kyaa kahe;N paayaa nahii;N jaataa hai kuchh tum kyaa ho myaa;N
kho ga))e dunyaa se tum ho aur ab dunyaa ho myaa;N

1a) what can/might we say-- nothing is found-- what {might/would you be / are you}, sir?!
1b) is nothing found anywhere? what {might/would you be / are you}, sir?!

2) [we] became lost from the world-- you {might/would be / are}, and now the world might/would be, sir



miyaa;N : 'An address expressive of kindness, or respect; Sir! good Sir! good man; master; husband; lord; father'. (Platts p.1103)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse, despair and distaste have mingled in such a way that it's astonishing. A verse of this kind is rare in Eastern poetry. With regard to usage and grammar too, this verse is a glorious example of command over language.

In the first line, there are these sentences:

(1) kyaa kahe;N

(2) paayaa nahii;N jaataa hai kuchh

(3) tum kyaa ho myaa;N

The point is that it hasn't been revealed what you are-- now what can we say? That is, we haven't been able to learn whether you are faithful or unfaithful. We haven't been able to learn whether you are a human or a Pari. We haven't understood what you want from us. We haven't been able to learn whether you are worldly, or free of contamination.

In the second line, there are two sentences, but the second sentence is especially complex:

(1) kho ga))e dunyaa se

(2) tum ho aur ab dunyaa ho myaa;N

That is, we have been lost from the world (have withdrawn from it, have gone away forever, have died); now, may you remain and may the world remain, what do I want from it? Or, now you look after your world, what do I have to do with it? On this reading, the meaning of the first line becomes 'we searched throughout the world in order to understand you, in order to find your reality, but we were not successful'.

From the second line it's clear that there's some sorrow and despair, but there's also distaste and disgust and lack of interest as well. Whatever attachment we had to the world, it was because of you. We couldn't attain your reality (not to speak of meeting you yourself)-- so now, what do we want with the world?

One aspect of the meaning is also that the thought and effort were not to obtain the beloved; it was an effort to understand the beloved. It's possible that after understanding her, obtaining her would have become relatively easy, or possible. But as far as the verse goes the important thing is not union with the beloved, but rather (mystic) knowledge [ma((rifat] of the beloved. A second point is that the wordplay of 'is not found' in the first line and 'became lost' in the second line is very appropriate. He's composed a fine verse.

Then, dunyaa ho aur tuu ho is an idiom. For a detailed discussion of its meaning, see


Mir has also used this expression in such a way that the idiomatic meaning has fallen into the background-- for example, see


In the present verse too, the 'seating' of the meaning seems to be best when in the second line tum ho aur ab dunyaa ho would not be considered as an idiom.



It's also quite possible to read in the first line not kahe;N (1a) but kahii;N (1b). The former is SRF's choice, perhaps because it permits the first line to contain three utterances instead of two. But I prefer (1b), because it more clearly expresses the frustration that is obviously at the heart of the speaker's words. The whole verse is so insha'iyah, so confusingly exclamatory, that in the second line we have to supply the ham to go with kho ga))e for ourselves, since the speaker never indicates a subject.

In both lines, we can read the familiar tum ho either as the indicative ('you are'), or as the future subjunctive ('you might/would be', 'may you be'). (This ambiguity would not be there if the 'you' were addressed either politely as aap or intimately as tuu , so probably Mir created the effect on purpose.) This ambiguity permits in the second line either the subjunctive, idiomatic tum ho aur dunyaa ho reading (a conventional blessing, 'may you live as long as the world exists' or the like, as discussed in {920,2}); or the indicative 'you are, and now the world might/would be' reading with its strongly mystical, Sufistic impetus.

Note for meter fans: In this ghazal miyaa;N has to be read as myaa;N (a permissible variation not reflected in the Urdu spelling) in order to scan.