vuh turk-e mast kisuu kii ;xabar nahii;N rakhtaa
kih mai;N shikaar-e zabuu;N huu;N jigar nahii;N rakhtaa

1) that intoxicated Turk pays no attention to anybody
2) {since / in that / may it not be that} I am a vile/weak/unlucky prey, I have no liver/spirit



;xabar rakhnaa ( - kii ) : 'To be informed (of), be acquainted (with); to bear in mind; to be on the look out or alert'. (Platts p.486)


zabuu;N : 'Weak, infirm, helpless; vile, evil, ill, bad, wicked, faulty; unfortunate, unlucky'. (Platts p.615)


jigar : 'The liver; the vitals; the heart; mind; spirit, courage, pluck; kernel, core'. (Platts p.384)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction. But there's a pleasure in it too. He has given as a proof of the carelessness of the beloved, that she doesn't even know that I'm a commonplace prey, I don't even have a liver-- so what benefit will she get from killing me? But there's also the aspect that I'm be-jigar (that is, I have no courage, or I have a great deal of courage; be-jigar is used with both meanings).

In the second line kih can also mean 'may it not be that'; in this case, the meaning of the whole verse becomes entirely new. In the first line he complained that in the intoxication of pride, or in the intoxication of beauty, the intoxicated beloved pays no attention to anyone. In the second line a new thought has appeared, that the Lord knows whether the beloved is careless, or-- may it not be that only/emphatically I am a vile and liver-less prey, and for this reason the beloved is not inclined to hunt for me.

[See also {695,6}.]



The versatility of kih is on fine display here. It can introduce a causal explanation (the beloved ignores the lover because she considers him to be a low-value prey). It can introduce a loosely-framed explanatory cause (she ignores him; well, that's not surprising because he's a low-value prey). It can introduce quoted words, whether spoken aloud or merely framed in the mind (she ignores me; 'I'm a low-value prey'). The reading that SRF advances, 'may it not be the case that' [kahii;N aisaa to nah ho kih], seems to be based on the quoted-words possibility, supplying a colloquially-omitted kyaa in order to turn the second line into an indignant or desperate or rhetorical question (she ignores me-- oh no, might it be that I a low-value prey?!).

The tension between the beloved's paying no heed to 'anybody' [kisuu kii] in the first line, and the exclusive focus on 'I' [mai;N] in the second line, also opens up possibilities for speculation. Does she ignore everybody in the same way, or does she judge the speaker to be particularly ignorable? Or, as SRF speculates, does her general indifference prevent her from even noticing that the speaker is a particularly unworthy prey?

There's one more ambiguity in the second line: the two statements 'I am a vile prey' and 'I have no liver/spirit' are simply juxtaposed, with no indication of the connection between them. Are they parallel statements elaborating on the speaker's condition? Or do they have a cause and effect relationship? And if they do, then which way-- is the lover vile because he lacks a liver/spirit, or does he lack a liver/spirit because he's vile?