bahut muddat ga))ii hai ab ;Tuk aa mil
kahaa;N tak ;xaak me;N mai;N to gayaa mil

1) a long time has passed; now, {please just / 'a little'} come and meet me
2) to what an extent, after all, have I mingled with the dust?!



S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction, but in the second line there's definitely a bit of a point. One meaning is, how far (that is, very far-- as far as the limits of body and life) have I mingled with the dust! A second meaning is, from where to where have I mingled with the dust?

If we take kahaa;N tak as a separate utterance, and consider that after it comes a question mark, then the meaning emerges, 'to what an extent does this cruelty go?

The zila between aa and gayaa is also fine.



SRF is describing what might be called the 'kahan effect', a variant of the 'kya effect'. The possibilities unfurl elegantly:

=To what an extent I have mingled with the dust! (an affirmative exclamation)

=To what extent have I mingled with the dust? (a question)

=As if I have to any extent mingled with the dust! (an exclamation of repudiation)

=To what an extent (is this cruelty, which has caused me almost to mingle with the dust)?!

The one that he doesn't mention is the third, but it too works well with the first line: 'Come and see me, beloved-- it's been a long time, but it's not as if I've died, it's not as if I've mingled with the dust! You can't use that as an excuse for your negligence!'