us kii to dil-aazaarii be-hech hii thii yaaro
kuchh tum ko hamaarii bhii taq.siir na:zar aa))ii

1) her heart-tormenting was entirely groundless, friends
2) to you, did any shortfall/offense of even/also ours come into view?



aazaar : 'Vexing, troubling, afflicting, &c. (used in comp., e.g. dil-aazaar , 'afflicting or paining the heart').)'. (Platts p.45)


aazaar : 'Trouble, affliction; injury, outrage'. (Platts p.45)


aazaarii : 'adj. & s.m.f. Sick; troubled, afflicted; a sick person, a patient'. (Platts p.45)


hech : 'Some, any; anything'. (Platts p.1244)


taq.siir : 'Defect, failure, omission, shortcoming; mistake, error, fault, offence, crime misdemeanour; guilt, blame'. (Platts p.330)

S. R. Faruqi:

be-hech = unnecessary, without reason

The word be-hech is interesting. Mir has used it at least four times. Once in this present verse, and then in the following verses. From the first divan [{24,12}]:

thii yih kahaa;N kii yaarii aa))iinah-ruu kih tuu ne
dekhaa jo miir ko to be-hech mu;Nh banaayaa

[what kind of friendship was this, mirror-faced one, that when you
saw Mir, you causelessly made a face]

From the first divan [{538,8}]:

ham mast-e ((ishq vaa((i:z be-hech bhii nahii;N hai;N
;Gaafil jo be-;xabar hai;N kuchh un ko bhii ;xabar hai

[we who are intoxicated by passion, Preacher, are not insignificant either
those heedless ones who are unaware-- even/also they are somewhat aware]

From the first divan:


It's clear that in the present verse and {24,12} be-hech means 'unnecessary, without cause', and in {538,8} it means 'insignificant'. In {610,7} it means 'without cause, without motive'. [A discussion of how various dictionaries have defined the term.]

Now let's consider the meaning of the verse. It's clear that here be-hech means 'without cause'. That is, the beloved practiced 'heart-vexingness' without cause. In be-hech hii thii is the implication that it's obvious to everyone, and proved, that the beloved, without cause and without reason, gave trouble to the speaker's heart (or the hearts of the group of lovers in general). In the second line he has asked people, 'Now tell the truth-- on the speaker's part (or the group of lovers' part), did you see any shortfall/fault in us?'.

If taq.siir is taken in the sense of 'sin, fault', then indeed, in the verse there is a useless repetition. Here taq.siir has the meaning of 'shortfall, lack' [kamii]-- that is, if the beloved causelessly showed heart-vexingness, then she did; but in faithfulness, in cheerfully enduring the heart-vexingness and so on, we showed no shortfall.

In the verse the pleasure of meaning is not great, but there's a particular 'mood'. And the word be-hech is in any case a very fresh word. I consulted Rashid Hasan Khan and Naiyar Mas'ud. They said that be-hech doesn't appear in Persian either. [One more report about an unhelpful definition.]



This ghazal is unusual for including the poet's pen-name in the opening-verse rather than the closing-verse; see 'pen-name' in the 'Terms' index for other examples.

In the first line, dil-aazaarii could quite well be taken in either of two ways (see the definitions above)-- that is, it could refer to the beloved's tormenting of her own heart (with fury? with vexation?), rather than her tormenting of the lover's heart (by inflicting pain and suffering), because of some baseless complaint she has framed against him. The fact that this reading of the line works with the second line fully as well as the other reading, suggests that Mir very probably arranged the line in the first place with both possibilities in mind.

Having this extra reading may help a bit to mitigate what might be called the 'shortfall' in the 'pleasure of meaning'-- but it doesn't help all that much. By Mir's standards, this feels like a minor verse. No doubt its rank will depend on how much we feel and enjoy its 'mood', and how much credit we're willing to give it for be-hech .

Note for grammar fans: How do we know that the second line is interrogative, since it lacks a kyaa ? Apparently only from the semantic context, with perhaps a little boost from that kuchh with its readily available sarcastic overtones.