duur bahut bhaago ho ham se siikhe :tariiq ;Gazaalo;N kaa
va;hshat karnaa shevah hai kyaa achchhii aa;Nkho;N vaalo;N kaa

1) you flee often/very far from us-- you have learned the manner/behavior of gazelles
2) to show wildness/panic-- is this the practice of those with fine/good eyes?!



S. R. Faruqi:

The shamelessness with which Firaq [Gorakhpuri] Sahib has utterly destroyed this verse-- it's something he alone could do. He says,

itnii va;hshat itnii va;hshat .sadqe achchhii aa;Nkho;N ke
tum nah hiran ho mai;N nah shikaarii duur itnaa kyuu;N bhaago ho

[such wildness, such wildness-- I sacrifice myself for the fine/good eyes!
neither are you a deer, nor am I a hunter-- why do you flee so far?]

Mir's whole verse is 'connected' from beginning to end; Firaq Sahib, not to speak of two lines, couldn't even connect the two parts of one line. Then in the first line, Firaq Sahib (in his broken-up language of course, but in detail) also narrates the cause of the beloved's wildness; despite this he inquires 'why do you flee so far?'. How subtle is Mir's inquiry, 'Perhaps it's the practice of all those with fine eyes to show wildness toward people?'!

Mir says tum duur bahut bhaagte ho , of which there can be two meanings: (1) you often flee far from us; and (2) you flee very far from us. Firaq Sahib's question is 'why do you flee so far?'-- that is, 'flee less far!'. By saying 'I am not a hunter', Firaq Sahib has also revealed the thievish tendencies of his heart; it's clear that the beloved has seen the frightening gleam of lust in his eye.

The way that by saying 'those with fine eyes' Mir has mentioned all the beloveds in the world; and the excellent way in which by not giving any details about the 'fine eyes' he has illumined the light of the modesty of gentleness and innocence in the beloved's eyes-- these are the miracles of Mir alone.

By putting the word kyaa in the middle of the line, he has established a beautiful bridge between the two parts of the line. If he were to begin the line with kyaa , then half the beauty would be lost. There's also a subtle wordplay between bhaago and :tariiq in its sense of 'road'. In the second line, because he has used only metrically long syllables [sabab-e ;xafiif] a flowingness has been created in the harmony, and by comparison with the short syllables [chho;Tii ;harkaat] in the first line it creates an excellent contrast.

In contradistinction to this, Firaq Sahib's first line consists of long syllables, on the basis of which the sense of speaking to oneself has not been able to come in. The elders were not wrong to say that naql [imitating] too requires ((aql [knowledge, skill].



The kyaa is also a 'bridge' in the metrical sense that it's positioned right at the end of the first half of the meter, before the quasi-caesura-- a position that calls even more attention to it, since there's a tiny sense of a pause after it.

Another reason it's so powerful is of course the 'kya effect'. For the line structurally looks like a yes-or-no question ('is this the practice, or is it not?'); but it could also be read as an exclamation of admiration ('how coy and shy are those who have lovely eyes!') or of reproach ('what kind of behavior is this, shown by those with lovely eyes?!').

Since the line is insha'iyah, its emotional valence encourages us to read it with stress, with a feeling-tone, with some special rhetorical effect. A tone of reproach suggests itself, but indignation, resignation, amusement, naivete could also be imagined.

And how exactly do the 'fine/good eyes' come into it? Does the beloved/gazelle flee prudently, efficiently, because she has excellent vision? Or is the beloved like a gazelle because she has beautiful eyes, and is there something about having beautiful eyes that makes one more inclined toward wildness/panic? As so often, Mir has left us to do much of the work of shaping the mood and meaning of the verse.