mi;saal-e saayah mu;habbat me;N jaal apnaa huu;N
tumhaare saath giriftaar-e ;haal apnaa huu;N

1) like a shadow, in love I am my own net
2) with you, I am a captive of my own situation



mi;saal : 'Likeness, similitude; simile; analogy; parable, metaphor; specimen, example, model; a case adducedas a precedent; —adj. Like, resembling'. (Platts pp.1000-1001)


jaal : 'A net (for catching birds, fish, &c.); net-work; ... —magic, conjuring; illusion, deception; supernatural appearance'. (Platts p.371)

S. R. Faruqi:

This ghazal is in a 'ground' and meter of Bedil's. Mir has made the Persian refrain ;xvudiim into apnaa huu;N in Urdu. Bedil's opening-verse is:

ta;haiyur aa))inah-e ((aalam-e mi;saal-e ;xvudiim
bahaanah gardish-e rangast-o-paa))imaal-e ;xvudiim

'We are a mirror of amazement of our own state of similitude,
The coming and going of colors is an excuse-- we are trampled underfoot by our own self.'

The theme of being trampled underfoot by one's own self, Mir has versified in


this will be discussed in its place. In the present verse, the simile is new, and in the second line the theme too is new.

Between a person and his or her shadow is a kind of relationship such that neither can flee from the other. Where the body is, there the shadow is; and where the shadow is, there's the body. Thus the shadow is in the body's net, and the body is in the shadow's net. This is the situation of the speaker and love, too. As long as the speaker exists, his love too exists. The two cannot be separated from each other.

In the second line there's a subtle ambiguity. The lover is with the beloved in such a way, because if the beloved didn't exist then the lover wouldn't exist. But the way that between lover and love is the bond of body and shadow, in the same way the beloved too is captive in her own net (that is, in her beauty and belovedness); the beloved cannot separated from her beauty, and love cannot let go of the lover. In this way both are together, and like each other they are both also captives of their own respective situations.



SRF is right to call attention to that 'with you' in the second line. How to read it? These seem to be the main possibilities

=When/since I am with you, I am a captive of my own situation.

=Along with you, I am a captive of my own situation (that is, we are both captives of my situation).

=We are both captives: I of my own situation, and you of yours.