kar sair ja;zb-e ulfat gul-chii;N ne kal chaman me;N
to;Raa thaa shaa;x-e gul ko niklii .sadaa-e bulbul

1) view/contemplate the attraction/absorption of love-- the flower-picker, yesterday, in the garden
2) broke off a rose-branch-- there emerged the voice/cry of the Nightingale



sair karnaa : 'To take the air, to stroll, ramble, perambulate; to take amusement, to enjoy sights, to view or contemplate a beautiful landscape; to make an excursion, &c.'. (Platts p.711)


ja;zb : 'Drawing, attraction; allurement; absorption'. (Platts p.378)

S. R. Faruqi:

sair karnaa = to look

It's a famous anecdote that once when Laila's vein was opened for [medical] bleeding, Majnun's blood began to flow. To make this shopworn theme so fresh, and for the attraction/absorption of passion to search out such a supreme metaphor, was a task fit for Mir alone.

The sound of the breaking of the rose-branch emerged like the voice of the Nightingale; or when the Nightingale saw the breaking of the rose-branch, from his heart came a lament; both ideas are possible. But the former one is better.

Here the word sair is also fine, because it has an affinity with 'garden'. The word 'yesterday' gives to a hyperbole-filled theme the pleasing aspect of an event of everyday life.



Another pleasure of kar sair is its evocation of a leisurely stroll, a relaxing promenade, a sort of pleasure tour. The addressee is invited to enjoy the 'attraction/absorption of love' at his/her ease, with great casualness-- and yet what the verse offers is an encounter with the exact opposite emotional tone, a scene based on a jolt of sudden, wild, helpless pain.

Note for translation fans: In to;Raa thaa we have another example of the non-correspondence of the apparently parallel perfect tense forms between Urdu and English. In English, to convey an instant response we'd say 'X happened, Y happened'. If we said 'X had happened, Y happened' then the clear implication would be that X was at least somewhat in the past at the time when Y happened. Whereas the whole point in this verse is that the breaking off of the rose-branch evoked an instantaneous response.