nah mile;N go kih hijr me;N mar jaa))e;N
((aashiqo;N kaa vi.saal hai kuch aur

1) we would/might/should not meet, although we would/might die in separation
2) the 'union' of lovers is-- something else



go kih : 'As if, as though; —even if, although; notwithstanding that; however'. (Platts p.921)

S. R. Faruqi:

Ghalib took this theme and greatly limited it by associating it with jealousy/envy, although marte hai;N in his verse too has been used in a very eloquent [badii((] manner:


In Mir's verse too the word 'union' is doing this kind of work. That is, 'union' meaning 'death', and likewise meaning 'meeting with the beloved'. By using the word 'lovers', Mir has established a distinction between lechers and true lovers. The true lover doesn't find it desirable to meet with the beloved-- perhaps on the basis of the pride of passion, or else on the basis of protecting his or the beloved's purity.

Or else, again, out of concern for maintaining the intensity of passion-- as Denis de Rougemont has written: 'The intensity and ebullience of passion is in reality thanks to distance'. That is, if there would be no distance, then there would be no intensity of emotion and misery and love. On this basis Provençal poetry, which had profited from Arabic traditions, used to assume the beloved to be married (that is, someone else's wife), so that not even a possibility of union would remain.

The wordplay of 'might/would die' and 'union' is also fine. The ambiguity of 'union' being 'something else' is interesting. That is, lovers too have 'union', but it's 'something else'-- it's death, or it's some other thing. This view of the circumstances of lover-ship and passion is extraordinarily 'tumult-arousing'.



On the idiomatic possibilities of kuchh aur , see the discussion in {217,1}.

SRF has found an excellent verse of Ghalib's for comparison purposes, but I'd like to add another:


Both these Ghalibian verses help to elucidate the oddness of the present verse, with its insistence on what seems to be the lover's intransigence. G{198,1} shows the lover as too proud to approve even of his own inner desire or longing; and G{115,7} shows the lover as too full of self-respect to permit himself to encounter her outwardly, even by the roadside.

Yet still-- the whole first line is in the future subjunctive, which basically signals something that has about a fifty/fifty chance of actually happening. That something may be an object of hope or fear, or just a neutrally reported possibility. This relative uncertainty gives the whole prospect a kind of existential flimsiness: we might (or should) not meet with her, although we might die in separation. Or if it's an attempt to project the future-- we would not meet with her, although we would die in separation-- then it's not nearly as confident as saying something like nahii;N mile;Nge .

After all, a tone of uncertainty does seem suitable for the idea of an enjoyably unspecified 'something else'. Something mystical and full of be-;xvudii ? Something crazed, with its own incomprehensible logic? As so often, we're left to decide for ourselves. There's also the extreme possibility that the speaker doesn't consider himself to be part of a pair of 'lovers' at all, since the way 'lovers' meet is something other than the way he would (not) meet.

Note for grammar fans: As a petrified form, the Persianized goyaa , 'so to speak', is very common, and the much rarer go kih seems partly to share its meaning (see the definition above). But sometimes, as in this verse, it seems to mean 'although'. Much more usually, 'although' is har chand or else baskih . At least in his published divan, Ghalib doesn't use go kih at all, and Mir certainly doesn't use it often.