rahte hai;N yuu;N ;havaas pareshaa;N kih juu;N kahii;N
do tiin aa ke luu;Te musaafir utar rahe;N

1) [my] senses remain distracted/disordered {casually / 'like this'} the way somewhere
2) two or three looted/robbed travelers would come and just sink down



utarnaa : 'To come down, descend, alight, land, disembark, dismount; ... to be taken down, lowered, reduced, disgraced, degraded, deposed, dethroned; to decrease, abate, subside, fall off, wane, fade, decay, decline; to become old and worn, become wan or pale or thin; to fall (in price, value, estimation or dignity); to go down or off, sink'. (Platts p.16)

S. R. Faruqi:

The simile is extremely fresh, and seems to be of Mir's own devising. With regard to 'senses distracted', to say 'two or three travelers' is fine, because there are five senses, and in 'two or three travelers' there's the suggestion that the rest of the senses have already been lost. Then, a collection of two and three makes five. For looted, destroyed travelers to come into some saray and sink down there, is close to everyday life as well; thus the simile is at once effective.

This theme he has also used, having made it very light, elsewhere in the second divan [{1003,8}]:

ab .sabr-o-hosh-o-((aql kii mere yih hai ma((aash
juu;N qaafilah lu;Taa kahii;N aa kar utar rahe

[now of my endurance and awareness and wisdom, this is the subsistence
like a looted caravan, to come somewhere and just sink down]

In the fourth divan, he has presented this same theme in an even weaker style [{1531,7}]:

((aashiq ;xaraab-;haal hai;N tere gire pa;Re
juu;N lashkar-e shikastah pareshaa;N utar rahe

[your lovers, lying fallen around, are in a wretched state
the way a defeated army, distracted/disordered, would just sink down]

The narrative [ma;haakaatii] atmosphere that's in the word 'traveler', is found neither in 'caravan' nor in 'army'. We can see that to come near to the proper scene, and to the life of the theme, do not guarantee excellence. Until the correct and meaning-filled word is found, everything else remains ineffective or of little effect. For this reason the record of the Progressives' nazms has already become worse than the record of the ancients-- for they didn't excel in the search for the [ideal] word.



Here SRF singles out for praise a quality of 'narrativity' [ma;haakaat] that is clearly allied to 'dramaticness' (the English word), which he even more emphatically admires. For an explicit definition of 'narrativity', see {1646,3}. In his view, both of these qualities are specialties of Mir's; but here, he shows us that Mir doesn't always score a direct hit-- sometimes he finds not the perfect word, but a word generally in the ballpark, which isn't at all the same thing. SRF makes this argument elsewhere too of course, but here it comes through unusually well even in English. Even in translation the relative effectiveness of the three verses can be distinctly felt.

The narrative effect is also greatly helped by utar rahe;N . There are so many senses of utarnaa (see the partial definition above), and they so well cover the range of what happens to travelers who have been 'looted'.

Note for translation fans: It's just as hard to capture utar rahe;N as it is to capture mar rahe;N in {892,1}. The grammar is straightforward: 'having sunk down, to remain [thus]' -- in effect, utar kar rahe;N with the kar colloquially omitted. The implied sense of dismay, helplessness, delayed shock, is readily generated by our own narrative imaginations. But how best to capture it in English? Not quite 'collapse', but something in that ballpark.