;Gu.s.se me;N naa;xuno;N ne mire kii hai kyaa talaash
talvaar kaa saa ghaa))o hai jibbhe kaa har ;xaraash

1) in anger/sorrow, what pursuit/'search' have my fingernails made?!
2) a wound like that of a sword, is every slash/stroke of the tongue



;Gu.s.sah : 'Choking, strangulation, suffocation; —(choking) wrath, rage, anger, passion; —grief, disquietude of mind, anxiety'. (Platts p.771)


talaash : 'Search, quest; scrutiny; study, research; pursuit'. (Platts p.333)


ghaa))o : 'Wound, sore, hurt, bruise'. (Platts p.930)


jibbhaa : 'Having a tougue, tongued'. (Platts p.375)


;xaraash : 'Scratch, scraping, cutting, excoriation'. (Platts p.488)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is ordinary, but ;Gu.s.sah has two meanings: that is, it can mean 'overthrownness, disorderedness' [barhamii], and also 'grief and sorrow'. The meaning of talaash is 'wrestling' or 'battle'.

Jalil Manikpuri has, with the warrant of one other verse of Mir's, taken ;xaraash to be masculine; although the reality is that from after Mir's time, it has been versified as feminine. Afaq Banarsi, in his mu((iin ul-shi((r , entered it as feminine, and noted in his remarks that same verse of Mir's that Jalil Manikpuri in his essay ta;zkiir-o-taanii;s has used as a warrant for its being masculine. Sauda has a whole ghazal of which the refrain itself is kaa ;xaraash . It's possible that in early Urdu ;xaraash might have been only masculine. Nowadays, for quite a time it's been only feminine. Thus Afaq Banarsi has noted a verse of Zauq's [containing kii ;xaraash].



To achieve the best 'connection' between the lines, the first line should be read with the 'kya effect' taken as signalling a negative rhetorical question. The lover is indignantly rejecting the idea that the scratches or slashes on his face and body have been made by his own fingernails. Rather, the beloved has apparently given the hapless lover a (literal) 'tongue-lashing' that has cut him like a sword.

But alternatively, could the lover have given himself the 'tongue-lashing'? It's possible, but the idea doesn't really commend itself. For the image of the 'tongue' cutting like a sword suggests that a voice speaking aloud is being used for the painful tirade. And would the lover really scold himself by speaking out loud to himself?

We could instead say, of course, that the beloved has given the lover such a tongue-lashing that in grief he has gouged his own face with his fingernails. Since this is an 'A,B' verse, with the relationship of the two lines left for us to figure out, that's also possible. But it isn't very compelling.