kyaa hai dekho ho jo idhar har dam
aur chitvan me;N pyaar saa hai kuchh

1) what is it?!-- that you look in this direction at every moment/breath
2) and in your gaze/aspect there is something like love?!



chitvan : 'Sight, look, glance; appearance, aspect'. (Platts p.424)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme is fine-- that in the beloved's gaze/aspect there is love, and she also looks again and again toward the speaker. But at this the lover doesn't feel happiness, but rather a kind of anxiety/suspicion-- what does she mean? Or, what will be the outcome of this? See


in which the beloved's dishevelled hair is, for the lover, a suggestion of wanderingness. In the present verse, the beloved is a bit mysterious and somewhat incomprehensible. Her ideas and suggestive counsels and strategies do not become clearly understood. It's possible that Ghalib might have profited from this verse:


But in Ghalib's verse there's entrancement and exultation, while in Mir's verse there's suspicion/anxiety and irresolution; or, again, the speaker is so inexperienced that he doesn't at all understand why the beloved is repeatedly gazing at him with looks full of love.

By contrast, both Jur'at's speaker and beloved are easily understood, and it's clear that their world is one of flirtation and attachment; the oppositions and illusions of passion are not present:

gar churaayaa nahii;N hai tum ne dil
muskuraate ho kyuu;N idhar ko dekh

[if you haven't stolen my heart
why do you look in this direction and smile?]

According to Muhammad Hasan Askari, in Mir's verses the question often arises, why is passion at the same time compassion and difficulty? In the first divan, the speaker has also expressed a longing that the beloved would look his way [{384,1}]:

garchih kab dekhte ho par dekho
aarzuu hai kih tum idhar dekho

[although when do you look? -- but look,
my longing is that you would look this way]



This verse owes its power almost entirely to the initial strong invocation of the 'kya effect'. The readings can range from the naively glowing ('What a wonderful thing it is...!) to the sinister ('What an ominous thing it is...!'), with special power in this particular verse emanating from the question ('What does it mean...?').

I confess that my own favorite reading is the ominous, paranoid one, as highlighted in


And here's my own choice of a verse of Ghalib's for comparison; it's one that highlights the need to be suspicious of the beloved's show of affection: