yih saarii ;xuubiyaa;N dil lagne kii hai;N mat buraa maano
kisuu kaa baar-e minnat be-((alaaqah kab u;Thaate tum

1) all these are excellences of the heart's being attached; don't take it amiss
2) when, without a relationship/rope, would you ever have taken up the burden of anyone's favor/supplication/thanks?



minnat : 'Kindness or service done (to); favour, obligation; —grace, courtesy; —entreaty, humble and earnest supplication; —grateful thanks, praise'. (Platts pp. 1070-71)


((alaaqah : 'Attachment, connection, dependence, relation, affinity; concern, interest'. (Platts p.763)

S. R. Faruqi:

((alaaqah = relationship, connection

This verse too is of the same kind as


The meaning of minnat is 'kindness, benevolence'. But keeping in view Mir's style, its meaning can also be 'pleading, flattery'.

From mat buraa maano , the possibility emerges that the addressee-- that is, the beloved-- has some other beloved, not the speaker.

An ((alaaqah is also the name for a cord or noose. In this way it forms a zila with baar , since a burden is tied with a rope or cord when it's picked up.



The second line takes full advantage of the spectacularly multivalent minnat , which has opposite and yet complementary meanings (see the definition above). It can mean 'kindness, favor' (that is, what the giver offers to the receiver); and also both 'entreaty, supplication' and 'thanks, praise' (that is, what the receiver offers to the giver both before and after receiving the favor).

In English we can speak not just of a heavy 'burden of indebtedness' (which can have a moral as well as a financial sense), but also of an oppressive 'burden of gratitude' for favors rendered. The parallel metaphor in Urdu is the taking up [u;Thaanaa] of the burden [baar , bojh] of such obligations.

So what kind of 'burden' has the addressee taken up? It could be the burden of showing kindness and favor and courtesy (to an importunate lover); or the burden of supplication (one is forced to beg and plead for the beloved's favor); or the burden of offering thanks and praise (the humble gratitude that one owes to a generous giver).

The first line makes it clear that the 'burden' might be painful or disagreeable to the addressee, and that it comes from having one's heart 'attached' to someone. The addressee (who can hardly be anyone other than the beloved) either has come to feel a bit of (resigned?) affection for a faithful lover, or has herself become a lover (of the speaker or someone else) in her turn.

Then, the cleverly wide-ranging ((alaaqah (from an Arabic root meaning 'to be attached'), can refer either to a 'relationship, connection' or, as SRF points out, to a physical 'rope'. So the second line is made the 'proof' of the first line in a double sense. Metaphorically, when would you ever have taken on such a 'burden' [of minnat] without a tie or connection to the other person? For even physically, when would you ever have picked up such a burden without a rope (with which to carry or drag it)? These are of course rhetorical questions: the answer is 'never'.