ko))ii bijlii kaa ;Tuk;Raa ab talak bhii
pa;Raa hogaa hamaare aashiyaa;N me;N

1) some 'piece of lightning', even/also up till now
2) will be lying/fallen in our nest



S. R. Faruqi:

The phrase bijlii kaa ;Tuk;Raa is in itself very eloquent; on top of that, there's the freshness of the theme. There are also several aspects of meaning. The image becomes that when lightning struck the nest, then the lightning spontaneously broke into bits. Or after reducing the nest to ashes, the lightning went back, but when it left, it left a piece of itself (a piece of its liver?) there. Perhaps because it too had come to have some kind of attraction toward the nest. Or perhaps so that if the nest would again become inhabited, then it could at once be reduced to ashes.

If we consider pa;Raa hogaa , then the possibility appears that this could be a situation like that of Ghalib's


That is, lightning is a 'home-born' slave [;xaanah-zaad] of ours. Carelessly he says, 'Oh yeah [ajii], you're looking for lightning? Even now you'll find a bit of it in some corner of our cluttered-up nest.' For example, we say '.saa;hib , hazaar tabaahii hai , lekin vuh log aise ga))e gu;zre bhii nahii;N hai;N _ aise aise ;xazaane ya javahir to ab bhii un ke ghar ke kisii goshe me;N pa;Re mil jaa))e;Nge '. That is, lightning and its destructive power have no importance for us. Then, since he hasn't made any direct mention of the destruction of the nest, the conclusion can also be drawn that no doubt lightning fell, but it couldn't do any damage to the nest.

There's also the aspect that the verse can be interrogative. That is, lightning fell on the nest; we left the nest and came out, to save our life. Or, we weren't even there when the lightning struck. Now when we want to go back, someone forbids us: 'Don't go back, there's still lightning left in your nest'; or, 'The nest is still burning (a 'piece of lightning'=fire)'. In reply to that, the speaker asks, 'Although so much time has passed, will there even now be lightning present in our nest?'.

Through 'a piece of lightning' [bijlii kii ;Tuk;Raa], the mind is drawn toward 'a piece of the moon' [chaa;Nd kaa ;Tuk;Raa], meaning 'a very beautiful person' (thus, the beloved). Now the meaning emerges that we were ruined a thousand times over, but the image of the beloved even now is present in the harvest of our life-- that is, in our spirit and heart.



It's such a simple-looking verse in its structure and its words, yet it's been made so exciting by its newness and so complex by its ambiguities. To me it even feels like a specially, brilliantly, 'unattainably simple' verse-- what is it except a single unpretentious statement (possibly in the presumptive)?

The statement itself can be so simple because the necessary background knowledge required for interpretation has been outsourced to the ghazal world in general. And also because in creating the underlying ambiguities, Mir has taken such clever advantage of the intricacy of that world. And then, SRF has explicated its subtleties so persuasively. It's such a pleasure to read and contemplate 'simple' verses like this one.