kyuu;N-kih jihat ho dil ko us se miir maqaam-e ;hairat hai
chaaro;N or nahii;N hai ko))ii yaa;N vaa;N yuu;N hii dhyaan gayaa

1) how would there be guidance/direction for the heart from it/him/her-- Mir, it's an occasion/encampment/place of amazement!
2) in all four directions no one is, here, there, {casually / 'like this'}, attention/concentration went



kyuu;N-kih is here a metrically shortened form of kyuu;N-kar , 'how'


jihat : 'Side, face, surface; form, fashion, manner, mode; cause, account, reason, regard'. (Platts p.402)


maqaam : 'Staying, stopping, resting, halting; abiding, residing (in any place); stay; halt; —place of residence, or of encamping or halting; residence, abode, dwelling, mansion; station; place; site; position, situation; ground, or basis (of an action...); circumstance; contingency; state, condition; dignity; —occasion, opportunity'. (Platts p.1054)

S. R. Faruqi:

jihat = guidance, counsel [hidaayat]

The Sufis have established two stages of amazement [;hairat], the culpable and the admirable. But Mir is speaking about some other stage of amazement entirely. In this amazement there's regret of/for failure and the sorrow of self-lessness. While searching for the Lord, 'Mir' has now reached that stage where belief, hope, doubt, everything has already left him, and he has realized very well that he is nowhere at all, all the searching and seeking have been done in vain.

Then the thought occurs: 'All right, if we can't see him then we can't, but he also gives people guidance. It's possible that as a recompense for our stupefaction and endeavor and searching he might give us guidance, and in this way we would reach him.' But having looked around in all four directions, he says, 'There's no one at all in any direction, now if the heart is to get guidance from this, then how can that happen? If only there would be some guidance-giver! Or perhaps there is a guidance-giver, but he's invisible. No one knows how his guidance will reach the heart.'

We are caught in this amazement: all the searching and seeking has told us that He is nowhere at all. But nevertheless the heart feels something like a suspicion that from his direction, guidance will be vouchsafed. But how it will be vouchsafed, is beyond our understanding. Mir has composed a very fine verse.

And in its way it's not less than this peerless [Persian] verse by Hafiz:

'I died waiting, and there is no way inside this veil,
Or perhaps there is a way, but the veil-possessor doesn't tell me.'

In Hafiz's verse is a melancholy dignity, and in Mir's a tug-of-war between belief and hope. In Mir's amazement there's also a kind of sarcasm. In Hafiz's verse too there's a slight hint of sarcasm. But in Mir's verse the 'mood' of mystery is greater than in Hafiz's.

One meaning of jihat is 'direction', thus it's a word that has a zila with or . Between ;hairat and dhyaan there's also the relationship of a zila, because one meaning of dhyaan is 'contemplation, meditation', and in both these states a person becomes motionless and absorbed.



When we hear us se , we have to wait to see what 'it/him/her' might be referring to. Then the first possible noun we find is maqaam , which would give us the idea of guidance for the heart from an 'occasion, place, situation, ground' (see the definition above). Then the chaaro;N or enhances the landscape imagery, which is continued throughout the line. So the verse can be read entirely geographically: the heart finds itself all alone in an unhelpful environment.

Or else we can go back and take us se to refer to the beloved, who is a presence so dominant that any stray pronoun can easily tend to align itself with her/him. In that case when the speaker looks around he is not just surveying the landscape but looking for that one indispensable person/entity from whom he would get his marching orders, his 'guidance'. (The opportunity to translate jihat as 'guidance' or 'direction' makes it possible to conflate both senses of the term, though in Urdu the meanings of 'counsel' and (geographical) 'direction' are separate, as SRF's commentary makes clear.)

The last half of the second line not only offers wonderful sound effects ( yaa;N vaa;N yuu;N and then dhyaan ), but also continues the conflatability, since yaa;N vaa;N can be randomly geographical (looking 'all around'), or can refer to the lover's vicinity 'here', as opposed to the beloved's vicinity 'there'. Then of course yuu;N hii can mean either 'casually, haphazardly' (as in looking all around), or else 'like this' (looking from the speaker's vicinity to the beloved's).

Finally, what does it mean that dhyaan gayaa ? It can mean that the speaker's concentrated attention went 'here and there', either 'casually' or 'like this'-- or else that from going 'here and there' it finally went 'away' in confusion and distress, as he lost his mental balance. The latter sense of gayaa occurs, used three times, in {1554,1}.

This verse presents an unusual use of jihat in that the sense of 'guidance, counsel' is predominant, and 'direction' is left to work only as wordplay. Mir usually, and Ghalib always, uses the word in a stylized geographical sense as part of the phrase shash-jihat , the 'six directions' (the usual four plus up and down), to mean 'in all directions'. But more often Mir uses chaaro;N or for 'in all directions', as he does here in the second line.