dil ((ishq kaa hameshah ;hariif-e nabard thaa
ab jis jagah kih daa;G hai yaa;N aage dard thaa

1) the heart was always a {partner/adversary}-in-battle, of passion
2) now, in the place where there is a scar/wound-- here formerly there was pain



;hariif : 'A fellow-worker (in one's craft or ordinary occupation), an associate, a partner, a mate; —a rival, opponent, adversary, antagonist; an enemy'. (Platts p.477)


nabard : 'Battle, engagement, war, contest'. (Platts p.1121)


daa;G : 'A mark burnt in, a brand, cautery; mark, spot, speck; stain; stigma; blemish; iron-mould; freckle; pock; scar, cicatrix; wound'. (Platts p.501)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this 'ground' Ghalib has composed an uncommon ghazal [G{07}], but an echo of these three verses of Mir's can be heard in Ghalib's ghazal-- especially in the second line of the present verse, which seems as if it had been composed by Ghalib.

Ghalib has also versified this same rhyme-- in such a way that in his theme the glimmer of Mir's theme has remained:


Ghalib's thought is more subtle, but the dramaticness of Mir's second line is in a class by itself. Ghalib has mentioned the tug-of-war of the sorrow of passion; Mir's field is wider. He sees the heart and passion as testing themselves in battle. Passion wants to reduce the heart to dust. But the heart too has its own point of view.

Formerly, passion created pain in the heart, and pain erased the heart. But the meaning of the heart's being erased is not that there's nothing there. Along with the heart the pain went away, but when the heart went away it left behind its mark: a single scar/wound. Thus passion wasn't entirely successful in its purpose. And the battle even now continues.

Another aspect is that passion has always practiced its tyrannies on the heart. First, passion created pain in the heart. Pain erased the heart, the heart and the pain both came to an end. But passion wasn't satisfied even with this-- rather, where there was the heart, there it left a scar/wound. This scar/wound (that is, grief) can also be over the erasing of the heart. In the second line, his not mentioning the breast and the heart, and only saying 'in the place where' and 'here', is an accomplished degree of eloquence [balaa;Gat].

The theme of a scar/wound's remaining in place of the heart, Ghalib too has versified very well:


In the present verse, if we take ;hariif in the meaning of 'companion', then the interpretation emerges that passion and the heart, both together, met in combat with beauty. When beauty erased the heart, even then, in its place in the heart a scar/wound was created, so that even if there was no heart, the scar/wound was present in its place, ready to be of service in battle.

In both cases, the interesting question arises that when even the scar/wound no longer remains, what will happen to passion, or to the lover? After the scar/wound, what weapon will be able to be brought into this combat? The answer is clear: after the life itself has been of service in this way, the result will be that the activity of passion itself will be finished. Thus the outcome, even after the life has been used up, will be the same: the activity of passion (or the conflict of passion and beauty) will be ended. In every case, the result is only/emphatically death. He's composed a fine verse.



This is another verse about the lover's decline, similar in some respects to those discussed by SRF in {124,2}. Formerly there was a great battle waged by the 'heart' and 'passion'. Thanks to the cleverly exploited ambiguity of ;hariif (see the definition above), either these two were enemies (passion tried to kill off the heart), or else they were faithful allies (both sought to conquer the implacable beloved). But those days are gone; now the old soldier is nostalgically telling war stories, or indifferently reporting his condition to a physician, or ruefully meditating about the past; as so often, the tone is left up to us to decide.

But the speaker seems to be concerned to show off only a single scar. (Or, thanks to the ambiguity of daa;G , it could even still be a 'wound'.) And rather than talking about it, he's concerned only with its history: it marks the spot where once there was something else-- where once there was 'pain'. Only through the power of implication (since the first line has so prominently featured the heart) can we realize that what he's really pointing out is the spot where the heart used to be, which now is a scar/wound and used to be 'pain'.

As SRF says, what a brilliantly indirect (non-)description of the heart! Does it mean that the heart was killed in battle, or taken prisoner by the enemy, so long ago that its very presence is hardly recalled? Or does it mean that the essence of the heart, the way it's remembered, is as 'pain'?

That little 'here' is also remarkably powerful. It alone, in the whole verse, serves to personalize the report, and to bring home to us that we're hearing the speaker's own intimate, 'dramatic' experience. Just imagine replacing it with a vaa;N instead, and see the difference it makes in the verse.