jal jal ke sab ((imaarat-e dil ;xaak ho ga))ii
kaise nagar ko aah mu;habbat ne dii hai aag

1) having burned and burned, the whole edifice/structure of the heart became dust/ashes

2a) to what kind of a city, ah! has love set fire?!
2b) how has love set fire, ah! to the city?!



S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse there's a great deal of 'mood', and very little 'meaning-creation'. In the first line he's called the heart an edifice; in the second line there's a mention of a city to which love set fire. Apparently, between the two lines there's a shortage of 'connection'. But in reality in the second line 'city' is a metaphor for the body-- that is, the whole body caught fire. The body has the position of a city, and the heart is a single house within it. This very point of meaning has lifted the verse out of the circle of mood alone, and given it depths. In Mir, mood and meaning-creation often come together; in the use of this device he has no equal.

For the edifice of the heart to burn down and turn to ashes is indeed an excellent everyday usage; it also suggests that the edifice burned down several times-- that is, it burned down a little at a time. (See


In the second line the insha'iyah structure is also fine. Here the word aah has been used very eloquently, because it not only strengthens the insha'iyah structure, but also has an affinity with the theme of 'fire'. (Smoke is used as a simile for a sigh.)



If instead of aah mu;habbat we were to add an izafat and read aah-e mu;habbat , we would have 'the sigh of love', which might have been just the thing to fan the sparks of passion into a conflagration (the way a bellows works on a fire). To me this at first seemed possibly even a better reading, since it added specificity and 'connection'. But of course, a sigh can only fan an existing fire, not start one afresh; and the setting of a fire is what is reported in the second line.

The second line takes particularly fine advantage of kaise , which can be either an adjective (2a) or an adverb (2b). And in either case, the resulting insha'iyah phrase can be either a question or an exclamation. (Like other interrogatives, kaise too shows much of the same behavior as does kyaa .)