ma;Gruur bahut the ham aa;Nsuu kii siraayat par
so .sub;h ke hone ko taa;siir na:zar aa))ii

1) we were very arrogant/proud about our {night-journey / penetration} of tears
2) thus their effect-- on/for the arrival of dawn-- came into view



siraayat : 'Travelling by night; nightly journey; passing from one thing (or part) to another, penetrating, penetration, pervading, creeping (in or through)'. (Platts p.651)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the whole verse the sarcasm toward himself, and in the second line the ambiguity, are very fine. In the sarcasm toward himself there's also a helplessness-- that the lover collects on his behalf many great resources, but against the beloved, or the arrangers of fate, he can do nothing, and all his schemes/devices remain ineffective.

In this verse, the word siraayat bears an uncommon beauty and power. It has two meanings: (1) to travel by night; and (2) for something to penetrate into something else (as 'for prayer to penetrate', 'for pain to penetrate', etc.). The first meaning seems apparently inappropriate, but the magic is that this first meaning too is appropriate. That is, we had hoped that the tears we shed by night would travel far and, flowing like a river or water-channel, would emerge somewhere far off (perhaps they might reach the beloved). But when morning came, their effect came into view.

The second meaning is of course suitable-- that we hoped that our tears would have an effect on the beloved's heart, that they would so to speak penetrate into her heart. Or if not the beloved's heart, then that they would make a place for themselves in the hearts of neighbors and nearby listeners. But when morning came, then their 'effect' could be seen.

It's also possible that he was proud of the tears and their siraayat because he believed that through their effect the ground would become soft and soaked, and in it flowers would bloom-- that is, that in the garden of passion springtime would come. Probably the arrogance about the tears, and the expectation/hope that through them great results would be obtained, was because the speaker was still inexperienced. He didn't know about the affairs of passion, or about the lover's helplessnesses. He considered that in passion too, all the same forces were operative just as they were in the ordinary world-- that is, sighs and lamentation have an effect, faithfulness is requited by faithfulness, and so on. Now that he has encountered reality, he has realized his situation.

In the second line, by not explaining the nature of the 'effect' he has set up a world of possibilities. It's entirely clear that the tears had no effect on the beloved. (That is, 'the effect came into view' is a sarcastic negative = no effect came into view.) But it's also possible that some effect or other indeed came into view, even if it might not have been the intended effect. For example, consider the following possibilities: (1) The ground became swampy. (2) Our own house was ruined. (3) The town became desolate (as in the second line of G{111,16}). (4) All the tears were absorbed into the ground, and the ground remained as dry as ever. (5) The beloved became even more hostile, or even more heedless.

Between 'morning' and 'came into view, one connection is that by night, in the dark, he kept weeping, nothing could be seen; when morning came, then 'the effect came into view'. Another connection is that all night he kept seeing/envisioning various feats of tears (a flood, a typhoon, a sweeping-away). In the morning, he saw the effect (that is, he realized that no effect had occurred. A third connection is that at night arrogance had closed his eyes; when morning came, he saw the effect of his tears and his arrogance was broken.

In the verse there's seemingly no depth, no special aspect. But in reality, there's a mastery of both 'meaning-creation' and 'mood'. By way of comparison, look at this verse of Dagh's, in which there's certainly the pleasure of idiom, but no pleasure of meaning:

hu))e ma;Gruur vuh jab aah merii be-a;sar dekhii
kisii kaa is :tara;h yaa rab nah dunyaa me;N bharam nikle

[she became arrogant, when she saw my sigh ineffective
oh Lord, in the world may no one's illusion turn out this way!]

Changing Mir's theme a bit, but in a very shapeless style, Anand Ram Mukhlis versified it [in Persian] like this:

'Ah, if only I hadn't seen with my own eyes!
They say that weeping is effective.'

Probably Mir would have seen Anand Ram Mukhlis's verse, because in Mir's generation he was a famous poet, a notable person, and a patron and pupil of Khan-e Arzu. In another place Mir has benefited from Anand Ram Mukhlis's poetry; see




As SRF notes, the refusal to specify what, if any, 'effect' was observed in the morning is an excellent device. It leaves the nature of the 'night-journey of tears' entirely open to speculation. Perhaps there was no 'effect' at all, and this sarcastically reported observation humbles the speaker's pride. Or perhaps there was some other minor or useless effect, or even a counterproductive effect. We are invited-- and, of course, required-- to decide for ourselves.

Along those lines, one more possibility occurs to me. In the second line, if we take ko to mean ke liye , then the effect of the night-journey of tears was-- to bring on the dawn. This 'effect' might be taken as another form of sarcastically-noted failure: since dawn was going to come anyway, the claim of bringing it on is absurd and nonsensical.

But there's another possibility: that the claim that the night-journey of tears had brought on the dawn was serious, and even justified. This possibility is evoked by one of my favorite verses:


In the case of {7,10}, what might be called the cosmic power or 'grandiosity' reading is made clearer. But in the present verse, I don't see how it can be ruled out. And this reading also opens up the enjoyable possibility that the speaker's 'arrogance' is not chastened, but rather reinforced, by the result reported in the second line.