yaaquut ko))ii un ko kahe hai ko))ii gul-barg
;Tuk ho;N;T hilaa tuu bhii kih ik baat ;Thahar jaa))e

1) someone calls them rubies; someone [else], rose-leaves
2) even/also you {just / a bit} move your lips, so that one idea/utterance might/would be established



S. R. Faruqi:

On the theme of the beloved's lips as being called rubies and rose-leaves, see


where the beauty of the lips has been expressed with an innocent amazement. In the present verse there's a tricky 'innocence', from which Ibn-e Insha too has benefited:

kal chaudhavii;N kii raat thii shab bhar rahaa charchaa tiraa
kuchh ne kahaa vuh chaa;Nd hai kuchh ne kahaa chahraa tiraa

[last night was the night of the fourteenth-- all night there was mention of you
some said that was the moon, some said your face]

The difference is that in Mir's verse there's more arrangement for wordplay. The wordplay between kahe in the first line and baat in the second line; and then in the second line itself between baat and ho;N;T hilaa ; and then for the thing under discussion (the lips of the beloved) themselves to be given authority to decide ('you just move your lips')-- all these things provide extremely enjoyable wordplay.

Then, in moving the lips the point is that whether they are rubies or rose-leaves, they won't even move like lips. Thus if the lips move, then that in itself will prove that they are neither rubies nor rose-leaves, but rather something beyond both. It should be noted that both ho;N;T hilnaa and ho;N;T hilaanaa can refer to simple movement, and also to speaking. Bahadur Shah Zafar:

gu;zarte hai;N tujhe i:zhaar-e mudda((aa ke gumaa;N
miraa jo ho;N;T bhii ay bad-gumaan hiltaa hai

[you suspect the expression of desire/intention
if even my lip, oh suspicious one, moves]

Thus in Mir's verse ;Tuk ho;N;T hilaa tuu bhii has the implication both of conversation, and merely of moving the lips (for example, by smiling).



The ik baat is enjoyably multivalent. It might mean 'one idea' out of the two hypotheses suggested in the first line (perhaps the beloved's lips might flutter like rose-leaves, thus proving themselves not to be emeralds). Or of course, as SRF notes, 'one idea' that rules out both hypotheses-- without suggesting any other. Or it might mean 'one utterance' from the beloved that would be uniquely authoritative, depending on what you said. And in all these cases, the little ik provides a full range of descriptive possibilities: the baat in question could be 'single, particular, unique, excellent'.

As SRF notes, the idea that the beloved's movement of her lips would settle the question (about her lips) is particularly enjoyable. Here's another, even more piquant instance along those same lines:


Note for grammar fans: Nowadays ;Thahar would not in actual pronunciation rhyme with gu;zar and the other rhyme-words in this ghazal. For discussion, see {546,1}.