vuh jo kashish thii us kii :taraf se kahaa;N hai ab
tiir-o-kamaa;N hai haath me;N siinah nishaa;N hai ab

1) that attraction/pull that there was from her side-- where is it now?
2) an arrow and bow are in her hand-- the breast is a target now



kashish : 'A drawing; a pull; attraction; allurement; ... lingering, tardiness, delay; trial, difficulty, pressure ... ; discord, difference, misunderstanding'. (Platts p.836)

S. R. Faruqi:

In Urdu nishaa;N instead of nishaanah (to mean 'target') is rarely used. To use the word in this sense in Urdu has the power of freshness [taazagii]. The theme of the verse itself is absolutely fresh. Formerly from the beloved's side there was an attraction, that used to draw us near to her. Now there's no such attraction, and the proof is that she has taken a bow and arrow in her hand and is making our breast a target.

The point is that she shoots an arrow at someone who would be at some distance. If someone would be absolutely within arm's length, then an arrow cannot be shot at him, because the arrow needs some scope. If there had been attraction/drawing from the beloved's side, then we would have been entirely and totally close to her; there wouldn't have been enough distance for an arrow to be able to fly.

The enjoyable part is that to die, or to be wounded, at the beloved's hands is an auspicious thing for the lover, and here he has considered even this desirable event to be a proof of the inferiority of his fortune.



Well, how do we know that the lover considers his being targeted by the beloved's arrow to be 'a proof of the inferiority of his fortune'? How do we know, in other words, that the 'tone' of the verse is one of lamentation or complaint? Couldn't it also be wryly amused, or neutrally chronicle-like, or wondering and surprised, or even ecstatic at the imminence of death? The lover might be expressing his delight at the replacement of lesser attentions by greater ones, on the beloved's part. This verse is another one in which questions of 'tone' arise; for discussion, see {724,2}.