chaahuu;N to bhar ke kaulii u;Thaa luu;N abhii tumhe;N
kaise hii bhaarii ho mire aage to phuul ho

1) if I would wish, then I would take you in my embrace/lap; I would lift you up right now
2) no matter how heavy/grave/valuable you might be, {in my view / 'before me'} you are a flower



kaulii : 'Bosom; lap; embrace, grasp of the arms; armful, as much (of anything) as can be grasped in the fold of the arms; a bundle or sheaf of corn given as a perquisite to a reaper or a village servant: kaulii bharnaa : To take or fold (one) in the arms, to embrace; —to be grasping or greedy'. (Platts p.864)


bhaarii : 'Heavy, weighty, ponderous, massive, unwieldy; large, big, bulky; great, grand; ... of importance, important, momentous, grave, serious; valuable, costly; ... difficult, hard, laborious, burdensome, troublesome, grievous, oppressive'. (Platts p.178)

S. R. Faruqi:

kaulii = embrace

The plumpness of the beloved is a theme that perhaps Mir alone has versified. Although in our time, Zafar Iqbal has written, jestingly and in a light tone,

utnii hii cha;Tap;Tii bhii hai vuh
jitnii hai :zafar vuh gol-gapaa

[she too is exactly as savory
as is, Zafar, that round-spicy-snack] [[Note: the odd spelling of cha;Tpa;Tii reflects its scansion within the line.]]

But Zafar Iqbal has deliberately adopted a slightly vulgar tone. In Mir's verse, there are subtleties of theme and meaning. First of all, look at the intensity of ardor and enthusiasm, such that he claims that he would take the heavy beloved up into his lap. In the word kaulii there's intimacy and informality. Otherwise, god too would have fit the meter; but it doesn't have those qualities. In comparison to a non-intimate word, an intimate word is always more informal and 'homey'. (There is a brief discussion of this point in the introduction to the first volume of SSA as well.)

Then, by using with bhaarii the word kaise , he has alluded to both quality and quantity. If he had said kitne hii bhaarii , then he wouldn't have obtained the meaning of quality. Now the meaning is 'to whatever extent you are heavy', and also 'to whatever extent you are a person of weight and dignity', because bhaarii and 'valued, esteemed' [((aziiz] have the same meaning. The meaning of ((aziiz is 'dear, beloved' because the person who is dear to us has a 'heavy' value in our eyes. In Mir's verse the word bhaarii is doing this work.

In mire aage to phuul ho there's also the suggestion that the speaker himself too seems to be a stout person. Janab Shah Husain Nahri says that ((aziiz is derived from ((izzat , and it means 'to be strict/harsh', not 'to be heavy'. But I maintain that ((aziiz certainly means 'strict', 'difficult', etc. etc., but it also has the meanings 'precious, valuable, dear, beloved, one who is esteemed and loved', etc. And ((izz also means 'heaviness, weight'; see 'The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Arabic', edited by J. M. Cowan, p. 609.

Whether with regard to the uniqueness of the theme, or with regard to the subtlety of the expression, the verse is one/select among hundreds. And on top of all this, there's the tone of pleasantry and conversation.

[See also {1091,1}, {1457,3}.]



In mire aage to phuul ho there's also the clever duality of ke aage , so that mire aage usually means 'in my view, according to me', but literally means 'before me, in front of me'. In the case of the present verse we first assume the conventional meaning, then realize that the literal meaning is even more enjoyable, because it foregrounds the imminent possibility of an embrace. The resonance of bhar with bhaarii is also enjoyable.

Moreover, all the various senses of bhaarii (see the definition above) can be perfectly answered by different meanings of 'flower':

=However heavy you may be, before me you are as light as a flower.
=However grave/serious you may be, before me you are as frivolous and delicate as a flower.
=However difficult/troublesome you may be, before me you are as unintimidating and adorable as a flower.

And of course, all these various readings of the second line show diverse but elegant forms of 'connection' with the first line.