kaun yuu;N ai turk-e ra((naa ziinat-e fitraak thaa
;xuu;N se gul-kaarii ((ajab ik ziin ke daaman pah hai

1) who casually/'like this', oh graceful/'two-colored' Turk, was an adornment of the saddle-straps?
2) from blood, an extraordinary single/particular/unique/excellent 'rose-work' is on the saddle-cloth



ra((naa : 'Moving gracefully; graceful, lovely, beautiful, adorned; delicate, tender'. (Platts p.595)


ziinat : 'Ornament, decoration, ornature, embellishment, dress; grace, beauty, elegance'. (Platts p.620)


fitraak : 'Saddle-straps; cords fixed to a saddle for hanging game to'. (Platts p.776)


gul-kaarii : 'Flowering; flower-painting; —figured work, embroidery'. (Platts p.911)


ziin : 'Saddle'. (Platts p.620)


zain : 'Adorning, decking; an ornament, a grace, a beauty'. (Platts p.620)

S. R. Faruqi:

For a theme a bit similar to this, see


where in a condition of destroyedness there is a style of pride, cheerfulness/wit, and dignity. Here there is no pride, but there's wit/humor and 'dramaticness'. The speaker is even slightly envious-- 'Whom has the graceful Turk wounded and captured? If only this rank had been vouchsafed to me as well!'. And there's a kind of pride about the wounded one-- 'What a lot of blood there was in his body!'. The speaker is considered unworthy prey, so puny that in his body there would hardly even be any blood. (See


Let's consider some additional points. Ordinarily ra((naa is used in the meaning of 'beautiful, charming'. But in fact it is the name of a two-colored rose. In the present verse, there's an abundance of colors. (The saddle, the color of blood on the saddle, the color of the Hunter's clothing, the horse's tawny, glossy color.) In this respect the meaningfulness of turk-e ra((naa increases. Then, from the affinity with ra((naa the gul-kaarii is very fine.

More than all these, is calling the prey ziinat-e fitraak . There's of course an affinity among ziinat , ra((naa , gul-kaarii ; there's also the point that some prey animals are of such high rank that if they would be tied to the saddle-straps then this is an adornment to the saddle-straps. That is, to become your prey may well be a cause of pride for us, but we people too add to the adornment (and other such things) of your saddle-straps and saddle. We are not any commonplace prey. The interrogative in the first line has added to the 'dramaticness' of the verse.

[See also {1041,8}.]



The gul-kaarii , 'rose-work', is a form of floral painting or embroidery (see the definition above). When the speaker sees a pattern of blood spots on the beloved's saddle-blanket, he at once wonders not 'what' or 'how', but 'who' has contributed the blood for them; and he admires them as an extraordinary and 'single' or 'particular' or 'unique' or 'excellent' (how well the ek works here!) piece of fancy embroidery. Just as the prey had formerly 'adorned' the saddle-straps, the blood spots that dripped from his wounds now form an elegant ornament for the saddle-cloth.

There's also a clever little script effect in the verse. In the second line ziin definitely means 'saddle', because otherwise the 'saddle-blanket' couldn't exist. But exactly the same spelling could also be read as zain , which comes from the same Arabic root as ziinat , and has almost the same range of meanings (see the definitions above). So zain hovers enjoyably in the air halfway between ziinat and ziin . If you are reading, rather than hearing, the verse, you might initially misread the word; Mir would surely consider such iham-like effects to be a fine tribute to his artistry in wordplay.