mire aage nahii;N ha;Nstaa to aa ik .sul;h kartaa huu;N
bhalaa mai;N ro))uu;N do daryaa tabassum kar to yak pastah

1) if in my presence you don't smile/laugh, then-- come, I propose/'make' a single/particular/unique/excellent treaty/compromise
2) very well, if I would weep two oceans-- then you give [imperative] a single low/inferior smile!



.sul;h : 'Peace, reconciliation, truce, agreement, concord; compromise; treaty'. (Platts p.746)


bhalaa : 'adv. & intj. Well, very good; how fortunate! forsooth, in sooth, of a truth; strange'. (Platts p.190)


past (source of pastah ): 'Low, humble; abject, mean, base, vile'. (Platts p.262)

S. R. Faruqi:

.sul;h = a friendly understanding
pastah = past

In this verse the two words .sul;h and pastah are extraordinarily fresh. In Urdu pastah alone is very rarely used, and it's so rare that many dictionaries turned out not to contain it. [A brief discussion of the error made by one dictionary.] Nevertheless, Mir has used it alone, and used it well.

The theme too of this verse is entirely new. And the everyday word bhalaa is also extremely superb. Also, in the first line we can read either tuu (the second-person singular) or to (the correlative connector).

The most interesting thing is this 'treaty/compromise', that the lover would weep an amount equal to two oceans, and the beloved would give a small smile. From do daryaa , abundance becomes apparent, and also that there are two eyes and each eye will weep one ocean. The reward for such an abundance of weeping would be a weak smile, and even this the lover would willingly accept.

Then, there's also the point that for the lover it's not difficult to weep two oceans, while for the beloved a half-hearted smile is difficult. If weeping were not easy, then why would the lover even propose this condition? It's an interesting verse.



Well, to answer SRF's final question, it could also be that weeping two oceans is difficult, but being deprived by the beloved of even a half-hearted smile is still more difficult. Or it's possible that seeing the lover weep two oceans might be the very thing (or the only thing?) that could actually induce the cruel beloved to show even the tiniest smile. And that smile is to be, exotically, pastah ; as SRF notes, this rare usage earns 'fresh word' credit for the verse.

Since it must fit into a short syllable, in the first line to ('then') seems decidedly preferable to tuu ('you').

The real charm of the verse is in the cozy, confident, teasing tone (shown in the aa , the bhalaa ) that makes for a feeling of informality and even intimacy, of good-natured repartee, of his jollying her along with his eccentric proposals until she has to laugh-- or at least smile.