yih chhe;R dekh ha;Ns ke ru;x-e zard par mire
kahtaa hai miir rang to ab kuchh nikhar chalaa

1) look at this provocation/jest/taunt: laughing at my pallid face--
2) she says, 'Mir, your color/complexion has now somewhat cleared'



chhe;R : 'Touching, touch, handling, passing the hand over; meddling with, molesting, molestation, provocation, excitement, irritating, irritation, vexing, vexation, worrying, annoying ;—touching up, stirring up, making active; action, activity, stir; incitement, stimulus, fillip; —dalliance, flirtation, amorous intercourse or skirmishing; jest, fun'. (Platts p.468)


nikharnaa : 'To be cleaned, be cleared; to be settled; to be clarified; to be strained; —to be peeled; to be skinned; —to settle; to become clear, to clear (as the complexion, or the sky, &c.); —to become composed, or serene'. (Platts p.1150)

S. R. Faruqi:

This too is one way to laugh at ourself-- that when someone else laughs at us, then we too would join in, or at least definitely feel pleasure. This skill isn't bestowed on everybody. The present verse is a good example of this. This situation of laughing at oneself cannot be attained without presenting one's ego before someone else. After one has looked at such verses, the words of Muhammad Hasan Askari have a special appeal-- that Mir doesn't cause his ego to bow down before the Lord, or religion, or any ideal; rather, he causes it to bow down before humans like himself.

A verse of this kind is in the fourth divan as well [{1386,9}]:

sho;xii to dekho aap hii kahaa aa))o bai;Tho miir
puuchhaa kahaa;N to bole kih mere zabaan par

[look at the mischievousness-- she herself said, come, sit down, Mir
when I asked 'where?' then she said, 'on my tongue']

Sauda has presented the theme of the present verse like this, almost in Mir's very words:

saudaa ke zard chahre ko sho;xii kii raah se
kahtaa hai teraa rang to kuchh ab nikhar chalaa

[about Sauda's pallid face, by way of mischievousness,
she says, 'your complexion has now somewhat cleared up']

Since Sauda's and Mir's ghazals are formally identical [ham-:tar;h], it's possible that 'coincidence' [tavaarud] might have taken place. Or perhaps Mir might have composed a ghazal 'on' a ghazal [;Gazal par ;Gazal kahnaa] of Sauda's, and might have taken over Sauda's theme.



Presumably the humor lies in the mischievous beloved's observation that Mir's face 'now' has 'cleared' (in the sense of attaining serenity or overcoming anger; see the definition above), as though he had formerly been flushed with rage. But of course she knows perfectly well that his face is not 'serene' but pallid; and not because of restored composure but because of passion, sickness, and general wretchedness.

It really isn't very funny; it's more along the lines of the cruelly sharp mockery that is one of her trademarks. But of course, nothing in the verse indicates that 'Mir', and/or the lover-persona, does think it's funny. See the definition of chhe;R for the full range of possibilities-- among which are, of course, 'molestation', 'vexation,' 'dalliance,' and 'amorous flirtation'.