ham ve hai;N sun rakho tum mar jaa))e;N ruk ke ek jaa
kyaa kuuchah kuuchah phirnaa ((unvaan hai hamaaraa

1) we are {such a / 'that'} one-- remember this!-- who having stopped in one place, would die
2) how [greatly] to wander from street to street is our mode/manner!



((unvaan : 'Superscription, title, or title-page (of a book, &c.); preface; anything that serves as an indication (of another thing); that which is understood (by anything); —mode, manner'. (Platts p.766)

S. R. Faruqi:

((unvaan = manner, method

There's a famous account of how Shaikh Farid ud-Din 'Attar renounced living in one place and became a Sufi. Once when he was at his shop, absorbed in business, a darvesh came to see him and began to give some counsel. Because of the liveliness of his business, Shaikh Farid ud-Din 'Attar paid no attention to the darvesh. When the darvesh importuned him, he grew irritated and said, 'Why don't you yourself go off somewhere and drop dead? Why are you reminding me over and over about my death?' The darvesh said, 'My friend, it has nothing to do with us-- we'll go away at once'. With these words, he lay down right there and in the space of a moment/breath, gave up his life. This event had such an effect on Shaikh 'Attar that he immediately emptied out his shop and adopted the life of a faqir.

This verse of Mr's seems to be alluding to this event. The dignity of the tone is devastating. In sun rakho tum especially, there's a dignity of Mir's own special kind. There's a kind of intimacy/relationship, and also a kind of uniqueness/solitariness. The word ((unvaan too he's placed very well, because .saa;hib-e ((unvaan is what a king is called, and especially an absolute ruler. Thus this word too helps in establishing the dignity of the tone. The first page of a book is also called the ((unvaan -- that is, the place where the book's journey begins. Thus there's also a 'connection' of meaning among 'to wander from street to street' and 'to stop in one place' and ((unvaan .

[See also {431,7}; {696,5}; {1185,9}; {1457,2}.]



It's an extremely insha'iyah verse, with its imperative first line and exclamatory second line. The sun rakho tum is an idiomatic form for 'having heard, keep in the memory' [sun kar yaad me;N rakhnaa], and the familiar verb form (with its pronoun included for extra emphasis and colloquial ease) gives it a wonderfully casual charm. Has the addressee been urging the speaker to stay a while, perhaps with tears and pleas? Or has the addressee been demanding imperiously that the speaker remain in place until further orders? And is the addressee the beloved, or some friend or comrade?

Here the semantics radically restrict the possibilities of the (usually so versatile) kyaa . In the context of this verse it can't meaningfully be a yes-or-no question introducer; nor can it be read as an exclamation of indignant repudiation of the clause it introduces, nor can it be taken as adjectival (like kaun-saa ). Translating it as 'how [greatly]!' isn't quite right of course, but at least it captures the affirmative, exclamatory force lurking behind what is often an interrogative structure.

So unusual is this particular restricted form of kyaa , so different-feeling from the 'least-marked' multivalent uses, that I'd consider it almost one of the deliberate features of the verse. I had to keep rereading the second line, in order to keep ruling out the other kyaa readings that here must be excluded and can't even be left to form a penumbra. Perhaps this use could even constitute a form of iham: we expect kyaa to be multivalent, and then it turns out to be totally restricted to a form that is not its most common.