jaa;N-gudaaz itnii kahaa;N aavaaz-e ((uud-o-chang hai
dil ke se naalo;N kaa un pardo;N me;N kuchh aahang hai

1) how/'where' is the sound of the lute and dulcimer life-melting to this extent?!
2) in those strings {there is / is there} some harmony/melody of laments like those of the heart?!



aahang : 'Design, purpose, intention; method, manner; sound, concord, melody'. (Platts p.111)

S. R. Faruqi:

Ghalib asked an interesting question:


Mir's opening-verse, although as a verse it is a bit limp/loose, can be a reply to Ghalib's question-- if when hearing music the heart wants to leap out of the breast, is the reason for this that in the sound of the dulcimer and lute is a style like that of the heart's sigh?

In Mir's verse there are two implications. The first is that if the lament would emerge from the heart, then in it there's the same attractiveness that exists in music. The second implication is one of measuredness-- that the lament that has emerged from the heart is rhythmic/measured, it has harmony in it. Ghalib:


When judged by Mir's standard, his present verse is commonplace, but it's also not entirely devoid of pleasure.



The kahaa;N in the first line could be used to open up the can of delightful worms that is the 'kya effect'; together with the two possibilities-- interrogative and informative-- of the second line, we could unpack a set of permutations. But because the verse itself isn't that complex, it hardly seems necessary.

Note for translation fans: What to do with the exotic instruments ((uud-o-chang ? If there's only one stringed instrument involved, 'lute' is the traditional basic choice. But if there are two? I chose 'dulcimer' because of its general similarity, and also its beautiful name. What's not desirable is something like 'violin', which sounds too specifically Western-classical, or 'guitar', which sounds too specifically Western-popular. It's better to have names that are more exotic and flexible, less pre-contextualized. In most ghazal verses it's obvious that the exact identity of the instruments is not in play (sorry, sorry), so we can go with such reasonable stringed-instrument choices. If we failed to find any, or felt that the exact instruments needed to be specified, we could always convert the Urdu names into English words; but this tactic should be saved for cases in which it's really necessary.