naa-muraadaanah ziist kartaa thaa
miir kaa :taur yaad hai ham ko

1) he used to live disappointedly
2) we remember Mir's style/manner



naa-muraad : 'Having the desires unrealized; unsuccessful, unprosperous; disappointed; dissatisfied'. (Platts p.1111)


naa-muraadaanah : 'As one disappointed; discontentedly, &c.' (Platts p.1111)


:taur : 'State, condition, quality; kind, sort; manner, mode, way; conduct, demeanour'. (Platts p.754)

S. R. Faruqi:

With regard to 'mood', this verse is in a class by itself. There's no special meaning in it, nor can any hair-splitting be of use in clarifying it. But it's certainly worth considering how the points below don't immediately attract our attention, although a great part of the 'mood' in the verse is certainly indebted to them:

(1) Mir's life passed in disappointment. But this was not a life of disappointment that was like that of ordinary people. This was Mir's style/manner of life. And its effect on people remains; thus it's been said that we remember Mir's style/manner.

(2) Mir's disappointments were so powerful that their effect remains on people's hearts even now. (The first point was that disappointment itself was Mir's style of living; the second point is that his disappointments were extremely severe.)

(3) The speaker can be one person, and can also be several people. If there are several people, then on some occasion those people are remembering Mir. Or perhaps the conversation is about disappointed people, and at that time it was said that Mir's style/manner of life was like that.

(4) It isn't clear how long a time has passed since Mir's death. The probability is that a long time has passed.

(5) The word :taur carries limitless power, because it suggests that Mir adopted this kind of life for himself, without any complaint or objection.

(6) In the verse lightness of expression [subuk-bayaanii] is at its highest pitch. There's no clamor or commotion, no hyperbole and extravagance of language, but everything has been said.

(7) If we juxtapose to the present verse the verse below, then perhaps the idea will spontaneously become clear. Both verses are very fine. Both have lightness of expression. But in the verse below there's no ambiguity, while the present verse is full of ambiguity. From the fifth divan:




Note for translation fans: It's a pity that 'disappointedly' sounds so lame in English. It's accurate in a technical sense, but so much less resonant and evocative than naa-muraadaanah . It has too many consonants; they give it a prissy, bureaucratic air. Whereas naa-muraadaanah has all those moody, echoing long vowels. But what other choices are there? Oh well, this kind of thing is just one more reason why I'm glad to have a commentarial website; it's so much more fruitful to highlight the original Urdu than to attempt a literary English translation.