apne kuuche me;N fi;Gaa;N jis kii suno ho har raat
vuh jigar-so;xtah-o-siinah-jalaa mai;N hii huu;N

1) in your own street, the one whose lament/cry you hear every night
2) that liver-scorched and breast-inflamed one, I alone am



fi;Gaan : Cry of pain or distress, wailing, groaning, lamentation, complaint; clamour'. (Platts p.782)

S. R. Faruqi:

Because of the bold freshness of jigar-so;xtah-o-siinah-jalaa , this verse is in a class by itself. The urgency/necessity of the meaning too is fine. In the verse a state of affairs has been expressed, but for it a number of meanings are possible:

1) Until now the lover used only to sigh and groan, he had not come before the beloved. Today he has confronted her, or has found the courage to confront her; so he says that 'the person whose lamenting and complaint you hear in your street, that one is I myself'.

2) Because of ignorance, or making use of faux-naïveté, the beloved asks the address of the speaker. The speaker gives a reply by means of this verse.

3) 'Liver-scorched and breast-inflamed one' is the epithet that the beloved, hearing the unseen speaker's lament/cry, has given him. Now the speaker comes before the beloved, and says 'The one whom you call liver-scorched and breast-inflamed, and to whom you have given this epithet after hearing his lament/cry every night, I alone am that one'.

4) It's also possible to make the interpretation that in the beloved's street other people (Rivals) live happily and cheerfully. I alone am deprived of favor/kindness and absorbed in lamenting and crying.

A theme similar to this one, Qa'im Chandpuri has versified with such beauty that compared to it Mir's verse seems pallid:

dam qadam se thii hamaare hii junuu;N kii raunaq
ab bhii kuucho;N me;N kahii;N shor-o-fi;Gaa;N sunte ho

[{alive and well / 'breath-footstep'} was the radiance of only/emphatically our madness
even now in the streets somewhere you hear clamor and lamentation]

Mir's verse has more meaning, but not the 'tumult-arousingness' of Qa'im's. In Mir's old age, he directly adopted Qaim's theme, in the fourth divan [{1459,3}]:

u;Th ga))e hai;N jab se ham suunaa pa;Raa hai baa;G sab
shor-e hangaam-e sa;har kaa muhr hai muddat se yaa;N

[ever since we rose and went, the whole garden lies desolate
here, for a long time there's been a seal on the tumult and commotion of dawn]

The truth is that despite the freshness of 'a seal is on' [muhr hai] meaning 'is stopped', Mir's verse remains much inferior to Qa'im's.



It astonished me to see how much SRF liked this one, when it left me cold-- despite, or because of, all the fire reflected in the scorched liver and inflamed breast. I don't see why jigar-so;xtah-o-siinah-jalaa displays 'bold freshness' [be-baak taazagii], when that kind of thing is happening to the lover all the time.

It's no doubt true that the verse can be imagined as occuring in several different contexts, and thus as having a range of possible meanings. But for a poet like Mir, this kind of thing is no more than par for the course.

Compare a verse that has some thematic similarities (the ambiguous but powerful cry of a single lost and suffering soul), but ranges far more widely, and cuts far more deeply: