dil ko kahii;N lagne do mere kyaa kyaa rang dikhaa))uu;Ngaa
chahre se ;xuu;N-naab maluu;Ngaa phuulo;N se gul khaa))uu;Ngaa

1) let my heart attach itself somewhere-- what-all various colors I'll show!
2) I'll massage/anoint myself with pure blood from my face; with flowers I'll {burn myself / 'eat roses'}



gul khaanaa : 'To be cauterized; to cauterize oneself (a practice among lovers, who burn themselves with heated pieces of coin, &c., as a proof of their love)'. (Platts p.911)

S. R. Faruqi:

gul khaanaa = to wound oneself

In the old days it was the custom that in order to prove their love sincere, or to express their rakishness [baa;Nkapan], or to prove themselves to be beyond the fear of pain, they used to burn their hands or legs with a hot iron or a torch. Sometimes also a burn used to be made, to cure a sick person's madness. Mir has composed a number of verses on burning oneself. Compare


The mention of rakish ones [baa;Nke] and martyrs [shuhade] as burning themselves appears in the 'Dastan of Amir Hamzah', daftar 2, Kuchak Bakhtar, by Shaikh Tasadduq Husain, in these disgusting but effective words (p.224):

In one place several naked ones, bent over, having torn up their garments and made great fat torches, and lit them, placed them on their hands and legs and wounded themselves [gul khaanaa]. The stink and crackling sound of burning meat has spread in all four directions.

The quotation from the dastan also shows that the terminological name for wounding/scarring oneself was gul khaanaa .

In any case, please consider the verse. The speaker is inexperienced and guileless to such an extent that he not only longs for his heart to be attached somewhere, but also has the cheerful idea that the attachment of the heart is some kind of game, some commonplace thing. But on the contrary-- it's not numbered among the kinds of games and amusements. He also yearns to massage his face with blood, and burn himself with the redness of flowers (or to make on his body a burn as red as flowers).

Thus either he's not acquainted with the hardship and trouble of these things, and considers them too to be nothing but games, or else he has so much eagerness for attaining the rank of lover-ship that he accepts the hardships and adversities of passion with great relish and ardor.

With regard to rang dikhaa))uu;Ngaa , ;xuu;N-naab malnaa and phuulo;N se gul khaanaa -- and with regard to phuulo;N itself , gul khaa))uu;Ngaa -- are excellent instances of wordplay. He's composed an extraordinary and unique verse. So much guilelessness about passion, or this level or ardor-- this theme has not been seen anywhere else.

Mirza Muhammad Taqi 'Havas' has attempted it, but has said only that if the ardor would remain at this level, then we too would somehow become involved:

gar yihii shauq-e ;xayaal-e mah-vashaa;N hai ay havas
raftah raftah ham kisii ke mubtalaa ho jaa))e;Nge

[if there is this ardor of the thought of moon-like ones, oh Havas,
gradually, we will become absorbed in thoughts of someone]

Upon reading this verse, a little smile is generated. Upon reading Mir's verse, one feels fear, the suspicion arises that the speaker is already mad before he has fallen into madness.

[See also {420,7}; {483,3}; {1437,3}; {1498,5}; {1502,1}.]



For more detailed discussion of such self-branding or 'rose-eating', gul khaanaa , see G{67,2}. Other Mirian examples:

{12,4}; {420,7}; {483,3}; {1437,3}; {1498,5}; {1626,5}; {1853x,1}.

The 'pure blood' will no doubt come not blandly from the 'face' but from the tears of blood that the lover in his wretchedness will weep; does the enthusiastic would-be lover even realize this? Similarly, his idea that he will use 'flowers' to burn or scar himself shows an even greater misunderstanding of what the lover's misery is like. Is the would-be lover just being tongue-in-cheek cute, or does he really have such remarkably naive notions?

Or is the lover in fact mad (a possibility that SRF raises at the end of his discussion)? As so often, it's left up to us to decide. Compare


another verse in which the lover outlines what are obviously mad plans.

As SRF also notes (and as I'd never realized before), this image of the eager, naive young 'wannabe' lover is in fact fairly rare. Far more common is the perspective of the battle-scarred old lover: he's sometimes burnt out to the point of indifference, and sometimes sad and nostalgic for the good old days of wild passion.

Compare Mir's depiction of a (perhaps) young and innocent beloved: