miir daryaa hai sune shi((r zabaanii us kii
all;aah all;aah re :tabii((at kii ravaanii us kii

1) Mir is a river, if one would hear a verse from his tongue
2) God, by God! -- the flowingness of his temperament!



:tabii((at : 'Nature, disposition, constitution, temperament ... ; genius; mind; temper; natural constituent, intrinsic property, essence'. (Platts p.751)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this ghazal there are thirteen verses, and every verse is a picture-album of 'mood', so that making the selection was very difficult. If the whole ghazal had been put into the intikhab, then some justice could have been done to its 'mood', flowingness, and narrative intensity-- which recalls Goethe's 'Sorrows of Young Werther' or, at a lower level, Niyaz Fat'hpuri's shihaab kii sar-gu;zashtah . But Mir has in any case no equal in story-telling and 'mood'-creation, so after much careful consideration I chose three verses that have, in addition to 'mood', more special features as well. Otherwise, if there's any fault in this ghazal, then it is that all thirteen of its verses are so drenched in 'mood' that the eye doesn't even scrutinize them carefully, and people wrongly think that these verses simply sink directly into the heart and have no artistry or complexity.

In the present verse, :tabii((at kii ravaanii has two meanings: (1) the creation/'arrival' [aamad] of numerous verses, and (2) for there to be 'flowingness' in those verses themselves. The metaphor of a river for harmonious 'flowingness', we see in Shakir Naji:

ravaanii :tab((a kii daryaa satii kuchh kam nahii;N naajii
bhare;N paanii ham aisii jo ko))ii laave ;Gazal kah kar

[flowingness of temperament is not at all less than a river, Naji
we would {feel ashamed / 'draw water'}, if someone would compose and bring such a ghazal as this]

The meaning of daryaa can also be daryaa-dilii -- that is, in my reciting of verses, or rather in bestowing them on people, I do not stint. Then, it should also be noted that this verse is set in a time when Mir was alive. Thus this whole ghazal is not an elegy for Mir, as people have considered it to be.

It should also be kept in mind that the verse speaks of reciting and listening, not of reading. That is, at the time mentioned, poetry to a large extent was part of an 'oral society', and had the character of 'orality'. For a detailed discussion of this point, see the introduction to SSA, volume 1, part nine.

Another point is that when Mir comes to recite verses, then he keeps on reciting, as though the flood-gates of a river would have been opened. About Khvajah Aziz ul-Hasan Ghori Majzub it's well known that whenever he was overcome by 'mood', then on the road from the mosque to his house, he would keep reciting verses until the night had turned to dawn. This famous verse is his:

har tamannaa dil se ru;x.sat ho ga))ii
ab to aa jaa ab to ;xilvat ho ga))ii

[every longing has taken leave of the heart
now, come!-- now, there's privacy]

[In {949,8}:] The whole ghazal is also endlessly 'tumult-arousing'.



This long thirteen-verse ghazal is formally unusual because the pen-name is present only in this opening-verse, and not anywhere else-- including the final verse. It thus has no 'closing-verse'. (This is unusual, but not unique; for other examples of unconventional pen-name arrangements, see 'pen-name' on the 'Terms' page.)

The reason that some people might have taken this ghazal as an elegy [mar;siyah] composed by Mir for himself, as SRF mentions, no doubt is the refrain us kii , which makes it convenient for the verses to speak of different qualities and actions attributed to 'him'-- that is, to 'Mir' (an identification encouraged by the presence of the pen-name in the opening-verse, and also by the frequent references to 'his' poetry). Except for {949,12}, all the verses work exactly this way. A number of verses make it quite clear that 'he' is alive; others keep 'his' condition ambiguous. Only the last verse, {949,13}, makes it clear that 'he' is dead; and the last verse is not a closing-verse, and thus lacks the formal, finalizing effect that the use of 'Mir' would have provided.

Because the ghazal is so unusual, and because SRF praises it so highly for having all its verses collectively saturated with 'mood', I decided to go ahead and include here not just the three verses SRF selected for SSA, but all the verses.