]-- the binding of the thread, the city's flowing away. But in Mir's second line the harmony of sound and the imagery have come together and created an uncommon dramaticness. The flood comes before us like a blood-thirsty tiger who takes away the creatures of the town, or the flowing tears; or like some typhoon, that comes suddenly and stops suddenly, and reduces a whole city to ruins.

Then the crowning thing is that he has shown the tear-laden eyes, that because of heavy weeping cannot open, to be unaware. Weeping expresses restlessness and pain, and sleeping is a symbol of peace and calm. But here, because of an excess of weeping, the eyes' inability to open, and thus not to be able to know what a doomsday-disaster the flood of tears has wreaked, he has construed as the sleep of ignorance. He's composed a devastating verse!

There's also the 'implication' that we have no control over weeping; if through our weeping a flood comes upon the city, then we're helpless-- or rather, we're unaware. Having assumed that the 'weeping-afflicted eyes' have an individuality separate from one's own, he's created another kind of dramatic tension.

Then, he hasn't given instruction on how to stop the tears-- he's only said, lift your eyelids and look at what devastation your weeping has wrought! There's also the suggestion that if this kind of weeping continues, then not only will all the people of the city, who taunt you and throw stones at you, be washed away-- but also, the beloved's house too will be washed away.

There's also a kind of controversy about weeping, and an allusion to its possible bad effects and good effects. These ideas are engendered by the word 'city', because it's obvious that in this same city the lover is present, and the beloved too; in colloquial usage, from saying 'city' or 'town' or some such word (for example, 'there's a lot of rain falling in the city'), the intention is, that city in which you and I live.

Qa'im has done more justice to this theme than has Sauda:

ab chashm-e giryah-paimaa .sarfah hai kyaa jahaa;N kaa
sailaab-e ;xuu;N se tere jal-thal to bhar chukaa hai

[now the expenditure of the tear-measuring eye-- is it the whole world?
from the flood of blood, your pond has already filled up]

Qa'im has used, in chashm-e giryah-paimaa , an extremely beautiful construction in which the image also participates. The image receives confirmation from the second line. The relationship of jal-thal with paimaa))ish is obvious. Thus the zila too has been well used. But because there's not a dramaticness like Mir's, nor is there the insha'iyah structure of both lines as in Mir's verse, nor is there the 'mood' of calling out that's found in Mir's second line-- these lacks have made Qa'im's verse inferior to Mir's.

The phrase chashm-e giryah-naak , Mir Hasan too has used. But despite the excellence of this phrase, because of its merely narrative and informative [;xabariyah] construction his verse appears as inferior to Sauda's:

us chashm-e giryah-naak ne ((aalam ;Dubo diyaa
jiidhar ga))ii udhar ko yih :tuufaan le ga))ii

[that weeping-afflicted eye drowned the world
whichever way it went, that way it took along this typhoon]

[See also {472,1}; {472,6}.]



SRF doesn't even bother to say it, but kin nii;Ndo;N tuu sotii hai is an idiomatic phrase expressing emphatic annoyance and frustration ('What are you thinking?! Are you in some kind of a zombie trance?!').

That little 'now' that Mir has inserted into the phrase does a good deal of the heavy lifting. Here are some of the ways it can be used to organize the verse:

='You're sleeping so deeply 'now'-- because being 'weeping-afflicted', you've already wept so much that you're swollen and couldn't help but close.'

='Why are you sleeping so innocently 'now', when the damage is already done? -- wake up, and see what your previous weeping has done to the city!'

='At least open your eyelids 'now' and wake up, and stop weeping!-- perhaps further and even worse damage can still be averted.'

Note for grammar fans: The need to translate le gayaa as 'has carried away' is just one more example of the skewed correlation of tenses, especially the perfect forms, between Urdu and English. The literal Urdu 'eye' can't work in English either in this context, since it would sound as if the weeping was coming from one eye rather than (as we presume) two.