kiyaa jo ((ar.z kih dil saa shikaar laayaa huu;N
kahaa kih aise to mai;N muft maar laayaa huu;N

1) when I petitioned, 'I have brought a prey like the heart'
2) she said, 'Such things I've killed and brought uselessly/freely'



muft : 'Gratuitous; acquired without cost or labour; given away without return or benefit; gratuitously, gratis, without payment, for nothing; —in vain, unprofitably, uselessly'. (Platts p.1052)

S. R. Faruqi:

A theme similar to this one, Sauda has well composed:

maa;Ngaa jo mai;N dil ko to kahaa bas yihii ek dil
jitne hii to chaahe mire kuuche se u;Thaa laa

[when I asked for the heart, then she said, 'What, only this one single heart?
However many you want, pick up and bring from my street.']

The difference is that in Sauda's verse there's the demand to have his own heart back, and in Mir's verse there's the presentation of the heart. Then, in Mir's verse the theme of the lover's simple-mindedness and the beloved's haughtiness is fine. The lover sits there in his own place, considering that he is presenting a valuable and refined thing like a heart, and for the beloved the poor heart is only a commonplace, worthless prey.

In both lines, the informality of tone is also fine. The speaker uses a conversational tone; with a little astonishment, a little admiration, and a little sadness he is telling the event to somebody. Through this event, the speaker feels his own worthlessness and unimportance. And in this way before us new aspects of the affairs of passions are revealed: the passion of which something like this is the beginning-- what will its end be like?

Then look: in the second line there are two aspects. One is that in the beloved's eyes, the speaker's heart has no importance. Such things she casually/freely kills. The other aspect is that in the beloved's eyes, the heart in its own right has no importance. She says, 'Prey like this I casually/freely kill; the things that influence me are different' (for example, life, faith, wealth, rank, etc.).

In maar laayaa huu;N too there are two aspects: (1) to hunt down and bring back; (2) to steal/seize something by stealth or force. Sauda's verse is devoid of these 'meaning-creations'; in his verse is simple 'affair-evocation'.

On this theme, that the lover considers his heart valuable and worthy of respect, Hakim Shifa'i composed [in Persian] a peerless verse:

'A bird like the Huma of my heart has become your prey,
In gratitude for this, free some prisoners from the cage.'

It's possible that Mir might have had the idea of the theme from this very verse. But he kept aloof from Shifa'i's aspects, and composed a verse in his own style-- in which a view of everyday life, and the lover's helplessness/destitution but homey-ness, and his wittiness/jesting over the hopelessness of passion, have been expressed with great excellence.



SRF ends his comments by ascribing to the verse a set of very strong qualities of style: Mir has created the verse 'in his own style',

jis me;N roz-marrah zindagii aur ((aashiq kii be-sar-o-saamaanii lekin ghareluu-pan aur ((ishq kii maayuusii par ;xvush :taba((ii ke andaaz me;N ray-zanii ba;Rii ;xuubii se bayaan ho ga))ii hai .

I just can't manage to find all those elaborate qualities of style inherent in the very structure of the verse itself. Of course, if SRF tells us to read the verse in that tone it works very well; perhaps it's the most poetically effective tone one could find. But is it the only one? Surely other tones are also possible. (For example, what if instead of speaking in a witty or jesting tone, the lover is speaking in bitterness and despair?) This question of a single specific 'built-in' tone is an ongoing focus for my own thinking; for further discussion see {724,2}.