mu;Nh us ke mu;Nh ke uupar shaam-o-sa;har rakhuu;N huu;N
ab haath se diyaa hai sar-rishtah mai;N adab kaa

1) my mouth on her mouth, evening and morning, I keep
2) now from my hand I've let slip the connection/cord of courtesy/discipline



adab : 'Discipline, training; deportment; good breeding; good manners, politeness, courtesy, urbanity; etiquette'. (Platts p.31)


sar-rishtah : 'End of a cord or thread, &c.; rope, cord, thread, line; series; connexion, affinity; rule, practice, course, custom, usage, form; rites, ceremonies'. (Platts p.653)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the verse, there's an impressive expression of the relish of union, and that's a fine thing in itself.

There's another point as well. Union with the beloved took place, there wasn't even any barrier in between them; but courtesy forbade it, thus he didn't have the courage for the game. Gradually the stage came when he placed his mouth on hers. Then the time came when he began to keep his mouth on hers, night and day. He forgot all courtesy and formality.

But this didn't come to pass immediately, and there still remained a feeling that perhaps in this placing of mouth on mouth there might be some discourtesy taking place. The word 'now' is worthy of praise.

The image of placing mouth upon mouth, he's versified in another verse, but there the situation is one of respect for courtesy. In the third divan:


On the theme of courtesy, see


in which there's discussion of verses based on the theme of the lover's still staying far from the beloved, despite having turned to dust. In addition, see


In the placing of the mouth on the beloved's mouth there's also an implication that if the beloved might want to say something (for example, 'that's enough now', 'we're tired', etc.), then she doesn't even get a chance.

[See also {907,4}.]



The wordplay of 'mouth', 'mouth', 'hand', and 'head' [sar] is of course conspicuous.

The 'connection' of courtesy/discipline has now been replaced by the connection of lips. The 'cord' of courtesy/discipline has been released from the 'hand' because it has been replaced by the bondage of passion maintained by the lips. Really sar-rishtah is the center of the verse.

This verse is one of the extremely rare ones that envision 'union' as something real, present, available over time. The lover for once is even masterful toward the beloved. This certainly makes it a verse in which the beloved seems not to be God.