;xuu;N-rezii me;N ham suu;N kii jo ;xaak-baraabar hai;N
kab sar to faro laayaa himmat tirii ((aalii hai

1) in the blood-shedding of ones like us, who are equal to dust,
2) when did you bring your head low?! -- your courage is lofty!



S. R. Faruqi:

This theme is common-- that some lovers are worthy of being slain, and some are so unfortunate, or of so little value, that they're not even worth slaying. See






In these verses there's the aspect of sorrow or hope, but among them the present verse is distinguished by its bitter and sarcastic tone. In the second line the same structure has been used as in the previous verse [{584,7}], a negative rhetorical question (for which no answer is possible). Then after it a response has been offered ( himmat tirii ((aalii hai )-- and a response from which poison is dripping the way it drips from a poison-needle.

An additional excellence is that the speaker has said directly to the beloved, as if he were conversing with her face to face. The image in kab sar to faro laayaa is also superb, because in order to slay people who are 'equal to the dust', it will of course be necessary to bend down. But another meaning is that 'You slew people like us with your head up high-- you didn't take even the trouble to lower your head! If you had lowered your head, then perhaps we would have seen you; now you haven't given us even that opportunity!'

If we keep this meaning in the foreground, then the sarcasm of himmat tirii ((aalii hai becomes even sharper/clearer: what a 'lofty courage' it is, that she hasn't even spared a glance for those equal to the dust, nor has she given them the chance to look at her! Now another possibility comes into view: that perhaps she might not even have done the killing with her head up high, but rather might have trampled on the victims and then moved on. In such a case, what question would there be of her bending her head down to look at us who had been flattened into the dust? On the theme of trampling and moving on, how well Ghalib has said,


About the helplessness of those trampled into the dust, Mir has said in the first divan itself [{588,1}],

kyaa ;Gam me;N vaise ;xaak-fitaadah se ho sake
daaman paka;R ke yaar kaa jo ;Tuk nah ro sake

[in grief, what would such a dust-flattened one be able to do
who would not be able even to seize the beloved's garment-hem and weep a bit?]

But here the speaker seems to be less a lover than a beggar who has been flattened into the dust. In the present verse, there's the aspect of a powerful dignity and an extraordinary disdain for the beloved. He's composed a superb verse.



I have nothing special to add to SRF's fine exposition.