palko;N pah the paarah-e jigar raat
ham aa;Nkho;N me;N le ga))e basar raat

1) on the eyelashes were pieces of the liver, last night
2) we maintained them in the eyes, last night



ba.sar : 'The eye'. (Platts p.158)

S. R. Faruqi:

basar le ga))e = basar kii

The theme is shopworn (that is, one that has been used many times), but in this one too he has created something. Since pieces of the liver were entangled in the eyelashes, there was the danger that when he went to sleep these pieces of the liver would fall down and go to waste; thus they spent the night in the eyes themselves. Or else they became blood of the liver and were so happy to have come as far as the eyelashes that they couldn't even get to sleep.



Ugh! The scene is hard to visualize; and if it can be imagined at all, then it's grotesque. Tiny little bits of the liver, sticking to the eyelashes or actually embedded in the eye-- puh-leeze! There could hardly be a better example of the stylization and conspicuous non-realism of the ghazal world. Take note, all you 'natural-poetry' fans. Of course, it might be said that it's not necessary to take the imagery quite so literally. But if it's not taken literally, what's left of the verse? Only a general notion: 'Last night I was miserable and cried myself to sleep'. And how exciting is that?

In the second line, SRF tells us that basar le jaanaa is equivalent to basar karnaa . And I thank Zahra Sabri for her good research, which has established that basar karnaa can mean 'to uphold, maintain, sustain'. (It's apparently based on the Persian bah sar .)

Might there be a little extra bit of sound-effects wordplay, since ba.sar means 'eye'?