shauq kaa kaam khi;Nchaa duur kih ab muhr mi;saal
chashm-e mushtaaq lagii jaa))e hai :tuumaar ke saath

1) the desire/work of ardor was drawn far-- for now, like a seal
2) the ardent eye goes on being attached to the paper(s)



khichnaa (of which khi;Nchnaa is a variant): 'To be drawn, dragged, or pulled, &c.; to be attracted; to be absorbed, be sucked in; to be drawn out, be extended, be stretched; to stretch; to be extracted; to be drawn tight, be tightened; ... —to be drawn, be delineated, be sketched, be traced'. (Platts p.872)


muhr : 'A seal; seal-ring; —impression of a seal; a stamp'. (Platts p.1099)


:tuumaar : 'A paper, &c. folded or rolled up,' a roll, scroll; a volume, book; an account-book'. (Platts p.754)

S. R. Faruqi:

Ghalib has composed this theme like this:


In the theme of the eye's image being stamped on the heading of the letter there's an unnecessary formality, and in order to make clear that the letter contains a longing to see the beloved, there's not even any need to make such an image. Because the letter itself has been written in order to show and express the longing to see her. Despite these weaknesses, Ghalib's verse has several interesting aspects. But Mir's verse maintains an extraordinary level. Consider:

(1) To apply a seal to a letter, or a bundle of letters, is a common thing. To pay attention to something, and to look at it carefully, is construed as 'applying the eye' [aa;Nkh lagaanaa] to this thing. The shape of the eye is oval and conical like that of a seal; thus the theme of applying the eye to a letter like a seal is appropriate in every way.

(2) In the word :tuumaar there's also the implication that the letter is not of only one or two pages, but rather is quite a bundle.

(3) One reading of the second line is that because of the abundance of ardor and eagerness for a meeting, and the hope of a reply, and out of anxiety that the letter should reach the correct place, the moment the Messenger takes the letter and goes, the lover's eyes too go along with him, as if they are not eyes but rather seals on the letter, so that they travel along with the letter. Another reading is that because of the abundance of ardor and eagerness and so on, he again and again presses his own letter to his eyes. Or, the letter is being written, or has already been written, and his eyes remained glued to it; he is reading it over and over, and is verifying whether or not he has said everything that needed to be said. Thus his eyes have so to speak become seals, or are like seals, and are glued to the letter.

(4) Between duur and jaane there's the enjoyable connection of a zila. And shauq and mushtaaq are of course words from the same family. Then, chashm-e mushtaaq too has two readings. One is 'the eye that is ardent', and the other is 'the eye of an ardent one'. Moreover, the original meaning of shauq is 'an inclination of the heart toward something'. Since the seal too comes down on a paper (as if it bows), and the characteristic of the eye is of course to become lowered, there is 'commonality' [muraa((aat ul-na:ziir] among all three.



There's also the classically multivalent kaam : in its Persian (and Sanskritic) sense it means 'desire, longing' (so that it is both a cause and a result of shauq ); and in its main Urdu/Hindi sense it means 'work, task' (as in the work done by a seal in identifying papers). For more on this, see {7,1}.