mai;N kaun huu;N ai ham-nafasaa;N so;xtah-jaa;N huu;N
ik aag mire dil me;N hai jo shu((lah-fishaa;N huu;N

1) who am I, oh companions/'fellow-breathers'? --I am one who has a burnt-out life
2) a single/particular/unique/excellent fire is in my heart, such that I am flame-scattering



S. R. Faruqi:

In this ghazal there are ten verses, and in the whole ghazal the elements of loftiness, thoughtfulness, and inner insight are so commingled that although not every verse is of a very lofty level, I had great difficulty in making the selection. For every verse was in some way worthy of attention. Anyway, I have removed four verses. Although the opening-verse is the weakest of all, I included it in order to keep the form [shakl] of the ghazal established.

Although there's nothing much in the opening-verse, nevertheless there's a kind of power and heat/warmth. In Atish's ghazals many verses of this kind are to be found, in which there's a high harmony [buland aahangii], but from the point of view of theme and meaning, nothing.

The present verse isn't so weak as not to deserve attention, but Mir's method of 'theme-creation' and 'meaning-creation' isn't in it. Though indeed, it has 'mood' and power. Since people blow on fire either to light it or to extinguish it, between the imagery of fire and flame, and ham-nafasaa;N , there's the connection of a zila.

The meter of this ghazal and of {293} are the same; only the rhyme has changed. In the ground of {293} Mus'hafi has composed a ghazal, but in fact that ghazal of Mus'hafi's is a 'reply' to the present ghazal of Mir's. In Mus'hafi's ghazal loftiness and thoughtfulness are mingled, and he has brought out some extremely fine verses. His opening-verse is almost a 'reply' to the present opening-verse-- and the truth is that it's better:

ma;xluuq huu;N yaa ;xaaliq-e ma;xluuq-numaa huu;N
ma((luum nahii;N mujh ko kih mai;N kaun huu;N kyaa huu;N

[am I a creature, or am I a creator who appears as a creature?
I don't know who I am, what I am]

[See also {1589,1}.]



SRF has maintained his usual policy of putting in the opening-verse at all costs, in order to give in SSA the effect of formal completeness-- and also sometimes to bring the number of included verses up to three, which is his usual minimum (though he also sometimes presents single verses).

And I have maintained my usual policy of providing the whole ghazal in cases where SRF has chosen at least half the verses. In this case, I'm glad of my policy, because seeing the whole ghazal is especially desirable in view of SRF's claims in {1589,1}.