yih kyaa kih dushmano;N me;N mujhe saan'ne lage
karte kisuu ko ;zab;h bhii to imtiyaaz se

1) what is this-- that you have begun mixing/defiling me among the enemies?!
2) even/also slaughtering someone-- then, [do it] with distinction/discrimination!



;zab;h : 'Slaughtering, cutting the throat of, slaying, sacrificing'. (Platts p.577)


saan'naa : 'To knead, mash, mix up (as flour, dough, earth, &c.); to rub, smear, stain, soil, defile; to implicate'. (Platts p.630)


imtiyaaz : 'Separation, distinction, discrimination ... ; discernment, judgment, discretion'. (Platts p.81)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme Mir has versified again and again. And his love for this theme once again calls into question the opinion of Askari and Salim Ahmad that Mir lays down his ego before the beloved and the people of the world, that he does not insist on its primacy. Here, the situation is that he doesn't even consent to be slaughtered along with everyone else. Consider this verse:


Now look at these verses. From the first divan [{591,6}]:

lo;Te hai ;xaak-o-;xuun me;N ;Gairo;N ke saath miir
aise to niim-kushtah ko un me;N nah saaniye

[Mir writhes in dust and blood with Others
please don't mix in such a half-slain one with them!]

From the second divan [{815,8}]:

rakhnaa thaa vaqt-e qatl miraa imtiyaaz haa))e
so ;xaak me;N milaayaa mujhe sab me;N saan kar

[she ought to have retained my distinction at the time of murder, alas
thus she put me down into the dust, mixing me in with them all]

From the sixth divan [{1898,7}]:

aage bichhaa ke ni:t((a ko laate the te;G-o-:tasht
karte the ya((nii ;xuun to ik imtiyaaz se

[having spread out the leather-dropcloth beforehand, they brought the sword and basin
that is, they did the murder with a singular distinction]

From the sixth divan [{1904,5}]:

saan maaraa aur kushto;N me;N mire kushte ko bhii
us kushandah la;Rke ne be-imtiyaazii ;xuub kii

[he killed us among other slain ones-- even my slaughter
that murderous boy did with a fine lack of distinction!]

All these have been discussed with verse


and despite this I felt the present verse to be worthy of inclusion in the intikhab, because in its theme there are some aspects that don't appear in the verses cited above: (1) In her ardor or zeal for slaughter, the beloved makes no distinction among friend, enemy, true lover, and lustful lover. (2) Those people who were 'mixed' with the speaker are undoubtedly his enemies-- as if it was a sufficient proof of their being enemies that they deprived the speaker of the honor of dying alone.

(3) In the present verse, for the slaughter ;zab;h karnaa has been used, which is more powerful and suggestive. In ;zab;h karnaa there are images of preparation, pomp and circumstance, the slaughtered one being caused to fall to the ground, a knife being sliced across his throat, and so on, that are not present in qatl karnaa , ;xuun karnaa , kushtah karnaa . The phrase ;zab;h karnaa makes the situation more bloody and immediate.

When under the influence of English the 'morality' of passion changed for us, we began to see that same theme of the desire for distinction take, in the work of Hasrat Mohani, this form:

tire sitam se mai;N ;xvush huu;N kih ;Gaaliba:n yuu;N hii
mujhe vuh shaamil-e arbaab-e imtiyaaz kare

[I am happy with your cruelty, for probably somehow/casually
you would place me among the possessors of distinction]

Just reflect-- on the one hand, to mingle with dust and blood, to become a target for cruelty. On the other hand, by contrast, a poet who remained comparatively protected from the English influence, for example Dagh-- with what informality he has versified the words saan'naa and the idiom haatho;N ko ;xuun me;N saan'naa :

chhuu;Tegii ;hashr tak nah yih mih;Ndii lagii hu))ii
tum haath mere ;xuun me;N kyuu;N saante nahii;N

[until Doomsday this henna will not depart, having been applied
why don't you smear your hands in my blood?]

In Dagh's verse there are several kinds of sarcasm, while Hasrat Mohani's verse is entirely flat and without depth. In Mir's present verse both lines are insha'iyah, and in karte kisuu ko ;zab;h there's a homey informality that brings the verse near to real life.

[See also {435,2}.]



Looking at the verses adduced here and in {226,6}, it occurs to me that this horror of being 'mixed in' with others seems to be a deep, particular Mirian feeling. In fact it might be taken as comparable to Ghalib's extreme insistence on independence, on never borrowing or taking anything from others. For discussion and many examples, see