jaur-e dil-bar se kyaa ho;N aazurdah
miir is chaar din ke jiine par

1a) as if we would be vexed/wearied with the oppression of the heart-stealer!
1b) how vexed/wearied we would be with the oppression of the heart-stealer!
1c) are we vexed/wearied with the oppression of the heart-stealer?

2) Mir, over this three-or-four-day life



jaur : 'Wrong-doing, injustice, oppression, violence, tyranny'. (Platts p.396)


aazurdah : 'Afflicted (by, -se ), sad, dispirited, sorrowful; vexed (with, -se ), displeased, dissatisfied; weary (of, -se )'. (Platts p.45)


chaar din kaa : 'For a few days, temporary, fleeting, transient'. (Platts p.417)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse the maturity of the temperament is of such a standard that one is amazed; this stage of endurance and acceptance is usually reached only at the end of a lifetime. Shakespeare comes to mind, in 'King Lear':

... Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither.
Ripeness is all.

If life is transient, then the oppression of the heart-stealer itself will be transient. Now what complaint of this, and what kind of vexation? It's a matter of a few days, we'll get through them. Or else, why make this transient life more burdened? Whatever is the beloved's pleasure, we would make it our own pleasure. Or else like this: life is so brief-- does it have any shortage of grief within its scope, such that grief over the cruelty of the beloved too should be added to it?

This is not insensitivity, but complete acceptance. So complete that there's not even the suspicion of a decision-- that he considers the oppression of the heart-stealer desirable and so is accepting it. Rather, it's as if the decision is unnecessary: it's enough to know that there's no need to be vexed at the oppression of the heart-stealer.

There can also be the interpretation that if the lifetime were long, then we would practice vexation, so that perhaps our vexation would make an effect on the beloved's heart. Now the interval is so small that vexation would remain fruitless, so why would we adopt it?

In the second line, 'Mir' can be vocative ('oh Mir, why would we be vexed at this transient life?') and can also be in the third person singular ('over this transient life, would Mir be vexed at the oppression of the heart-stealer?'). In the former case, we can read huu;N [rather than ho;N]. He's composed a peerless verse.



This is a verse that makes wonderful use of the power of kyaa , so I've spelled out the three possibilities in my translation. By no coincidence, all of them work excellently-- though of course differently, which is part of their excellence-- with the second line:

1a) Of course we are not vexed, because the transience of life makes such vexation disproportionate, futile, or even impossible.

1b) Of course we are vexed-- life is transient enough, and painful enough, why should she go out of her way to make it worse? It also reflects badly on her, that she foolishly devotes so much energy to such a trifling, unworthy, or even futile project.

1c) Are we vexed? We must examine our heart, and discover the source of our feelings.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line ho;N , the first person plural future subjunctive ('we might/would be') can also be read as huu;N , the first person singular ('I am'). Both forms can be used by 'Mir' for self-address. The charm of ho;N is that it could also apply more widely: 'would/might/should we lovers be vexed'.