dil me;N rahaa nah kuchh to kiyaa ham ne .zab:t-e shauq
yih shahr jab tamaam lu;Taa tab nasaq hu))aa

1) when nothing remained in the heart, then we controlled our ardor
2) when this city was wholly looted, then it came under order/arrangement



nasaq : 'Order; series; method, way, manner; —arrangement; management; —connection; —style, mode of writing'. (Platts p.1138)

S. R. Faruqi:

nasaq honaa = to come under arrangement/governance

The things that have been expressed in these two lines-- Mir has composed them in a number of places, and has frequently composed them in various new colors/styles. But this verse is such that no matter how proud he was of it, that was still too little. For longings to emerge from the heart, or for no more yearning to remain-- that is, for enthusiasm to become cold or for courage to become cold-- Mir has written this in many places. In the present verse, by saying dil me;N rahaa nah kuchh he has created the scope for all these things. For example, that courage no longer remained, that strength for endurance no longer remained, the fervor of youth no longer remained.

In short, all those things through which the heart is truly a heart, were finished. That is, they were erased, or were expended. When such a thing had already taken place, then we brought our ardor under control; that is, we renounced the expression of it, or renounced the ardor itself, or stopped the ardor from overcoming us.

Now in the second line the opinion expressed about this event-- sarcasm, pride, sorrow over a melancholy outcome, all these feelings and moods are at once encompassed. An epitome [iijaaz-e bayaan], and a paradox, and a metaphor-- all have come together. The turmoil of the heart was finished, order and control obtained power over it, when it had been entirely looted. When a city is looted, what even remains to be organized and ordered and controlled? But the city of the heart is the city that must be ruined (that is, must have its existence finished) before it can be brought under control.

In lu;Taa is also the implication that the beloved carried off everything, item by item. But when all those things had been carried off, then the heart had become empty; and when the heart became empty, then the thing for the sake of which (that is, for the sake of the beloved) all these typhoons arose in the heart-- there remained no more interest in it either. That is, care for the beloved had caused the heart to be looted; but when the heart had been looted, then what could longing for the beloved have done?-- the restraint of ardor took place of itself. This is what it is to be 'the sound of one's own breaking' [apnii shikast kii aavaaz ; see


The pleasure is that in the verse there's not so much as a hint of self-pity. To compose such a verse, truly hardihood [jigar] is required. To construct 'the restraint of ardor' as 'order, arrangement' is a metaphor that wouldn't have occurred without 'the city of the heart', but for the mind to move from 'the city of the heart' toward 'the restraint of ardor' is no commonplace thing. The wordplay between .zab:t and nasaq is also fine.



SRF evokes, in passing, the haunting G{71,1}. I'd like to propose another Ghalibian verse worthy to be juxtaposed to the present one:


To me this verse of Ghalib's seems a suitable stylistic compare-and-contrast counterpart, such as SRF proposes in {731,4}.