phirtii hai u;Rii ;xaak bhii mushtaaq kisuu kii
sar maar ke kartaa hai pahaa;Ro;N me;N basar aab

1) even/also someone's flown-up dust wanders, ardent/desirous
2) having struck its head, the water finishes itself off in the mountains



basar karnaa : 'To bring to an end, finish, accomplish, execute; to spend, pass (time, &c.)'. (Platts p.155)

S. R. Faruqi:

Within everything in the world is the movement of passion; taking up this thought, he has created this theme, that water and dust both are in search of someone, both are wandering and distracted in separation. To express its mood by making nature correspond to it is a special feature of eastern poetics.

Here, the basic qualities of that expression (for dust to fly up and wander, for water to crash against stone) have been used with the additional excellence that dust is associated with the desert and the wilderness, and water with the wilderness and the mountains. The lover too is generally associated with both of those (desert or wilderness, and mountains).

Two [Persian] verses from Shahzadi Zeb un-Nisa are noted here; it's possible that the theme of the present verse might to some extent have occurred to Mir through these verses:

'Oh waterfall, for whom do you mourn?
In grief for whom do you bow your head like this?
What grief do you have, such that all night long,
Like me, you wept and beat your head against a stone?'

But it's clear that these verses are explicit, and also artificial. Mir's expression is more abstract, it contains mention of both dust and water; and his technique is one of revelation/showing.

Mir never leaves off from his wordplay. Here too, there's the wordplay of sar and basar .



That little bhii is a nice touch; it means that a mushairah audience could readily have imagined that the second line would somehow liken the ardent dust to the ardent human lover. Not until they were allowed (after a suitable delay) to hear the second line-- and even then, not until the very end of the line, at the last possible moment-- could they at all guess that the comparison would be to passion-crazed water, and that the human lover wouldn't figure in the verse at all. Might this small touch of 'misdirection' even count (on a loose definition) as a kind of minor iham?

Then of course we ask ourselves, is the verse really about dust and water? If so, it would probably illustrate the cosmic harmony between the lover and all of nature (in that order), as SRF suggests. Or are we to take dust and water merely as metaphoric stand-ins for the lover's wildly totalizing vision of a universe moved by mystical longing? Or if the lover projects his own emotions onto dust and water, does that merely show that he's crazy? Needless to say, we're left to decide for ourselves.

As SRF notes, the wordplay of sar and basar (short for bah sar ) is indeed excellent.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line, u;Rii ;xaak is short for the adjectival perfect participle u;Rii hu))ii ;xaak , literally 'in-a-state-of-having-flown-up dust'.