gaat us aubaash kii le;N kyuu;N-kih bar me;N miir ham
ek jhurma;T shaal kaa ik shaal kii gaatii hai myaa;N

1) how would we take/grasp the body/limb of that libertine, in the {fabric-breadth/bosom}, Mir?
2) there is one shawl wrapped around her head and shoulders, one shawl twisted and knotted around her body, sir!



gaat : 'A limb, a member (of the body); the body; (poet.) bust (of a woman); —the person, privities; —apparel, attire'. (Platts p.891)


aubaash : 'A bad character, dissolute fellow, profligate, debauchee, rake, libertine'. (Platts p.101)


bar : 'Breast, bosom, chest; — ... breadth (of cloth)'. (Platts p.143)


jhurma;T : 'A dense mass, a crowd, multitude, large gathering or muster, assembly, ball; array (of troops), manœuvres (of troops); battle, conflict; a shawl twisted round the head as a turban'. (Platts p.403)


gaatii : 'A cloth or dress worn (by village people) like a plaid (a chaddar passed over the shoulders, and under the arms, and fastened in a knot on the chest)'. (Platts p.891)

S. R. Faruqi:

On refinement in providing sensual pleasure, and on the delights of touch and and sight, very few such superb verses will be found. Both gaatii and gaat mean 'body', but both are also used with the sense of 'breast, bosom'. (A verse of Atish's will be given below.) Thus the erotic suggestion becomes manifest. The meaning of jhurma;T is 'to cover the head and shoulders with a shawl or chadar, etc.'. By gaatii baa;Ndhnaa is meant 'to wrap a dupattah, shawl, chadar, etc. and tie it in such a way that the body would seem well bound up'.

Thus the beloved has wrapped one shawl tightly around her body, and has wrapped another shawl to cover her head and shoulders. That is, she has two separate veils. But in doing gaatii baa;Ndhnaa , the body to a great extent becomes visible. And the shawl, which is usually embroidered with flowers, is creating the effect that the beloved's body is in a dense mass [jhurma;T] of flowers.

Nur ul-Islam Muntazir, a pupil of Mus'hafi's, also has an interesting verse:

haale ko hilaa deve junbish tire baale kii
ik chaa;Nd saa chamke hai jhurma;T me;N do-shaale kii

[the movement of your hoop-earring would cause the halo [around the moon] to sway
something like a single moon glitters in the wrappings of the double-shawl]

Atish is his own kind of poet (although he is an 'Ustad-brother' of Muntazir's, he obtained nothing from Mus'hafi); on the emotional level, he usually remains unsuccessful. Thus here he too has used gaat and gaatii as Mir has, but they've remained only words:

jis ne baa;Ndhe hu))e gaatii tujhe dekhaa pha;Rkaa
dil-rubaa shai thii mirii jaan tirii gaat nah thii

[he who saw you with a twisted and knotted shawl, writhed
it was a heart-stealing thing, my dear, it was not your body/attire]

To call a gaat 'heart-stealing' is an obvious, flimsy idea. To see her with a twisted and knotted shawl and writhe, is commonplace. By contrast, in Mir's verse there's not a single commonplace word, and the emotional level is entirely within his control.

Nur ul-Islam Muntazir has versified jhurma;T as feminine, but Mir has versified it as masculine, and this latter is also the customary form. In the farhang-e aa.sifiyah it's written that in the east it's spoken as feminine, and this can be seen from Muntazir's verse too; but I haven't found any other example of the usage as feminine.



Note for grammar fans: In the first line kyuu;N-kih is not 'because'; here it is a variant form of kyuu;N-kar , 'how', that has been shortened to suit the meter.