yih jaan tuu kih hai ik aavaarah dast bar-dil
;xaak-e chaman ke uupar barg-e ;xizaa;N jahaa;N ho

1) know this, you-- that there is a single/particular/unique/excellent wanderer, hand on heart
2) wherever there would be, on the dust/dirt of the garden, an autumn leaf



barg : 'Leaf ... ; provisions or necessaries for a journey or march; —a musical instrument; melody'. (Platts p.148)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the second line, by ke uupar is meant simply 'on'. This is the special idiom of Urdu-- as in dil ke uupar chhurii chal ga))ii , meaning 'a knife moved on the heart'.

Metaphor and reality are one, in the sense that the very thing that is the metaphor is also the reality, and also in the sense that between the outer world and the inner world there's a kind of unity. This theme Mir has versified in various places-- for example,




In the present verse too, there's the same 'mood'-- the autumn leaf is an autumn leaf in its own right, and it is also the lover who, with his hand on his heart because of extreme pain, pale/'yellow' of face, wanders around here and there.

Between the autumn leaf and the wandering lover there are various kinds of affinities: (1) Both have a yellow color. (2) Both have already become separated from their origin-- the leaf, from the branch; and the lover, from the ordinary world, or from his home. (3) Both are tending toward ruin-- the autumn leaf, at the least puff of wind, breaks off and falls; and the lover, because of his intensity of ardor and sorrow, over some small thing leaves home and becomes homeless. (4) The autumn leaf is dry, so that the breeze blows it here and there; the lover too is a wanderer. (5) Both experience a dearth of moisture/succulence and are physically wasting away.

A simile in which there is more than one cause of similitude is called a 'bearer' [markab]. Such a thing is possible when the vehicle [mushabbah-bih , the image used as the simile] is itself a 'bearer'. For example, here we see that the vehicle is not simply 'fruit', but rather 'autumn fruit'-- and that too, an 'autumn fruit' that would be lying on the dust of the garden. Shibli has written that the 'bearer' simile outranks the 'simple' [mufrad] simile.

In the present verse, to call the 'wanderer' (the lover) one with a 'hand on his heart' is very fine. Because by this means the lover's whole condition becomes expressed. For the hand's being on the heart is because of pain in the breast, or the liver, or the heart; and also because the heart has been gradually slipping away, and in that empty place there's pain, and there's also pain at the heart's departure. Thus the 'hand on the heart' is not only a simple illustrative expression, but is also a 'narrative [ma;haakaatii] expression' in the Aristotelian sense-- because by means of it not merely a picture is being created, but rather a whole state of affairs is being represented.

A final question is what affinity or similitude there is between a 'hand on the heart' and an 'autumn leaf'. One point has already been mentioned above: that the 'hand on the heart' is the symbol of a lover-- that is, a symbol of the 'mood'/situation of passion-- and the lover's color, like that of the autumn leaf, is yellow/pale. A second point is that since the autumn leaf lacks water/succulence, it seems to be withered and shriveled, as if someone would, because of pain in the heart, lie contracted [in fetal position]. To call an autumn leaf a 'hand on the heart' is a high level of eloquence.



There's also the physical similarity-- some leaves look very much like hands:

And there's the ik , which invites us to consider whether the seemingly humble leaf-wanderer might be not merely 'single' or 'particular', but perhaps 'unique' or even 'excellent'.

In any case, the speaker is almost roughly grabbing the listener's attention, and demanding respect-- or at least recognition-- for the poignant vision of the lover as autumn leaf.