kahte ho itti;haad hai ham ko
haa;N kaho i((timaad hai ham ko

1) you say, 'We have concord/agreement'?!

2a) indeed, say it! -- (do) we have confidence/faith?!
2b) indeed-- say 'We have confidence/faith'!



itti;haad : 'Union, concord, intimate friendship; combination, league, compact, treaty'. (Platts p.15)


i((timaad : 'Reliance, dependence, trust, confidence, faith'. (Platts p.60)

S. R. Faruqi:

Here we see in a verse of 'affair-evocation', the charm of 'meaning-creation'. In Momin's poetry, an attempt of this kind can be seen here and there. But in his case, no verse is as accomplished with regard to linguistic construction, nor so successful with regard to tone. For example, Momin has this opening-verse:

sho;x kahtaa hai be-;hayaa jaanaa
dekho dushman ne tum ko kyaa jaanaa

[he calls you 'mischievous'-- he considered you shameless
look what the enemy considered you to be!

The construction of the first line is so difficult/obscure (not because of 'entanglement', but rather because of a lack of words) that the line has remained incomplete/imperfect. In order to put it into prose, a number of words need to be added: ( vuh tum ko ) sho;x kahtaa hai ( ya((nii us ne tum ko ) be-;hayaa jaanaa . The second point is that to draw out from sho;x the meaning of be-;hayaa is inappropriate.

Both Mir's lines are exemplary illustrations of accomplishment and clarity. And on top of this, 'meaning-creation'-- while in Momin's verse there's only one meaning, in Mir's verse there are at least these meanings:

(1) You (the beloved) say, 'we have concord/agreement with you' (with the lover). Say-- you must certainly say-- 'we have confidence in your words'. Now this too has two meanings. One is the outwardly apparent one, and the other is sarcastic.

(2) You (the beloved) say, 'we have concord/agreement with you' (with the lover). That's good. Say also that you have confidence in our faithfulness and in our passion. This meaning is directly expressive. A sarcastic meaning is that if you are in concord/agreement (in friendship) with us, what benefit do we get from it? Say whether you have confidence in our faithfulness and our passion, or not! (That is, having friendship doesn't necessarily mean that you would return passion for our passion, and consider us a true lover.)

(3) You (the beloved) say, do we have concord/agreement with you? Say it (that is, say such sarcastic things). We have complete confidence' (that you will never have concord/agreement with us).



This ghazal is in an extremely short meter, and also has an extremely long set of rhyming elements. The result in this opening-verse is that out of each ten-syllable line, only five syllables are available for the poet's use, while the other five ( aa-d hai ham ko ) are both unavailable and constraining. Yet how elegantly Mir makes them work!

And in any case, the invitations to sarcasm are impossible to mistake. In the first line, the beloved might be speaking sincerely (as far as her sincerity goes), or lying, or being sarcastic. In response, the belover might be speaking sincerely, or being sarcastic. He might be speaking himself (2a), or urging her to speak (2b). Moreover, the utterances in (1) and (2a) can readily be turned into questions, if we so choose.

The various combinations and permutations make the verse feel zippy and colloquial. It's easy to give it one or another kind of snarky reading, so that it sounds like just the kind of heavily sarcastic thing people do say in arguments ('Of course I agree!' or 'Oh sure, I have full confidence in you!').