nuq.saan hogaa us me;N nah :zaahir kahaa;N talak
hove;Nge jis zamaane ke .saa;hib-kamaal ham

1) {how / 'until when'} will the harm in it not be manifest?!--
2) the age of which we will be a 'master of accomplishment'



nuq.saan : 'Defect; deficiency; loss; waste; detriment, injury, harm, damage; blemish; prejudice; mischief'. (Platts p.1146)


kamaal : 'Completion, conclusion; perfection; excellence; something wonderful, a wonder'. (Platts p.847)

S. R. Faruqi:

To call one's own age 'unfit to judge worthiness' and to convey in one's age the ascendancy of the unworthy has remained a theme of Urdu and Persian poetry. Thus a very famous verse of a [Persian] ghazal by Hafiz is:

'The Arab steed has been wounded beneath the pack-saddle,
A golden collar can be seen around the neck of every donkey.'

But the theme that Mir has invented here is entirely fresh. He has presented the idea that in the kind of age in which people like us would be described as masters of accomplishment, however much harm would be manifest, it would still be less than the real amount. Then, nuqsaan can mean 'shortage, lack', and also 'the opposite of benefit'-- that is, 'desolation'.

Apparently he has denigrated himself, and has done it very well; but at the same time he has also exalted himself-- that if there's a master of accomplishment in that age, then it's ourself alone, even if our accomplishment would be of no lofty order, and we would in fact be devoid of accomplishment.

In kahaa;N mood and quantity, time and place-- all four are suggested. Look at how the insha'iyah mode gives the speech a fourfold sense. Mir and Ghalib both had a style of thought such that insha'iyah speech was their natural mode.



SRF assumes that the 'harm' in the speaker's being the 'master of accomplishment' of the age would be that he was in fact not very accomplished, or might even be entirely 'devoid of accomplishment'. But surely in the ghazal world, mediocrity is the last fate we'd expect the lover/poet/speaker to experience. Surely it's far more plausible that the speaker's uniquely bad fortune, or the madness generated by his passion, would affect the very age that he lives in (and that he represents by virtue of his poetic accomplishment).

After all, we have many verses in which Mir asserts his uniquely, even cosmically, terrible fortune. For a prime example, consider