yih bastiyaa;N uja;R ke kahii;N bastiyaa;N bhii hai;N
dil ho gayaa ;xaraab jahaa;N phir rahaa ;xaraab

1) these towns having become ruined-- somewhere/perhaps there are even/also towns

2a) the heart became ruined-- the world then remained ruined
2b) where the heart became ruined, it then remained ruined



kahii;N : 'Somewhere; anywhere; wherever, whithersoever; —ever, anyhow, by any chance; ever-so-much, far, greatly; —may be, perhaps, peradventure'. (Platts p.886)


iihaam : 'Causing a blunder, deceiving, misleading, puzzling; exciting suspicion; omission, neglect; ambiguity, amphibology; insinuation'. (Steingass p.134)

S. R. Faruqi:

He has expressed this theme again and again. For example, in the first divan:


In the present verse the 'iham of sound' [iihaam-e .saut] of bastiyaa;N , and the iham of jahaa;N , is fine. If we read the second line as dil ho gayaa ;xaraab , jahaa;N phir rahaa ;xaraab , then jahaa;N means 'world'. And if we place the pause after jahaa;N , then jahaa;N has its usual meaning.

The same pleasure is in the word kahii;N . The word in both its meanings (temporal and locational [zamaanii aur makaanii]) is doing its proper work.



What SRF means by the 'iham of sound' [iihaam-e .saut] of bastiyaa;N is that initially the listener can perfectly well hear yih bastii yaa;N , 'this town, here' instead of yih bastiyaa;N , 'these towns'. After all, the line might perfectly well say 'This town, here, having become ruined-- somewhere/perhaps there are other towns too'. Not until actually seeing the words in writing can one be sure of how the line actually goes. This is in one sense a classical iham, since it involves deliberate misdirection that the listener can correct only through later information; but of course, it isn't a really strict Mir-defined iham, because it doesn't involve a word with two meanings, one common and one rare.

And in fact if it's an iham it's an unusual and rather un-sporting one, since there's no way a listener at the mushairah could be sure of the correct wording. Thus the listeners would be unable to feel the sudden shock of mental pleasure as the second line enables them suddenly to reconfigure and reinterpret the verse. The fact that the second line concerns a single thing, the 'heart', might in fact reinforce the reading of 'this city, here' in the first line. If we discovered that Mir had originally written yih bastii yaa;N and some scribal error had produced yih bastiyaa;N , would we have any trouble believing it?

In any case, I can't at all see why jahaa;N would be an iham. After all, both meanings work perfectly well grammatically and semantically, and it's impossible to make a definitive choice of one over the other, as SRF himself shows. He describes the choice as a question of where to place a pause [vaqfah]; in my terminology it's a 'midpoint' situation. It could be argued that the metrical flow and the possible semantic parallelism both somewhat favor (2a); but certainly not so much so as to deprive (2b) of its own dramatically rebalanced rhythm and focus. And of course, if we can and do have two meanings, why should we seek to reject either one of them? If the heart of iham is 'misdirection' or 'causing a blunder' (see the definition above), then jahaa;N cannot in this verse be an iham. For further discussion of iham, see {178,1}.