paikaan-e ;xadang us kaa yuu;N siine ke uudhar hai
juu;N maar-e siyah ko))ii kaa;Rhe hu))e phan bai;The

1) the head of her arrow is on that side of the breast, in such a way
2) the way some black snake would sit [in a state of] having drawn up its hood



;xadang : 'The white poplar, a tree from which arrows are usually made; an arrow'. (Platts p.487)


maar : 'A snake, serpent'. (Platts p.980)


kaa;Rhnaa : 'To draw, drag, pull, &c.; to draw out, draw forth (a sword, &c.)'. (Platts p.801)


phan : 'The expanded hood or neck of a snake (esp. of theĀ Cobra di capello)'. (Platts p.290)

S. R. Faruqi:

There's 'dramaticness' in the simile, and in the context into which it's been brought, it's also very unexpected. The image is also fine-- that the arrow struck the breast, and its tip went through the breast and came out on the other side.

To call the arrow-head the hood of a black snake is appropriate in several ways. First, in color; for an arrow too is usually black. Second, the wound of an arrow is narrow, it's not usually wide like the wound of a sword. Ghalib, offering commentary on one of his verses, has written [in commenting on G{6,2}] that the excellence of an arrow-wound is in the fact that it is narrow like a hole. The wound of a snake-bite too is like two tiny puncture-holes in the skin.

Then, a snake's head and its hood are in the shape of a triangle-- the same shape as that of an arrow-head. Maulvi Zafar ul-Rahman Dihlavi's farhang-e i.s:tilaa;haat-e peshaavaraa;N (second volume) tells us that some kinds of arrow-heads are pointed at both ends (they are called paraa , and such arrows are called pariilaa ). Because of these thorns, the shape of the arrow-head becomes even more similar to the hood of a snake. On the basis of these similarities, to give to the arrow-head the simile of a snake's hood is not only successful, but exemplary.



Well, is the resemblance really all that convincing? The arrow-head that emerges from the wound has already done its worst; the snake that rears up and raises its hood is hostile, is threatening, and has not yet made its strike. The snake with its up-reared head and hood is ominous and frightening; the person who sees the arrow-head emerging from someone's back may be in no danger at all, since he himself was not the target. If he had been, he'd be dead, or at least too far gone to manage to twist his head around far enough to inspect the exit wound in his back. Maybe we're supposed to imagine that the lover has been shot in the back (or from the side?) so that he can see the arrowhead emerging from his chest (would that still be uudhar ?). No matter how we construe it, it's really not all that compelling.