:tariiq ;xuub hai aapas kii aashnaa))ii kaa
nah pesh aave agar mar;halah judaa))ii kaa

1a) it's a fine manner/path of mutual familiarity/friendliness--
1b) the manner/path of mutual familiarity/friendliness is a fine thing--

2) if a/the (difficult) stage/journey of separation would not present itself



:tariiq : ''A beaten track,' a road, way, path, course; mode, manner, fashion, &c.'. (Platts p.752)


aashnaa))ii : 'Acquaintance, friendship, intimacy, familiarity; connection, relationship; connection by marriage; illicit love, carnal intercourse'. (Platts p.58)


mar;halah : 'A day's journey, a stage; —the place or time of travelling; a place of alighting or abode; a halting-place, or station, or inn (for travellers)'. (Platts p.1021)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse too is a good example of 'understatement'. See


To call the style ( :tariiq means 'road', but here it also means :tariiqah ) of mutual familiarity-- that is, passion-- only 'fine', and among the troubles of passion to mention only 'separation', and to declare it to be a single difficult stage ( mar;halah = difficult stage) on the road-- that is, not to express it as some life-destroying thing-- is a good usage of understatement.

The condition for using this style successfully is that speaker and listener should both understand very well that the matter is being minimized. If this is not the case then both, or one of them, will be showing ignorance and naivete. The affinity between :tariiq meaning 'road' and mar;halah meaning 'difficult stage' is clear.

[See also {923,1}.]



The first line is so abstract that it's hard to be sure at what level it's to be taken. Here are some of the possibilities:

=My beloved has a particular, fine way of treating me familiarly
=It's fine that my beloved treats me familiarly
=Beloveds have a fine technique for treating their lovers familiarly
=It's fine when beloveds treat their lovers familiarly
=Treating people familiarly is a fine way to behave

Needless to say, in the second line no further clarification is made available. Moreover, the second line itself can be taken as referring either to 'a' stage of separation (one of many stages in a long journey, perhaps even one of many stages of separation), or else to 'the' stage of separation (a particular, unique, and very probably terminal stage).

Thus we don't know whether the verse meditates on the particular behavior of a particular beloved (or of beloveds in general), as in (1a), or on all human attempts at intimacy, as in (1b). It's also not clear whether the encounter with the 'stage of separation' is inevitable (through death), or might result from some contingent external constraint (for whatever reason, one of them is obliged to travel), or could be a matter of happenstance (the beloved may be moody or fickle).

It's tempting to read the verse as sarcastic in tone. But it's also perfectly possible to read it as merely melancholy: 'human intimacy is desirable but, alas, doomed'. This reading is of course less punchy, but why should it be removed from the range of possibilities?

In its radically inscrutable energy the verse recalls Ghalib's even more multivalent version: