.saa;hibii kaisii jo tum ko bhii ko))ii tum saa milaa
phir to ;xvaarii be-vaqaari bandah-parvar ho so ho

1) what kind of lordliness?! -- since even/also to you someone like you was obtained/available
2) thus, then-- abjectness, lack of dignity, oh Servant-cherisher-- 'what will be, will be'!



.saa;hibii : 'Rule, command, sway, influence, lording; lordliness'. (Platts p.742)


;xvaarii : 'Contemptibleness, meanness, baseness, vileness; abjectness, friendlessness, wretchedness, distress'. (Platts p.494)


vaqaar : 'Gravity; sedateness, steadiness, staidness, fixity, constancy; —dignity, honour, majesty, authority; reputation; estimation'. (Platts p.1197)


bandah-parvar : 'Cherisher of servants or dependants, patron; your honour, your worship'. (Platts p.170)

S. R. Faruqi:

The word .saa;hibii is a special word of Mir's. The theme too has been expressed in a tone so informal, humorous, and more or less extravagant, and the word bandah-parvar is so sarcastic-- all this is Mir's special style. The young Ghalib too took this theme (and the probability is that he took it from Mir), but he gave it his own coloring. In his verse, there's none of Mir's informality and playfulness:


The beloved in Ghalib's verse is a picture of youthful grief, and the speaker's tone conveys a light kind of tranquility and a melancholy dignity. In it there's none of Mir's style of triumphalism. Such a verse is written by a youth. And a verse like Mir's, only people who have seen the world, like old foxes, can compose. Ghalib had in any case a very empathic temperament, but in the verse he remains a bit detached. He must certainly have been acquainted with Mir's verse, but he doesn't imitate Mir.

The word bandah-parvar too he used in a ghazal from just the same period as the verse I have noted above:


Here there is cheerfulness/playfulness, and to call the beloved bandah-parvar is also superb in its ostentatious formality. But Mir's bandah-parvar is in a defensive mode, and his speaker is impudent and uncouth.

In Mir's verse, there's more than one meaning. The first is that .saa;hibii kaisii can mean: (1) Why this lordliness toward us? (2) Not to speak of lordliness! (3) As if lordliness would remain, at such a time!

The second is that tum ko bhii ko))ii tum saa milaa has two meanings: (1) as beautiful as you; (2) as stony-hearted as you.

The third point is that the word bandah-parvar is even more effective here than in Ghalib's verse, because the person who is being called bandah-parvar is having her abjectness and disgrace foretold. In Ghalib's verse, there's a light kind of sarcasm and a touch of irritation. In Mir's verse, this word is as sharp as a dagger. He's composed a fine verse.



The permutations of kaisii depend on the same mechanism as what I call the 'kya effect', so that there are three basic readings, and all three work here: an affirmative exclamation ('What a kind of lordliness this is!'), a negative exclamation ('As if this is any kind of lordliness!'), and a question ('What kind of lordsliness is this?').

If the beloved has been (un)fortunate enough to find someone like herself, with whom she has (by implication) fallen in love, what does this fate imply? As SRF notes, it could be that the new beloved is someone as beautiful as she, or someone as stony-hearted. But the only point that interests the speaker is that the result will be 'abjectness and lack of dignity'-- a wonderful pair, ;xvaarii be-vaqaarii , with a resonant internal rhyme. The clear implication is that he knows what will be the result of loving a beloved 'like her', because he himself has already had that experience, so that he anticipates with relish how she will be abased and made to suffer.

Then when he calls her bandah-parvar the effect is additionally delightful. Most centrally, by addressing her as 'Servant-cherisher' just after he has clearly implied that those who love and serve her are abused and humiliated, he has guaranteed that the epithet will be read sarcastically. And by addressing her humbly as 'Servant-cherisher' even while noting her coming downfall from her position of superiority, he confirms how essentially downtrodden and devoted her lovers remain. Then to round out a brilliant line, the ho so ho marks the complete inevitability of the outcome.