in sa;xtiyo;N me;N kis kaa miilaan ;xvaab par thaa
baalii;N kii jaa))e par shab yaa;N sang zer-e sar thaa

1) in these difficulties/severities, who had a meeting/encounter/'union' with a dream?!
2) in place of a pillow, at night, here, a stone was under the head



sa;xtii : 'Hardness, stiffness, rigidity, firmness; tightness; stinginess; obduracy, obstinacy; intenseness, intensity, vehemence, severity; harshness, asperity; sternness, austereness; violence, atrocity; cruelty; grievance, hardship; adversity, indigence, distress, difficulty, evil, calamity'. (Platts p.644)


milaan : 'The bringing together or into contact; causing to mingle; forming a mixture; bringing about harmony, or reconciliation (between), adjustment (of differences, &c.), reconcilement, union; unison; producing harmony (in music); —comparing, comparison (of); —society, company'. (Platts p.1063)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction. But nevertheless, this verse is better than the one of Atish's that is noted in {11,4}.



Is the stone under the desperate, solitary lover's head meant to prevent him from the un-lover-like act of sleeping? Or might the 'severities' of his condition include a tendency to tear his pillow to shreds, or render it sodden with tears? In such cases, a stone might be a more durable substitute, and one altogether suitable to the 'hardnesses, harshnesses' (with wonderful wordplay; see the definition of sa;xtii above) of his condition.

The enjoyable phrasing of the first line both evokes the dream of 'union' and rhetorically rejects it; dreams are delicate, insubstantial, (sometimes) beautiful, (sometimes) satisfying-- and thus in every way the opposite of the harsh, all too real 'severities' of the lover's situation. Then the second line presents us with the vision of the restless head's 'union' (in a sense) with a stone. The stone might also come in handy if the lover's despair grew so acute that he needed something to bash his head against.