;xilaaf un aur ;xuubaa;N ke sadaa yih jii me;N rahtaa hai
yihii to miir ik ;xuubii hai ma((shuuq-e ;xayaalii me;N

1) in contrast to those other fine-ones, this one always remains in the inner-self
2) only/emphatically this, Mir, is a single/particular/unique/excellent fineness in an imaginary beloved



;xayaalii : 'Ideal, imaginary; fanciful, capricious; fantastical; visionary; chimerical'. (Platts p.498)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme is entirely new. The enjoyable thing is that in his 'Present in Absence', John Donne has expressed an idea very much of this kind:

By absence this good means I gain,
That I can catch her,
Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain:
There I embrace and kiss her;
And so enjoy her and none miss her.

The difference is only that Donne is nevertheless speaking of a flesh-and-blood beloved. Mir's beloved is entirely imaginary; and since the imagination is within Mir's grasp, the beloved too is within his grasp.

It's also superb that he's said yihii to miir ik ;xuubii hai . Because this is the most everyday of the everyday, and the truth of truths. The juxtaposition with ;xuubaa;N too is enjoyable.

Qa'im tried very hard, but composed a colorless kind of verse:

go ba:zaahir tuu gale lagtaa nahii;N mere to kyaa
hai ta.savvur se tire har dam ham-aa;Goshii mujhe

[although outwardly you don't embrace me, what of it?
through imagination, I have your embrace at every moment]

Sauda and Jur'at have both drawn out new aspects of this theme. Sauda:

mai;N bandah ho gayaa saudaa ab us naazuk-;xayaalii kaa
kih yaar apne ko samjhaa huu;N mire pahluu me;N bai;Thaa hai

[I have become a slave now, Sauda, of that 'delicacy of thought'
for I've considered that my beloved is seated by my side]


dii ta.savvur ne kisii ke aur biinaa))ii mujhe
band aa;Nkho;N par bhii vuh detaa hai dikhlaa))ii mujhe

[the imagination of someone gave me more/different vision
even upon closed eyes, she is seen by me]

Jur'at's verse becomes more enjoyable when it's kept in mind that the begging-bowl of Jur'at's eyes was devoid of the coin of vision.



What is the alternative to 'always remaining in the inner-self'? From the first line, it's not clear. One possibility would be that the other beloveds would leave the inner-self and emerge into the outer world as real, physical persons. Another possibility would be that the other beloveds would leave the inner-self and just vanish. Clearly the question is important, as the emphatic yihii insists. But even after hearing the whole verse, we can't really pin it down.

The use of ik too is brilliant. It could have a resigned tone ('well, at least an imaginary beloved has one single/particular good quality') or an admiring one ('isn't it unique/marvelous that an imaginary beloved is always there!').

Compare Ghalib's vision of his own kind of imaginary beloved: