;Duubaa lohuu me;N pa;Raa thaa hamagii paikar miir
yih nah jaanaa kih lagii :zulm kii talvaar kahaa;N

1) Mir had fallen/lain with his whole form/face drowned in blood
2) they/we/he didn't know where the sword of tyranny had struck



pa;Rnaa : 'To fall, drop; to fall down, drop down; to lie, lie down, recline, repose; to lie idle, useless, or unoccupied; to be set or laid aside; to be laid up, be prostrated'. (Platts p.261)

S. R. Faruqi:

Along with helplessness and innocence, complaint and the admixture of drama have bestowed on this verse an uncommon power. By complaint is not meant that in this verse there's any complainer, or that in it is a tone of complaint. Rather, this whole verse is an embodied complaint-- that is, on helplessness and the death of the helpless one, no more sympathetic comment than this can exist.

In the verse, there are additional aspects of meaning. In the second line, kahaa;N has two meanings: (1) on which part of the body; and (2) in which place, on which occasion. That is, it's possible that the sword of tyranny might have struck somewhere far from the place where Mir's blood-drenched body is lying. Having been wounded, Mir goes, stumbling and staggering, in some direction (for example, toward his house, toward friends). Finally in some place death comes upon him.

For yih nah jaanaa three meanings can be intended: (1) Mir himself didn't know on which part of his body the sword of tyranny had struck; (2) the speaker wasn't able to know where the sword had struck-- that is, in which place; (3) the speaker too, like Mir, wasn't able to know on which part of his body the sword had struck; he had only seen Mir's corpse entirely drenched in blood.

Qa'im has taken this theme in the direction of mystical absorption. He too has brought out a fine verse. Though indeed, it doesn't have a 'dramaticness' like Mir's:

za;xm yaksaa;N hai dil-o-jaa;N me;N nigah kii terii
kuchh nah samjhaa mai;N kih yih tiir kidhar se gu;zraa

[the wound of your gaze is the same, in the heart and the life
I didn't at all understand where this arrow had passed through]

In Qa'im's verse, the meaning too is less than in Mir's. Atish too has taken up the aspect of ardor and absorption, but in his verse the exposition, wordiness, and artificialness are great, and the meaning is very little:

yih ishtiyaaq-e shahaadat me;N ma;hv thaa dam-e qatl
lage hai;N za;xm badan par kahaa;N nahii;N ma((luum

[I was so absorbed in the ardor for martyrdom, at the moment of killing
where on the body the wounds have occurred, I don't know]

Mir himself took merely one aspect of this theme, and composed it in the first divan like this [{470,9}]:

kushte kaa us ke za;xm nah :zaahir hu))aa kih miir
kis jaa))e us shahiid ke te;G-e jafaa lagii

[the wound of her slain one was not apparent, Mir--
in what place on that martyr the sword-blow of cruelty fell]

In the present verse, the speaker too has several aspects: (1) Mir's corpse has been brought to his house/neighborhood/town, and the speaker is the person who has brought the corpse; (2) the speaker is someone who has seen Mir's corpse somewhere in the road, and now he's come and is bringing people the news; (3) the speakers are several people who are discussing Mir's death among themselves.

In the 'sword of tyranny', 'tyranny' can in one sense refer to the 'tyrant'. In another sense it is a direct metaphor: that sword that was wielded with/by tyranny. In the whole verse there's also a kind of mysteriousness, because it hasn't become clear in what circumstances Mir's murder took place. It's a peerless verse.

In this theme, Amir Mina'i created a remarkable and interesting 'coincidence' [tavaarud] with Atish. In miraat ul-;Gaib , Amir Mina'i's verse is:

kiyaa hai ;zauq-e shahaadat ne ma;hv yih dam-e qatl
lage hai;N za;xm kahaa;N jism par nahii;N ma((luum

[the ardor of martyrdom made me so/'this' absorbed at the moment of slaughter
where the wounds appeared on the body, I don't know]

Amir Mina'i's style so resembles Atish's, and Atish's style so resembles Nasikh's, that sometimes it becomes impossible to differentiate among the verses of all three. Mir's melancholy kind of style is not found in anyone else.



The body of 'Mir' has been seen simply lying somewhere, covered in blood. This scene is like a 'gesture', in that it's ultimately nonverbal, unexplained, unknowable. Those who report it can only speculate about the circumstances of his death; and we can do no more than join them in making any number of unverifiable guesses. It might almost be called the 'unknowability trope', parallel to the 'inexpressibility trope'. How convenient they both are, in making tiny verses impossibly multifarious.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line, pa;Raa thaa could be taken as the past perfect, 'had fallen'. Alternatively, it could be taken as the past participle pa;Raa hu))aa thaa , 'was [in a state of] lying', with the hu))aa colloquially omitted. The former reading has more drama, since it conveys a change of state (earlier 'Mir' had been standing, then he fell), while the latter, stative reading has more pathos (he was simply, helplessly, lying there).

Note for meter fans: The first syllable of lohuu has been spelled with a full o , so that it looks set to be a long syllable. But then Mir has scanned it as short, like the modern spelling lahuu . Don't try this at home.