aa;Nkho;N se hu))ii ;xaanah-;xaraabii-e dil ai kaash
kar lete tabhii band ham un dono;N daro;N ko

1) through the eyes occurred the house-wreckedness of the heart-- oh, if only
2) we had only/emphatically then closed both those doors!



S. R. Faruqi:

It's possible that Mir obtained this theme from Mir Soz:

mai;N kaash us vaqt aa;Nkhe;N muu;Nd letaa
kih meraa dekhnaa mujh par balaa thaa

[if only I had, at that time, closed my eyes!
for my looking/seeing was a disaster to me]

The truth is that Mir Soz has composed such a complete verse, and has presented such a masterpiece of verbal economy, that compared to it Mir's verse has an effect of verbosity. But in Mir's verse there are some subtleties by means of which has verse has come to have more depths.

The eyes are called the doors, or windows, of the heart, in the sense that the state of the heart becomes apparent from the eyes. In this regard the theme of the house-wreckedness of the heart, and the eyes' closing the doork is very fine. Then, for the eyes there's also the metaphor of the 'house of the eyes' [;xaanah-e chashm]; thus 'house-wreckedness' is the bearer of a twofold wordplay.

Another pleasure is that the eyes are called the door of the heart because through them the state of the heart is known. Here, by means of the eyes the heart's situation-- or rather, the destruction of the heart-house-- is occurring. That is, the eyes, which were made to express the condition of the heart, are ruining the condition of the heart.

Another aspect is that in Mir Soz's verse there's the idea of closing the eyes. In Mir's verse, there's the idea of closing the doors. In Mir's verse the interpretation of dying is also present: 'If only before seeing her I had closed my eyes!'-- that is, had died. In Mir Soz's verse too there's a suggestion of dying, but it's not so strong. There's also the point that in Mir Soz's verse the idea of seeing is explicit; in Mir's verse, it's only a suggestion.

The word ;xaraab can also mean 'intoxicated', and the eyes too are said to be intoxicated. Thus in Mir's verse between aa;Nkh and ;xaraabii there's the connection of a zila. Mir Soz's verse is devoid of these subtleties, but the theme itself is so superb, and within two small lines such perfect expression has taken place, that one is compelled to admire it.



SRF suggests that the speaker is wishing (vainly of course) that he had closed his eyes before he had seen the beloved. But it's also possible that he might be wishing that he had 'closed those doors', presumably forever, 'right then', at the moment when he had just seen the beloved. Then the life of his eyes (and perhaps his own life too) would have ended on a supreme high note of fulfillment.

The eyes are usually the 'windows of the soul', with the obvious two-way traffic of both receiving and broadcasting information. By making them 'doors' instead, Mir has ominously changed their function. For a human despoiler can readily enter a house through an open door (more easily than through a window), and can be blocked by a closed door (not so easily by a a closed window). The idea of closing 'both those doors' also enjoyably evokes the common kind of double-paneled door (with hinges on both sides, so that the two panels meet in the middle) found in many traditional South Asian houses:

Thus by the single little word 'doors' the beloved herself has been vividly, powerfully, dangerously brought into the lover's 'house'-- not as a passive vision, but as an active and deadly looter.

Note for meter fans: The scansion of ;xaraabii-e is - = = - , which is permissible but quite unusual: the word-final ii has not been joined into a single syllable with the izafat that follows it. This permits bii to remain a long syllable, rather than breaking down, as it normally would, into a (short) b followed by an izafat-bearing syllable ye .