kiisah pur-zar ho to jafaa-juuyaa;N
tum se kitne hamaarii jeb me;N hai;N

1) if the purse would be full of gold then, oh cruelty-seekers
2) how many like you are in our pocket!



kiisah : 'A bag, a purse; a pocket'. (Platts p.889)


jafaa : 'Oppression, violence, cruelty, injury, injustice, hardship'. (Platts p.382)

S. R. Faruqi:

The theme Sadr ul-din Fa'iz too has composed, but in his verse there's a good deal of shame, and there's no depth to the meaning. The words also have a lack of affinity:

;xvush-.suurataa;N se kyaa karuu;N mai;N aashnaa))ii ab
mujh ko to in dino;N me;N muyassar diram nahii;N

[how would I gain familiarity with beautiful ones, now?
these days, I have no silver coins available]

In Mir's verse, there's a kingly extravagance and a disdain for the beautiful ones of the world-- especially for those beautiful ones who are tyrannical and cruel. The pleasure of the zila between 'gold' and 'how many/much' (because kitne is used for rupees and so on) is very fine.

The wordplay of 'purse' and 'pocket' is clear. In it there's also the point that for the beloved to be in the pocket, and for gold to be in the purse, are one and the same. That is, if the beloved is in the pocket, then it's as if the purse is full of gold. The informality and confident sarcasm of 'to be in the pocket' is also clear. The use of 'are' instead of 'will be' is also fine.

There's yet another aspect. Apparently the 'cruelty-seeking' people are the addressees-- that is, he's addressed all the cruelty-seekers. But we can also read jafaa-juu and yaa;N separately. Now the prose will be: agar kiisah pur-zar ho to ay jafaa-juu tum se kitne hii yahaa;N hamaarii jeb me;N hai;N . The objection should not be raised here that if in the first line there's ay jafaa-juu , then in the second line there should have been tujh -- otherwise, there will be a 'camel-cat' [shutur-gurbah] [mismatch of grammatical forms]. Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, a 'camel-cat' was not considered a flaw [((aib].

He has altered this theme and composed it like this in the first divan [{435,7}]:

zor-o-zar kuchh nah thaa to baare miir
kis bharose par aashnaa))ii kii

[when there was no power or gold, then finally, Mir
on what basis did you acquire familiarity?]

In the second divan, he has composed it in a sarcastic but cheerful tone [{1038,3}]:

siimii;N-tano;N kaa milnaa chaahe hai kuchh tamavvul
shaahid-parastiyo;N kaa ham paas-e zar kahaa;N hai

[to meet with silver-bodied ones requires some riches
we worshippers of beauty-- where is our custody of gold?!]

In {435,7}, the style of laughing at himself, and showing the beloved as petty or faithless, is fine.

[See also {490,2}; {869,5}.]



This is one of only two such 'individual verses' [fardiyaat] included in SSA. But then, it's two out of only seven in the whole kulliyat. For more on this, see {371,1}. Since the present verse is not an opening-verse, we can only guess what its rhyming elements might be.

Note for translation fans: Isn't it a rare stroke of luck that we have the English idiom 'in our pocket' to work with? It has just the right range and tone (humorous, sarcastic, contemptuous, or matter-of-fact), and also is entirely accurate as a translation. Let me take a moment to savor such a rare convergence.