.sabr kahaa;N jo tum ko kahiye lag ke gale se so jaa))o
bolo nah bolo bai;Tho nah bai;Tho kha;Re kha;Re ;Tuk ho jaa))o

1) where is the patience/endurance, that one would say to you, 'Lean on our shoulder and go to sleep'?!
2) speak or don't speak, sit or don't sit-- {please / just / for a little while} keep standing there!



.sabr : 'Patience, self-restraint, endurance, patient suffering, resignation'. (Platts p.743)


kha;Re-kha;Re : 'On foot, standing all the while'. (Platts p.483)


;Tuk : 'A little; a little while'. (Platts p.357)

S. R. Faruqi:

The 'mood' of the tone, the uniqueness and simplicity of the style of speech, the dignified helplessness of the situation-- on this basis the verse is out of the ordinary, but there are some points of meaning present as well.

First, by .sabr kahaa;N is meant 'How would you have the patience to stay with us for a little while?'. But it can also apply to the speaker-- that when he sees the beloved, in his restlessness and impatience he cannot even have a connected conversation. With great difficulty he manages to say, 'Just pause for a moment or two, even if you are standing all the while-- but stay with us!'.

This interpretation is supported by the stammering style of the second line, as if speech is not happening with ease and fluency. And the best part is that the line is extremely 'flowing'; its progression too is very fine. To speak, to sit, to come and keep standing and then go away-- despite all these things, what is longed for in the first line is not comprised within speaking and sitting. Rather, the longing is for full intimacy/attachment, and leisure, and freedom.

For example, he hasn't said, 'Where is the patience, that we would sit you down with us and invite you to have a glass of wine?', or 'that we would speak of our ardor and our complaints?'. If he spoke, he would say the one thing that outranks all the others, and that shows extreme informality and physical intimacy. Such a thing Mir alone was able to say. He said it in one other place as well. In the second divan:


The difference is only that in {887,1} there's more cleverness/trickiness, and in the present verse there's more melancholy. In both, there's the accomplishment of sustaining a disproportionate idea.



This small ghazal is one of only a handful from which SRF has chosen every single verse. SRF uses, in SSA, tum se kahiye , the modern standard form. But the Kulliyat has tum ko kahiye , so I'm following that.

The need for .sabr might also apply not to the speaking itself, but to the 'patience, endurance' that could win the beloved's heart sufficiently so that she would listen to such a plea. The necessary amount of time might be a lifetime-- and even then, life is short, and the lover's life is shorter than most. (Ghalib asks, 'Who lives until your curls are combed out?')

Thus the ;Tuk -- ancestor of the modern idiomatic zaraa -- is perfect, with its literal meaning of 'a little while' or 'a little bit' (see the definition above), and its colloquial overtones of minimizing humility ('Won't you just...?').

Note for grammar fans: In the first line kahiye is being used not as a second-person polite imperative, but as a kind of abstract form, almost as a neutral third-person future subjunctive. So I've made it 'one would say'.

Note for meter fans: In the first line kahiye of course has to be scanned as kah-ye , but since it's such a basic verb form I didn't want to risk confusing people by changing the transliterated spelling.