juu;N chashm-e bismilii nah mu;Ndii aavegii na:zar
jo aa;Nkh mere ;xuunii ke chahre pah baaz ho

1) like the eye of a sacrificial one, its gaze/view will not manage to be closed--
2) the eye that, upon the face of my {slayer / bloodthirsty one}, would be opened



bismilii : 'For sacrifice; for slaughter'. (Platts p.156)


;xuunii : 'Relating to blood, or to murder; bloody, sanguinary; —a murderer, an assassin'. (Platts p.497)

S. R. Faruqi:

If this verse is juxtaposed to a verse of Ghalib, then the nature of both poets' individual imaginations becomes clear. Ghalib:


Ghalib's beloved has such a relish for tyranny that even her own adornment she does when she would be able to use the eye of a dead prey animal like a mirror. The lover in Mir's verse is such that if he would once see the beloved, then he would remain rigid and staring, as if he were some slaughtered animal (for a somewhat related discussion, see the introduction to volume one [of SSA], pp. 130-131).

In Mir's verse there are a number of subtleties; in Ghalib's verse, there's only 'delicacy of thought'. Mir's 'thought' too is superb, but its basis is earthly and realistic. To look at the beloved and keep on looking is a common idea. He also calls the beloved a 'slayer', and in this regard calls the lover a 'slain one' or a 'sacrificial one'. Here the responsibilities of slayer and slain have been spontaneously obtained-- that after a glimpse of the beloved's face, the eye remains fixed and open, as if it would be the eye of some sacrificial one.

In mere ;xuunii there's a strange kind of kinship and pride; and there are also two meanings: (1) the one who slew me; and (2) the one who is my slayer (the beloved). Now look at the wordplay: chashm , aavegii na:zar , chashm , aa;Nkh , chahrah , bismil , ;xuunii , mundii (closed), baaz (opened).

Thirty or thirty-two years after the present verse, Mir used the image of the chashm-e bismil in an entirely new way in the shikaar-naamah-e avval , and proved once and for all that if the imaginative power is strong, then the impossible too becomes possible. About the poetry of Iftikhar Jalib I once wrote that it had such a level of singularity and individuality that no principle could be founded upon it. All its possibilities are finished the moment they come into existence.

Confronting the singularity of the chashm-e bismil image and the novelty of the theme, the thought occurs, what is there now left to say about this theme? Now please look at the shikaar-naamah verse:

aa;Nkhe;N jo merii baaz hai;N juu;N chashm-e bismilii
us turk-e .said-band kaa yih inti:zaar hai

[since my eyes are opened like the eye of a sacrificial one
this/such is the wait for that prey-capturing Turk]

He has entirely changed the theme, and has also maintained it too, through wordplay, with the same excellence.

Nasikh too has made a good try at the chashm-e bismil theme. But his first line is not too effective; though indeed the second line is peerless:

nuur kaa naam shab-e taar-e judaa))ii me;N nahii;N
jo sitaarah hai vuh ik diidah-e qurbaanii hai

[in the dark night of separation, there's not even a trace of light
if there is a star, it is a single eye of a sacrificed one]

Amir Mina'i too (probably following Nasikh) has versified the theme of the eye of sacrificial one:

yaad kis turk kii aa))ii kih miraa za;xm amiir
rah gayaa diidah-e bismil kii :tara;h vaa ho kar

[a memory of which Turk came to mind-- that my wound, Amir
remained, like the eye of a sacrificial one, open?]

ma;hv-e na:z:zaarah-e qaatil huu;N mai;N aisaa dam-e .sub;h
kih har ik daa;G-e badan diidah-e qurbaanii hai

[I am so absorbed in the sight of the slayer, at dawn
that every wound on my body is the eye of a sacrificial one]

But because in both of Amir's verses there's much artificiality, the pleasure has become less.



It's rather a grim and grisly image, but it doesn't rise (or fall?) to the level of what I call 'grotesquerie'. What I like about the verse is the strong invitation to read the speaker's claim as a boast. 'You think your beloved is so murderously beautiful? Well, let me tell you about my beloved!' For after all, meraa ;xuunii can perfectly well be an affectionate nickname, 'my bloodthirsty one'. (For that reason, this verse isn't necessarily in the 'dead lover speaks' category.)