raa.zii huu;N go kih ba((d az .sad saal-o-maah dekhuu;N
ak;sar nahii;N to tujh ko mai;N gaah gaah dekhuu;N

1) I am satisfied/consenting, although after a hundred years and months I would see
2) if not often/usually, then I would see you from time to time



raa.zii : 'Pleased, well-pleased, content, contented, satisfied, agreed, willing, acquiescent; regarding with good will or favour, liking, approving'. (Platts p.582)


gaah gaah : 'Some time or other, at times, sometimes, now and then; again and again, repeatedly, frequently'. (Platts p.894)

S. R. Faruqi:

It's a superb verse of 'mood', but in it too Mir has placed a point of meaning. The meaning of seeing the beloved after hundreds of months and years, or with an interval of hundreds of months and years, is that the lifetimes of the speaker and the beloved too will be extremely long. And despite the passing of this long interval, neither will the speaker's ardor diminish, nor will the beloved's beauty diminish.

Momin has well versified, in his own style, the theme of seeing from time to time:

thaa muqaddar me;N un se kam milnaa
kyuu;N mulaaqaat gaah gaah nah kii

[it was fated, to meet her little
why did you not meet from time to time?]

Momin's point is based on the idea of earlier generations, that a particular extent of a man's happiness or sorrow is decreed. If all the happiness is obtained in one single part of the lifetime, then the rest of the lifetime will be spent in sorrow. Thus in the destiny of Momin's speaker the whole interval for meeting the beloved was extremely little. The speaker used up this whole small interval in one single meeting. If he had divided this small interval into several very little occasions, then he would have had the joy of meeting her again and again. So what if the whole interval would have been just the same as was destined? At least it would have been possible to see the beloved's face again and again.

In Momin's verse, meaning and theme are both fine. But by saying raa.zii huu;N , Mir has so beautifully made an affair of passion into the madness of oppression, that it's perfectly done. Then, in the second line, by inserting the powerfully meaningful phrase ak;sar nahii;N he has pushed the idea even further-- that even under the best circumstances there was no hope of union with the beloved; at the very most it was possible that he might 'often' have seen her face.

Now circumstances, or destiny, or the beloved herself, are never favorable to him; thus he's ready to content himself with seeing her 'from time to time', even if this seeing her 'from time to time' would be once in hundreds of years. He's composed an extremely fine verse.

An opposite aspect of this theme, Ghalib has well composed [in Persian] in his own style:

'Granted that you'd be ready to fulfill my heart's desire today-- but where is that beauty?
The recompense for the unsuccessfulness of my past years is a loss/ruin.'

In Ghalib's verse is the cynicism of someone like a hard-bitten lecher. In Mir's tone is commitment, and a manner of accepting the beloved's pleasure, and accepting the Divine pleasure.

[See also {920,1}; {956,4}.]



How elegant and effective it is, that the first line doesn't even deign to mention the object of sight. For how, to the monomaniacal lover, could there be any question about who it would be? Or of course, if we don't make such a guess, then the effect is one of suspense, as we wait (under mushairah performance conditions) for the second line to give us more information.

The anticlimactically reversed sequence of 'years and months' (rather than the usual 'months and years') can of course be thought of as shaped by the rhyme scheme, but it also helps to establish the speaker's obsessiveness: he brushes aside the mere units of time, in order to get to the real point: that he will be able to see the beloved 'from time to time' ('now and then'? 'sometimes'?). It's truly a masterpiece of 'mood'.