((ishq me;N va.sl-o-judaa))ii se nahii;N kuchh guft-guu
qurb-o-bu((d us jaa baraabar hai mu;habbat chaahiye

1) in passion, there's no conversation about union and separation
2) nearness and distance, in that place, are adjacent/coinciding/equal-- love is required



va.sl : 'Meeting, union; mingling, junction, conjunction, connexion, attachment; ... —sexual intercourse'. (Platts p.1195)


judaa : 'Separated, parted; separate, distinct, away, apart, aside, asunder, absent'. (Platts p.378)


bu((d : 'Distance, remoteness'. (Steingass p.191)


baraabar : 'Abreast, even, level, ... equal (to); next (to), adjoining; agreeing, coinciding, fitting; facing, confronting'. (Platts p.143)

S. R. Faruqi:

Even while she's far away, the beloved is near; or even while she's near, she's far away-- both of these themes, our poets have used. On the latter theme, some verses will appear later. On the former, Mir Husain Shauqi has displayed [in Persian] his accomplishment in 'theme-creation':

'We are in appearance far from you; and in reality, near,
The way the two lines of a verse keep a distance from each other.'

Sa'ib very much liked Shauqi's theme, so he took it up [in Persian] almost identically:

'We are separated from you in appearance, not in reality,
Our distance is like the distance within a verse.'

Mir himself, in addition to the present verse, composed this theme in the fifth divan as follows [{1783,5}]:

nahii;N itti;haad-e tan-o-jaa;N se vaqif
hame;N yaar se jo judaa jaantaa hai

[he is not acquainted with the unity of body and life/spirit--
he who considers us to be separate from the beloved]

Despite the existence of such verses, this present verse from the first divan can be seen to hold its place. The first point is its informal and relaxed tone, as though some entirely obvious idea is being stated. To connect the experience of passion with everyday life like this, so that apparently its importance would be diminished-- this is Mir's special style.

Then, to say mu;habbat chaahiye is very meaningful-- if there is a real attachment, then distance has no significance. This has two meanings. The first meaning is that the lover and the beloved will traverse the distance and come to meet each other. As Iqbal says, aa mile;Nge siinah-chaakaan-e chaman se siinah-chaak [the breast-lacerated ones will come and meet with the breast-lacerated ones of the garden]. And the second meaning is that if there is love then nearness and distance lose their importance; lover and beloved both feel themselves limitlessly close to each other, even if they are far apart.

In the first line, nahii;N kuchh guft-guu also has several meanings. (1) There's no mention of those things. (2) We have nothing to do with those things. (3) Those things have no meaning (that is, they are meaningless things).

The expression us jaa is also fine. By it: (1) The land of passion is intended. (2) The stage of passion is intended; that is, when lover/beloved arrive at this stage, then in the true sense they are entitled to be credited with the rank of passion and unity. (3) The 'affairs of passion' are intended-- that here in those matters distance and nearness have the same meaning.

In a series of small words Mir has, as is his custom, alluded to multiple meanings. Indeed, his first line is almost a translation of a line [in Persian] by Hafiz:

'On the road of passion there are no stages of nearness and distance,
I see you clearly and send you my blessing.'

For further discussion of Hafiz's verse, see {605,1}.

[See also {992,2}; {1526,4}.]



An important note: If you are using the Mahfuz kulliyaat-e miir , note that in the 2003 edition this verse was accidentally omitted. The 2013 edition has been corrected to include it.

The pairing in the first line of va.sl-o-judaa))ii opens two possible readings (see the definitions above). The more obvious one is that of being together ('meeting, attachment') and/or attaining sexual union as lovers, versus being far apart, in separation. But the other is some kind of essential oneness ('mingling') versus being 'separate, distinct'. The mystical possibilities here are obvious, and obviously relevant.

Then if there's no 'conversation about' union and separation, that might mean the absence of any such distinct things (so that there's nothing there to talk about), or it might mean perfect mutual understanding (so that there's no need to talk about these things).

Moreover, in the first line 'in passion' sounds like the usual thing, meaning 'in the mood/state of passion'. In the second line, however, we abruptly learn that it's a 'place'-- apparently people can be 'in Passion' the way they can be 'in Chicago'. Of course, it's a pretty unusual place, one where 'nearness' and 'distance' can be experienced as 'adjacent' or even 'coinciding'. (See the definition above-- the geographical specificity is part of the range of baraabar , and is more piquant than merely 'equal'.) There's an inexhaustible supply of romantic and Sufistic permutations that can be brought out; as usual, the choice of exactly how to read the verse is up to us. But it's a ravishing verse; it maps out some (mystically) unmappable territory.