muu;Nd rakhnaa chashm kaa hastii me;N ((ain-e diid hai
kuchh nahii;N aataa na:zar jab aa;Nkh khole hai ;habaab

1) to keep the eyes closed in existence is {the best of / the reality of / precisely} sight
2) nothing comes into view when a bubble opens its eye



((ain : 'The eye; sight; source, fount, fountain... ; the choice, the best, the very essence (of a thing), the thing itself; money, cash; gold; the sun; ... —adj. Very, exact, precise, real, intrinsic, just'. (Platts p.767)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the second divan he has expressed this theme, slightly changed, very well [{688,1}]:

is mauj-;xez dahr me;N tuu hai ;habaab saa
aa;Nkhe;N khule;N tirii to yih ((aalam hai ;xvaab saa

[in this wave-engendering universe you are like a bubble,
if your eyes would open, then this world is like a dream]

In the present verse the didactic [tam;siilii] flavor is more apparent, and in the 'proof' that he has provided in the second line, the effect of paradox is fine. He gives 'bubble' as a simile for 'eye'. But when this eye opens (that is, when the bubble bursts) then the very existence of the bubble comes to an end; it sees nothing. Thus security depends on keeping the eyes closed. But the difficulty is that if the eyes remain closed, even then nothing can be seen. Thus not-seeing has the role of seeing.

With regard to 'eye', ((ain (that is, 'eye') is also very fine. Ghalib has used this kind of oppositional and paradoxical style effectively. Ghalib borrowed this theme too from Mir, but he expressed [in Persian] a thought entirely his own:

'In the wave-engendering universe, you are a bubble; don't be proud.
You opened your eye one time and came to an end.'

[See also {482,3}; and G{213,2}.]



While we're speaking of Ghalib, how could we fail to remember also his very insistently opposite advice:


But Mir's verse has it all-- so many savory treats, intellectual as well as verbal, in one small package! The superb and multivalent wordplay provided by the little word ((ain is a glory in itself (see the definition above).