par zulfo;N me;N mu;Nh chhupaa ke puuchhaa
ab hovegii miir kis qadar raat

1) but having hidden her face in her curls, she asked,
2) 'Now how much, Mir, will there be [left] of the night?'



S. R. Faruqi:

Another beauty of the meaning is that to open the mouth is the same as for dawn to come; and the lover's chief goal is that the night would not be finished. In this way the permissibility of hiding the face in the curls emerges. But not only this-- in fact, the curls spread out over the face have themselves become a metaphor for night.

That is, the beloved's curls spread out over her face are themselves a metaphor on the part of the beloved that there's still some of the night left. That is, the beloved too wants it not to be dawn; otherwise she wouldn't have covered her face with her curls.

Then, how excellently the pen-name has been used, so that it is a form of address, and also does the work of a pen-name! This too is Mir's special style.

[See the discussion of this whole verse-set in {183,12}.]



This is the fifth and final verse of a five-verse 'verse-set'; for a full discussion, see {183,12}.

How rarely does the wretched lover have such a moment as this! The beloved is so indirect (asking a simple question about the time) and yet so flirtatious (suggesting that there should be more time for lovemaking)-- it's as excellent a use of 'implication' as can be imagined. And she's so coy (hiding behind her curls) and yet so available-- no wonder her charm almost killed the lover, as he told us anticipatorily in {183,12}.

Note for grammar fans: The hovegii is surely a presumptive.