ham qadd-e ;xamiidah se aa;Gosh hu))e saare
par faa))idah tujh se to aa;Gosh vuh ;xaalii hai

1) we, through bent-over stature, became entirely an embrace
2) but [of] advantage/benefit from you, that embrace is devoid/empty



;xamiidah : 'Curved, bent, crooked, awry'. (Platts p.494)

S. R. Faruqi:

It's a verse in Mir's special style-- for in it is such a mixture of longing, desire, and wit that it's difficult to say which element prevails. To make his bent-over stature into a metaphor is extremely eloquent, but even more eloquent is the fact that he has seen this embrace to be empty of the beloved and has expressed regret. That is, the regret is not over his old age, but rather over his deprivation. Even in old age he has an eagerness to take the beloved into his embrace.

In this 'ground', Sauda and Mus'hafi too have composed ghazals. Mus'hafi has versified with the rhyme of ;xaalii , the theme of an embrace; and if the truth be told, although Mus'hafi's verse lacks a wit like Mir's, his theme is more rare/choice than Mir's:

kyaa jaanegaa huu;N mai;N aa;Gosh me;N kis gul ke
aa;Gosh mirii tujh se is raat ko ;xaalii hai

[how can it be known in which rose's embrace I am?
tonight, my embrace is empty/devoid of you]

In this 'ground', perhaps the most difficult rhyme-word was gaalii . All three ustads have versified it, and here, among the three, Sauda has borne away the prize. Mus'hafi:

majlis me;N ko))ii us kii kyaa jaave kih ab vaa;N to
har ;harf me;N jhi;Rkii hai har baat me;N gaalii hai

[who would go into her gathering-- for now, there
in every word is scolding, in every utterance is abuse]

Mir [{584,5}]:

((izzat kii ko))ii .suurat dikhlaa))ii nahii;N detii
chup rahye to chashmak hai kuchh kahye to gaalii hai

[no situation of honor/respect is to be seen
if you remain silent, then it's looking askance; if you say something, then it's abuse]


har baat pah hai merii auro;N se use chashmak
mujh par vuh kinaayah hai naukar pah jo gaalii hai

[at every word of mine, she winks at others
about me there is the implication, that it's abuse to a servant]

In Sauda's verse there are so many subtleties that it would take a long time to convey them. For the present I will say only that no more supreme expression of the psychology of complaint about defeatedness or despisedness, is possible within two lines.



For more verses that use the striking image of the bent back of old age, see the supreme example,


Note for grammar fans: There ought to be an 'of' in the first part of the second line, so that the embrace could be empty/devoid 'of' advantage or benefit from you. But it's not there, so we have to take the line as colloquially abrupt rather than grammatically polished.