sharaab-e ;xuun bin ta;Rpo;N se dil lab-rez rahtaa hai
bhare hai;N sang-reze mai;N ne us miinaa-e ;xaalii me;N

1) without the wine of blood, the heart remains brimful of palpitations
2) I have filled that empty wineglass with pebbles



sang-rezah : 'Gravel; a pebble'. (Platts p.686)

S. R. Faruqi:

On the theme of the heart as a wineglass and blood as wine, Siraj Aurangabadi has composed a peerless verse:

;xuun-e dil aa;Nsuu))o;N me;N .sarf hu))aa
gir ga))ii yih bharii gulaabii sab

[the blood of the heart was expended in tears
all this full/heavy redwine-flagon fell]

But Mir has begun his idea where Siraj has ended his own. The blood has already flowed out of the wineglass of the heart, and the wineglass has become empty. But now palpitation and agitation and restlessness have taken the place of the wine of blood. This agitation and restlessness can be because now the heart is empty of blood. It can also be because he offered up the blood of the heart to the beloved, and in return for it the beloved gave palpitation.

In any case, the palpitation is of less value than the wine of the blood of the heart. But he also doesn't want to leave the heart empty. So if not the wine of blood, then the pebbles of agitation. When there's palpitation and throbbing, then a person sighs and laments, or groans. Thus it's a very fine metaphor, that the wineglass is full of pebbles. When a wineglass is full of pebbles and the wineglass moves (the way the movement of the heart is its beating), then a sound will definitely be created. The metaphor has become entirely complete and appropriate.

And how beautiful is the opposition: that instead of blood, the heart would be filled with pebbles; the homogeneity between lab-rez and sang-rezah is obvious. The whole verse is a superb example of 'theme-creation'.

To give for the heart the simile of a wine-glass is a common idea. But to call the heart an empty wine-glass requires theme-creation. It's possible that the idea might have been suggested to Mir by this [Persian] verse of Kalim Hamadani's:

'I expel this ignorant heart from my bosom.
Whatever is the good of keeping this empty wine-glass under my arm?!'

He used to go around with the wine-glass under his arm; thus the pleasure of Kalim's verse is increased. Sauda too has taken advantage of this:

dil ke ;Tuk;Ro;N ko ba;Gal biich li))e phirtaa huu;N
kuchh ((ilaaj is kaa bhii ay shiishah-garaa;N hai kih nahii;N

[I go around carrying the fragments of the heart under my arm
is there any cure for this, oh glass-workers, or not?]

In Mir's theme, the rare excellence is that he has called the heart an empty wine-glass because there's no blood in it. Then, he's also created the idea that when there's no blood in the heart then (out of grief at being unable to weep tears of blood, or perhaps because when the heart has no blood then it's in pain) it is full of palpitation. And to this he has added the additional theme that palpitations have been expressed metaphorically as pebbles. He's composed a devastating verse.

For discussion of the full nuun in sharaab-e ;xuun and similar constructions, see




What is the relationship between the 'palpitations' and the 'pebbles'? Here are some possibilities:

=The palpitations and the pebbles are, in some reified metaphorical sense, the same thing.
=The pebbles that the speaker has put into the heart have caused the palpitations.
=The palpitations of the heart have caused the speaker to fill it up (curatively? preventively?) with pebbles.

Since this is an 'A,B' verse, it's been left up to us to figure out the relationship of the two lines.

Note for translation fans: In English we 'fill X with Y'. In Urdu, however, one often 'fills Y into X'. That's why the grammar of the second line looks the way it does. And don't forget that bharnaa can be either transitive or intransitive, without any change in its spelling.