ham nah kahte the kih naqsh us kaa nahii;N naqqaash sahl
chaa;Nd saaraa lag gayaa tab niim-ru;x .suurat hu))ii

1) didn't we [habitually] say that her delineation/depiction, oh sculptor, is not simple/easy?
2) when the whole moon was applied, then the aspect/form of half her face appeared/occurred



ru;x : 'Face, countenance; cheek; face, aspect; point, side quarter, direction'. (Platts p.589)


.suurat : 'Form, fashion, figure, shape, semblance, guise; appearance, aspect; face, countenance'. (Platts p.747)

S. R. Faruqi:

When a verse was free of artifice and the meaningfulness of all its words was in a state of perfection, then it used to be said that its construction had reached the border of magic. Exactly this has to be said about the present verse. Then, consider the pleasure of the theme-- that everyone calls the beloved 'a piece of the moon' [chaa;Nd kaa ;Tuk;Raa], and here the situation is that in capturing her form ( naqsh also means 'sculpture'), every bit of the moon has been used up, but only half her face-- her 'profile'-- has been able to be created.

The sarcastic address to the sculptor is also fine, and in ham nah kahte the the conversational tone is extremely excellent. The subtlety of lag gayaa , meaning 'became used, became expended', is worthy of praise.

Sa'ib has well composed [in Persian], in a starker style, a theme a bit similar to Mir's:

'The hearts of the heavenly radiant pearls turned to water
When silver-bodied heart-stealers like you were created.'

Undoubtedly Sa'ib has composed a very well-adorned verse, with full regard for affinities. But in it there's not found the wit and the style of everyday life that Mir has created by directly using the simile of the moon for the beloved.

[See also {1903,3}.]



Note for grammar fans: This is another verse with a kyaa that is colloquially omitted but nevertheless absolutely required. For if we read the first line as it officially appears on the page, it becomes the (confusing) opposite of what's semantically necessary: it becomes 'we didn't say that her delineation is not easy'. So really one moral seems to be that in principle any flat statement can, if the poet so frames it, be construed in context not as a statement at all, but only as a question with the kyaa colloquially omitted.