kah ke ta;Gaaful us ne kiyaa thaa lekin taq.siir apnii hai
kaam khi;Nchaa jo te;G tak us kii ham ne kiyaa i.sraar bahut

1a) after our having spoken, she ignored/neglected us; but our shortcoming/offense is
1b) having said 'negligence', she did it; but our shortcoming/offense is

2) when the work/desire/throat was drawn/pulled/attracted as far as her sword, we insisted a great deal



ta;Gaaful : 'Unmindfulness, heedlessness, forgetfulness, neglect, negligence, inattention, inadvertence, indifference'. (Platts p.328)


taq.siir : 'Defect, failure, omission, shortcoming; mistake, error, fault, offence, crime misdemeanour; guilt, blame'. (Platts p.330)


khi;Nchnaa : 'To be drawn, dragged, or pulled, &c.; to be attracted; to be absorbed, be sucked in; to be drawn out, be extended, be stretched; to stretch; to be extracted; to be drawn tight, be tightened ... ; —to be borne, be endured, or suffered'. (Platts p.872)


i.sraar : 'Persevering; persisting (in); perseverance; obstinacy'. (Platts p.58)

S. R. Faruqi:

kaam khi;Nchnaa = to arrive at an outcome

It seems that kaam khi;Nchnaa is Mir's own invention, meaning 'to arrive at some idea, or some matter, or some stage, or some outcome', as in the first divan also:


The miracle of the present verse is astonishing, because in it there's a chain of events, of which only some links have been made apparent. (1) On some occasion we expressed our passion to the beloved, or she realized the secret of our love. (2) The beloved said, to love or not to love is your problem, we will just ignore it. (3) We became resigned to that. (4) But then we did something stupid.

(5) One time for some reason the conversation turned to her sword. For example, we learned that her sword is very sharp, and we felt an ardor that we too should taste a wound from it. Or we became so disaffected with life that we expressed a longing to taste her sword (that is, that we would be wounded by it and die). Or one time when she took her sword and went out, then we encountered her. (6) We insisted greatly that she should make us too wounded or martyred by her sword. (7) When we insisted a great deal, then she consented, and did indeed murder us. Or, she didn't consent to our idea; we kept on insisting a thousandfold, but she didn't agree.

In this way we who had consented to being ignored, now became sorrowful at her refusal and her negligence. Neither did we attain to the sword, nor did we obtain the dignity of the endurance of her negligence. In both directions we suffered harm. The thought in the whole verse is unique; by uniting 'theme-creation' with ambiguity, he has created a new pleasure.

Then, taq.siir meaning 'error, sin' is obvious, but its meaning of 'to be little/less, to remain little/less' (that is, not to be able to arrive at a goal) is also appropriate. With regard to 'sword', khi;Nchaa too is very fine. Then, there's also a touch of kaam meaning 'throat' as well as 'task, goal'. Then, one meaning of i.sraar is 'to be determined to do some work alone, and not to heed anybody's prohibition'-- in the atmosphere of the verse, it's hardly necessary to explain how suitable this meaning is as well. It's an uncommon verse.

One more meaning is also possible. If we read kah ke ta;Gaaful us ne kiyaa thaa -- that is, the beloved had said, 'We will ignore you' (and she did exactly that), then the sin/error that we committed was that although she had told us 'We will ignore you' (we will show neither favor nor cruelty), when it came to her sword, when the conversation turned to her sword, then we became stubborn/insistent (that we too should see its temper, that we too should try it out). What happened after that, he has not expressed in the verse (and this is the excellence of the verse), but we can guess that when the speaker insisted, then the beloved renounced negligence as well. That is, she became angry at the speaker.

For a detailed discussion of kaam khi;Nchnaa , see {346,12}.



Really the complexity of the wordplay is remarkable. That second line is just dazzling. Its high point is of course kaam , since all its three senses of 'work', 'desire', and 'throat' are fully and enjoyably operative; for more discussion, and examples, see {7,1}. Then, the kaam is paired with khi;Nchnaa , a verb with a range of meanings that include 'to be drawn' (like a sword), 'to be pulled, dragged', 'to be attracted' (see the definition above).

As SRF observes, the literal meaning of taq.siir as 'shortfall, shortcoming' also works beautifully with the idea of reaching 'up to, as far as' the sword [te;G tak].

Then, more semantically, the opposition between the beloved's 'negligence' (or inattention) and the lover's 'insistence' (or what might be called hyper-attention) is at the heart of the verse. The lover can endure the beloved's negligence with proper humility and self-restraint in the normal way of things-- but oh, her sword! The idea of it, the mention of it, the sight of it-- he can't refrain from eagerly demanding it, from stubbornly insisting on trying it out.

What happens next? The narrative leaves us there. Did the lover experience only shame and failure? Or did he experience further dire punishment at the beloved's hands? Or did he experience death, and savor it as a guilty pleasure? Or did he experience death, but alas, chiefly as a sign of his humiliation and 'shortcoming'? We have no choice but to take our choice.