;xaak me;N lo;Tuu;N kih lohuu me;N nahaa))uu;N mai;N miir
yaar musta;Gnii hai us ko mirii parvaa kyaa ho

1) would/should I writhe in dust, or would/should I bathe in blood, Mir?
2) the beloved/friend is aloof/detached; what care/concern for me would she have?



musta;Gnii : 'Free from want; in a state of competence; rich, wealthy; independent; able to dispense (with), or to do without; —content, satisfied; —indifferent (to), disdainful (of); boastful, proud, lofty, haughty, supercilious'. (Platts p.1032)


parvaa : 'Care, concern, anxiety, vexation; fear, terror; inclination, desire, affection, concupiscence; want, need'. (Platts p.255)

S. R. Faruqi:

This is a verse of 'mood'. In the tone, the mixture of hopelessness and sarcasm too is out of the ordinary. But there's a certain amount of 'meaning-creation' operating here too. Since one quality of God's is isti;Gnaa , by calling the beloved musta;Gnii he has also gestured toward God. If it might be thought that to call God Most High a yaar-e musta;Gnii is undesirable, then the reply is that people have even called God a feminine beloved [ma((shuuqah]. Thus Ghalib has a [Persian] verse:

'Don't consider the rakish one absorbed in anaa'l ;haq to be a criminal,
The beloved [ma((shuuqah] was self-displaying and her overseers were arrogant.'

Commenting on this verse, the late Maulana Hamid Hasan Qadiri has written that 'To call God Most High a ma((shuuqah is very enjoyable, but others have also done the same'.

(Here, keep in mind that words like ma((shuuqah and ((ayyaarah and so on have the Persian [ending] haa))e zaa))idah , not the Arabic [ending] taa))e taanii;s . That is, words like these are, according to the rules of Persian grammar, not feminine.)

Another dimension of the meaning is that if we read yaar musta;Gnii without an izafat, then the interpretation emerges that the beloved practices aloofness/detachment. And if we read it with an izafat, then the meaning becomes 'that beloved who is aloof/detached'. That is, in the first case aloofness/detachment is an action of the beloved's; and in the second case this is her natural quality.

One more dimension of the meaning is that to writhe in the dust and to bathe in blood can be separate actions (should I do this, or should I do that?), and can also occur one after the other (first I would roll in the dust, then I would bathe in blood). Such masterful 'mood', and in addition so much meaning, is a miracle of poetry-creation.



The lover's contemplated actions of 'writhing in dust' and/or 'bathing in blood' might be envisioned in several ways:

=He might do this to catch the heedless beloved's attention, since if his behavior is quiet and discreet she doesn't seem to notice him at all.

=He might be awaiting her next command, and anticipating the shows of devotion she might require of him; but she's too negligent to bother even to test his passion. Thus the 'care/concern' he craves from her might amount to no more than a decree requiring a particular kind of tormented behavior.

=He might do this as a reaction of sheer despair, to express how he suffers because he's unable to attract the attention of such an indifferent beloved.

These gestures that the lover contemplates are expressive of emotion-- but not of one particular meaning. Thus the relationship between the two lines has been left, as so often, for us to decide for ourselves.

Compare Ghalib's take on a similar situation: