daa;G-e firaaq se kyaa puuchho ho aag lagaa))ii siine me;N
chhaatii se vuh mah nah lagaa ;Tuk aa kar is bhii mahiine me;N

1) why do you ask about the wound of separation?! --it/she lit a fire in my breast
2) that moon didn't come and be held to my breast at all, in even/also this month



S. R. Faruqi:

This verse is a perfect example of its kind-- in that the theme is very commonplace, but he has put into the smallest words, a number of possibilities of meaning. Thus we can call this a verse of pure 'meaning-creation'. 'Mood' is in addition to it.

If we take se to be a translation of the Persian az , then its meaning will be 'about, concerning'. Now the meanings of the line will be: (1) Why do you ask about the wound of separation-- that wound lit a fire in my breast'. (2) 'Why do you ask about the wound of separation-- the beloved lit a fire in my breast'.

If we take se to have its usual meaning, then the following meanings are created: (1) 'What do you think [kyaa puuchhte ho]-- she (the beloved), through the wound of separation, lit a fire in my breast'. (2) 'Why do you ask the wound of separation? (Ask me.) The beloved lit a fire in my breast.' (3) 'Through the wound of separation, the beloved lit a fire in my breast. Now, why do you ask what shape I'm in?'

In the third line, the wordplay of mah and mahiine is interesting. Between daa;G and mah is the relationship of a zila (there's a scar/wound in the moon too). An additional pleasure of the meaning is that a scar/wound is created by the application of something (for example, if soot is applied, then a scar/mark develops)-- and here, a scar/wound exists because of the beloved's not coming and being held to the breast.

In is bhii mahiine me;N is the suggestion that previously too, a number of months have passed such that the beloved didn't come and and be held to the breast. In this way the pleasure is also created that if the beloved had been held to the breast, then a fire wouldn't have started-- that is, both things, the wound and the fire, are such that the applying of something gives rise to them, and here it's being said that if something had been applied (if the beloved had been held to our breast) then the wound and the fire would not have been created.



Note for translation fans: It's so hard to capture aa kar chhaatii se nah lagaa ! The ideal translation would be 'didn't come and adhere to my breast', because that would convey the deliberately neutral description of the action. The verse doesn't say that she embraced the speaker, or that he embraced her, it just says that she didn't come and 'adhere' or 'become attached' to the speaker's breast. If only 'adhere' could be used for people! Alas, it basically has such a bandage-like sense. Which is appropriate in a way, since if she had 'adhered' to the speaker's breast she might have smothered the fire like a blanket.