ham :taur-e ((ishq se to vaaqif nahii;N hai;N lekin
siine me;N jaise ko))ii dil ko malaa kare hai

1) we are not acquainted with the manner/mode of passion, but
2) in the breast, it's as if someone always scours/grinds/rubs/anoints the heart



:taur : 'State, condition, quality; kind, sort; manner, mode, way; conduct, demeanour'. (Platts p.754)


malnaa : 'To rub; to rub down (a horse); to scrub, scour; to furbish; to anoint; —to grind; to tread on, trample on; to tread out (corn); —to wring (the hands)'. (Platts p.1066)

S. R. Faruqi:

For its 'mood' and the freshness of its image (within the breast, someone keeps scouring the heart), this verse is uncommon. In the first line, the ambiguity too is fine. (1) We don't know what the manner/mode of passion is. That is, we don't know how passion treats its own people. (2) We don't know the method of passion-- that is, we don't know how to be a lover. The theme of this verse (especially the image in the second line) seems to be Mir's own invention. A number of poets have imitated it.

Mir himself has composed it several times. From the second divan [{1030,1}]:

kis ;Gam me;N mujh ko yaa rab yih mubtalaa kiyaa hai
dil saarii raat jaise ko))ii malaa kiyaa hai

[in what grief, oh Lord, has it involved me--
the heart, all night, as if someone always scoured it?]

From the fifth divan [{1743,4}]:

((ishq-o-mu;habbat kyaa jaanuu;N mai;N lekin itnaa jaanuu;N huu;N
andar hii siine me;N mere dil ko ko))ii khaataa hai

[what do I know of passion and love-- but I know this much
only/emphatically within my breast, someone eats the heart]

On this theme, a verse by Sheftah is on the lips of great and small:

shaayad isii kaa naam mu;habbat hai sheftah
ik aag sii hai siine ke andar lagii hu))ii

[perhaps love is the name of this, Sheftah
something like a singular fire has taken hold within the breast]

The theme of a fire within the breast, others have composed as well. For a few examples, see


Fani has well used the image of a thorn:

ma((luum nahii;N kyaa hai mu;habbat lekin
kaa;N;Taa dil me;N kha;Tak rahaa hai ko))ii

[I do not know what love is, but
some thorn is pricking in the heart]

Undoubtedly Fani's verse is very beautiful, but after Mir, the theme of a scouring of the heart has been used only by Jur'at. It seems that Jur'at wrote a 'reply' to Mir. And the truth is that he wrote a very good one:

puuchho nah hijr kii shab jur))at se mere .saa;hib
dil saarii raat jaise ko))ii malaa kiyaa hai

[don't ask Jur'at about the night of separation, my dear sir
for the whole night, it's as if someone always scoured the heart]



SRF has given us an elegant exposition of one side of malnaa , but let's not forget the other side (see the definition above)-- the side that gives us 'to rub, to rub down, to furbish, to anoint'. For after all, isn't that part of the mesmerizing quality of passion, that it alternately (or even simultaneously) inflicts torment and delight?