shikastah-baalii ko chaahe to ham se .zaamin le
asiir mausam-e gul me;N hame;N nah kar .saiyaad

1) if you would wish, then take from us broken-wingedness as a surety/pledge--
2) in the rose-season, don't make us a prisoner, Hunter!



.zaamin : 'A surety, guarantee; security, sponsor, bail, bondsman'. (Platts p.748)

S. R. Faruqi:

The thought in this verse is entirely new. The situation of conversing with the Hunter is also new; and the theme that's been mentioned in the first line, of making a pledge to the Hunter-- that too is untouched. He wants to stroll around and take in the rose-season, and enjoy it, but the Hunter has captured him.

Now he says to the Hunter, 'In this rose-season don't make us a captive-- when spring is over, then seize us and take us away, or we ourself will surrender to your custody. If you want a pledge-- that is, if you want a surety that after the rose-season you will get me, then here: I give my broken wings as a surety.' There can be several meanings for this:

(1) My wings are broken in any case, where can I run off to?
(2) You yourself break my wings, then I won't be able to go anywhere.
(3) You've injured my wing with your arrow-shots-- now that wounded wing is itself a proof that I cannot run away.

In the first meaning there are several sources of pleasure:

(1) He was captured in the first place because he was broken-winged.
(2) How stony-hearted that Hunter must be, who hunts down a broken-winged bird!
(3) He is broken-winged because he had previously been captured by somebody; now he has somehow managed to get free.
(4) Broken-wingedness, which is a proof of physical weakness, is also a proof of the strength of his pledge.

In the verse there's an extraordinary kind of melancholy, helplessness, and dignity. Although he has been abased by the Hunter in every way, he hasn't been entirely conquered by him. Rather, he's making him a pledge that is worthy of the dignity of a defeated but honorable foe.



The bird addresses the Hunter intimately, as tuu . So perhaps the Hunter in this case is indeed the beloved herself.