hai qahr vuh jo dekhe na:zar bhar ke jin ne miir
bar-ham kiyaa jahaa;N mizhah bar-ham zadan ke biich

1) it's a calamity, when/since she would look her fill!-- she who, Mir,
2) overturned the world, in the midst of batting/'overturning' her eyelashes



qahr : 'Force, power, violence, vehemence, severity; excess; boundlessness; oppression; subjection; rage, fury, wrath, indignation; vengeance; torment, punishment, chastisement; a judgment; a calamity; —a mischievous person, a firebrand'. (Platts p.796)


bar-ham : 'Confused, jumbled together, turned upside down or topsy-turvy, entangled, spoiled; offended, angry, vexed, enraged, sullen'. (Platts p.150)

S. R. Faruqi:

The equating of bar-ham kiyaa jahaa;N and mizhah bar-ham zadan is very fine; and this is not a merely verbal equation, because if the 'overturning' of the eyelashes causes the 'overturning' of the world, then a small eyelash is, so to speak, equal to the whole world.

Then there's also the idea that if through the 'overturning' of her eyelashes has turned the world topsy-turvy, then for her, what is even left to 'look her fill' at? Thus her looking her fill is not a calamity for the world; rather, it's a calamity for the beloved, for if now she would want to look, then what could she look at? It's a verse of remarkably 'dramatic' style.



Here ke biich seems to add to the pleasure of the verse. Emphatically, between one eyelash-flicker and the next-- oops, the world was all overthrown! The instantaneous nature of the action, and the seeming smallness-- and perhaps even inadvertence-- of the cause, make a wonderful contrast with the hugeness and totality of the effect.

The idea of 'batting the eyelashes' is the closest English idiom, but the bar-ham zadan suggests, apparently, that the far ends of the lashes, which may even be a bit above the horizontal when the eyes are fully open, are 'overturned' by being moved to a position well below the horizontal when the eyes momentarily close. At least the 'batting' can be imagined to suggest a 'striking' or 'hitting' action that might capture something of the violence of the effect (though this isn't what we think of when we use the expression; but what's a poor translator to do?).

Compare Ghalib's vision of the disaster of the beloved's tear-wet eyelashes: