kyaa kaf-e dast ek maidaa;N thaa bayaabaa;N ((ishq kaa
jaan se jab us me;N gu;zre tab hame;N raa;hat hu))ii

1) what a flat/bleak/'palm-of-the-hand' single field was the desert of passion!
2) when, in it, we passed out of life, then for us rest/ease occurred



kaf-e dast : 'Palm of the hand; —(met.) adj. Level and desert, bleak, barren (a plain, e.g. kaf-e dast maidaan )'. (Platts p.839)


raa;hat : 'Quiet, rest, repose, ease, tranquillity, cessation of toil or trouble or inconvenience, freedom from toil or trouble, &c., relief; pleasure'. (Platts p.580)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the first line the insha'iyah style, and for the desolation of the desert of passion the image of the 'palm of the hand', are both fine. In the whole verse, the dramatic mood and the theme-- that we didn't pass out of the desert of passion, but rather we passed out of life-- is very fresh.

In gu;zre there's also an iham, and in dasht-e ((ishq me;N jaan se gu;zarne me;N there's also the point that rest/ease was possible when the speaker gave up his life in the desert of passion. If after passing through it he had died a personal death, then there would have been no point to it.

In calling the desert of passion a kaf-e dast there's also a sarcastic pleasure-- that at first glance, one might think that the desert of passion was only the size of the palm of a hand. He's composed a fine one.



Really the kaf-e dast energizes the whole verse, doesn't it? Mir has used an idiom so straightforward and well-known that it specifically appears in Platts (see the definition above), with actually the example of maidaan to illustrate it. The 'palm of the hand' idea just can't help but seem small and proximate, while the idea of a flat, bleak, barren desert-- flat as the palm of your hand-- that goes on seemingly forever is made doubly chilling by the everydayness of the image.