har .sub;h ;haadi;se se yih kahtaa hai aasmaa;N
de jaam-e ;xuun miir ko gar mu;Nh vuh dho chukaa

1) every morning the Sky says this to Misadventure/Mishap:
2) 'Give a cup of blood to Mir, if he has washed his face.'



;haadi;sah : 'A new thing, a novelty; an accident, incident, event, occurrence, adventure, casualty; a mishap, misfortune, disaster, calamity, affliction'. (Platts p.472)

S. R. Faruqi:

The image of the 'cup of blood' Mir has used a number of times. In a ghazal from an ode to Asif ud-Daulah:

sa;har jaam-e ;xuu;N hai jo mu;Nh dho chukuu;N huu;N
yih mafluuk aise ke ghar mehmaa;N hai;N

[at dawn, there is a cup of blood, when I have already washed my face--
this sky-stricken one is a guest in the house of such a one]

From the first divan [{377,12}]:

nah sii chashm-e :tamaa((-;xvaan-e falak par ;xaam-dastii hai
kih jaam-e ;xuun de hai har sa;har yih apne mihmaa;N ko

[the food-providing eye of the sky can't be accused of ineptitude
for it gives a cup of blood, every morning, to its guest]

From the first divan [{506,7}]:

jaam-e ;xuu;N bin nahii;N miltaa hai hame;N .sub;h ko aab
jab se us char;x-e siyaah-kaasah kaa mihmaan hu))e

[in the morning, we never get water without a cup of blood
ever since we became the guest of that black-begging-bowled sphere]

From the first divan [{613,5}]:

har sa;har ;hadi;sah mirii ;xaa:tir
le ke ;xuu;N kaa ayyaa;G nikle hai

[every dawn, Misadventure, for my sake
emerges, bringing a glass of blood]

Mir had borrowed this image from [the Persian of] Naziri:

'When dawn came, people began to sweep out temple and mosque,
Look-- now let's see with what kind of blood my fortune fills my glass.'

But the truth is that in the present verse Mir has multiplied the effect of the image four times over, and has made such good use of his borrowing from Naziri that now this image belongs to him alone. The address of the Sky to Misadventure, then the condition that when Mir has washed his face the cup of blood should be given to him, endow the verse with both realism and terrifyingness.

Then, the Sky's unawareness of whether Mir has even washed his face or not, suggests that the Sky has a kind of indifference and unawareness toward Mir-- it is interested only in this: that the first thing that would reach Mir every morning would be that cup of blood. As for the rest, what Mir's days and nights are like-- about this it has no information, nor does it have any need or desire for the information.

The cup of blood's being brought by the hands of Misadventure is also very fine. In order to bring the verse close to everyday life, or rather to bring Misadventure and the cup of blood into everyday life-- how perfectly suitable and appropriate is mu;Nh dho chukaa , requires no explanation. To bring rare or uncommon things into the level of everyday life-- this is a skill that no one else has the way Mir does.



Some of the 'Ustad' kind of people will will declare that using the full n at the end of the;xuun in jaam-e ;xuun is incorrect-- although there's no reason to call it incorrect. Up to the time of Ghalib nobody had called it incorrect, and in Nasikh's poetry too examples can be found used with a full n , of words that nowadays are considered correct to use only with a nasalization [nuun-e ;Gunnah], not with a full n . [The details and ramifications of this technical question are discussed at length, with examples.]

For the theme of washing the face with blood for ritual ablutions, see


[See also {352,8}; {456,8}.]



SRF emphasizes the degree of unawareness and indifference that the Sky shows toward Mir, since all it cares about is having him punctiliously given the appropriate 'cup of blood' at the right moment every morning-- directly after he's washed his face and hands, as one should before a meal. But if we look at the other side of the coin, there's also a remarkable grandiosity here. Other people may experience disasters and mishaps randomly, through the complete indifference of fate or 'the sky' (since that's where disasters descend from).

But in Mir's case, he receives personal attention. He can hardly complain of neglect, for every single day the Sky personally instructs 'Misadventure' (another obviously very powerful entity) to take special care to give Mir the proper cup of blood. This kind of care is just the way a properly solicitous host should see to the comfort of an honored guest; the associations with hospitality emerge even more clearly in the other verses cited by SRF. So in a sense the Sky is very solicitous about Mir, very aware of him-- and Mir's sense of this special attention is what gives the verse its wry tone.

Compare Ghalib's form of ominous blood imagery, which is impersonal and even cosmically abstract: