kushte ke us ke ;xaak-bhare jism-e zaar par
;xaalii nahii;N hai;N lu:tf se lohuu kii dhaariyaa;N

1) on the dust-filled afflicted body of her slain one
2) the streams of blood are not devoid of pleasure/elegance/grace



zaar : 'Groan, plaint, lamentation, wailing... ; desire, wish; collection, multitude, crowd; (as a suffix) place where anything grows in abundance, place, bed, garden ... —adj. Groaning, lamenting, afflicted; thin, lean, weak'. (Platts p.614)


lu:tf : 'Delicacy; refinement; elegance, grace, beauty; the beauty or best (of a thing); taste; pleasantness; gratification, pleasure, enjoyment; —piquancy, point, wit; —courtesy, kindness, benignity, grace, favour, graciousness, generosity, benevolence, gentleness, amenity'. (Platts p.957)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse too is like


and the truth is that although there's not as much meaning in it, the superiority of the theme and the 'understatement' of the style of expression have raised it above that verse.

Here too there's a compassion-arousing theme, and by saying 'afflicted body' he has also made it clear; but in the whole verse is that same special Mir-like dignity [tamkanat] and tranquility [:tamaaniyat] about what he has done. About such an afflicted body, that would be filled with dust, and on which there would be streams of blood-- to say only that 'the streams of blood are not devoid of pleasure', and not even to say that in them there's great pleasure and rakishness and the pride of martyrdom and the pride of homelessness and the limit case of dust-coveredness!

Then, the supreme touch is that he has not expressed the theme through the tongue of the speaker himself, but rather has used an impersonal voice, so that the distance would further increase, and there wouldn't remain even a suspicion of self-pity [;xvud-tara;hmii]. Then, he's set aside praise of the beloved: the one in whose slain one there's such grandeur-- how devastatingly elegant and rakish she herself will be!

Through the word jism he's also gestured toward nakedness-- that there's no robe on the body; dust itself is the robe, and streams of blood are doing the work of colorful decorations. Such a style is called 'implicative' [kinaayaatii].

Yagana has directly taken up Mir's theme:

dekho to apne va;hshiyo;N kii jaamah-zebiyaa;N
all;aah re ;husn-e pairahan-e taar-taar kaa

{look at the garment-ornamentations of your madmen--
by God, the beauty of a torn-to-threads robe!]

But he wasn't able to create anything to equal 'are not devoid of pleasure', and the difference between the original and the copy has become clear.

It's possible that Mir himself acquired this theme from [the Persian of] Mulla Kamal Dihlavi:

'Because of the dust of your street, there is a robe on my body,
Because of tears of longing, it has a hundred rips down to the hem.'

Undoubtedly Mulla Kamal has composed a powerful verse, but where is the Mir-like 'understatement' and the arrogance over his own madness and murderedness? In Mir's verse there's rakishness; in Mulla Kamal's there's shame/modesty and affliction.

[See also {546,3}; {1041,4}; G{31,1}.]



Part of the feeling of abstraction or detachment of which SRF speaks is surely created by the double negative structure of the second line: 'is not devoid of' after all means 'does not not-have'. It's a pedantic formulation; it's circuitous; it's the kind of thing no one would ever say under the influence of haste or emotion. Thus it guarantees an effect of what SRF describes as 'dignity' or 'tranquility' and an absence of 'self-pity'. The result is that this verse is a rare example in which the question of 'tone' can be grounded in an actual, objectively dectable feature of the verse. For more on problems of tone, see {724,2}.

The word lu:tf (see the definition above) also opens the possibility that the speaker may find the streams of blood not only 'beautiful' or 'elegant', but actively 'pleasurable' and 'enjoyable'. Who is enjoying this sight? It seems most probably to be the 'slain' lover himself, since it's hard to think of anyone else who would have such a morbid sensibility as to regard a dusty, bloody corpse with esthetic satisfaction. Does the fact that the corpse is his own, make the morbidness less?

Note for translation fans: That little word lu:tf is one of the banes of my existence. In his commentary SRF constantly says lu:tf yih hai kih and then goes on to point out some excellence in the verse. I generally translate that as 'the pleasure is that', since the feature that he points out is always (meant to be) enjoyable to the reader. But lu:tf could also be 'subtlety/refinement', since the feature is usually subtle as well. Or it could be sometimes one and sometimes the other. Anyway I make my best guess in each situation.