ham nah kahaa karte the tum se dil nah kisuu se lagaa))o tum
jii denaa pa;Rtaa hai us me;N aisaa nah ho pachtaa))o tum

1) didn't we always say to you, 'Don't you attach your heart to anybody?!
2) One is compelled to give up his life in that! May no such thing be! You would regret/repent it!'



S. R. Faruqi:

The first pleasure of this verse is in its 'understatement'-- that he's summed up all the difficulties of passion by saying 'one is compelled to give up his life'. But its real pleasure is in the fact that he has left the identity of both the speaker and the addressee ambiguous.

(1) The speaker is some friend or well-wisher, and the addressee is some lover.

(2) The speaker is 'Mir' himself, and the addressee is some lover.

(3) The speaker is 'Mir' himself, and the addressee too is 'Mir'.

(4) The speaker is some lover, and the addressee is the beloved.

This last possibility is the most interesting-- that the lover's good is in the beloved's falling in love with somebody. Even if the beloved's beloved would not be the lover (the speaker) himself, if she falls in love with somebody then she'll have some feeling, some experience, of the pain of passion-- of what happens to lovers. The lover is such a well-wisher that he seeks the beloved's comfort with no regard to his own benefit.

Reflect how interesting this situation is-- that the lover says to his beloved, 'We are your lover, but you mustn't become anyone's lover; may it not be that you would have to repent of it!'. But the beloved is contrary/stubborn, she has gone ahead and fallen in love with someone (perhaps with the lover himself). Now, seeing her sad state, the lover (or the speaker) says, 'Well, didn't we tell you not to fall in love with anyone?'.

The theme of 'well, didn't we tell you', Ghalib has versified in a different style/mode. In his verse there's freshness of construction, but not the freshness of thought that's in Mir's verse. Mir's theme is absolutely new, and because it offers manifold possibilities his verse is a superb example of 'meaning-creation'. In Ghalib's verses there's only a freshness of the style of presentation [not a ghazal but a complete two-verse verse-set, Arshi p.133 #3; Hamid p. 206]:

ga))e vuh din kih naa-daanistah ;Gairo;N kii vafaadaarii
kiyaa karte the tum taqriir ham ;xaamosh rahte the

bas ab big;Re pah kyaa sharmindagii jaane do mil jaa))o
qasam lo ham se gar yih bhii kahe;N kyuu;N ham nah kahte the

[those days are gone, of unknowing faithfulness to Others
you always used to speak, we used to remain silent

enough! now, when there's anger, what shame? go on, meet them!
receive our vow-- [that would prevent us] if we would even say, 'Well, didn't we tell you?']

Indeed, it's true that despite promising not to say 'Well, didn't we tell you?', Ghalib has also said 'Well, didn't we tell you?'. Compare:


[See also {693,9}.]



This verse, with its fussy, hectoring tone and amusingly ill-framed second line, could well be one of the 'neighbors' set-- the kind spoken by a well-meaning normal person to try to bring the crazed lover back to sanity and common sense. Just look at the progression of the second line: 'You'll die! What if you would regret it!' Obviously, the person who dies won't, so to speak, live to regret it, or even to worry about regretting it; and the regret is only in the subjunctive, as a risk, something that might or might not happen. ('You'll fall off a cliff and die! What if you would stub your toe?!') The aisaa nah ho occupies a 'midpoint' position-- it can be read either with the clause before ('You'll die-- may it not be so!') or with the clause after it ('May it not be that you would regret it!').

Of course, it's also funny to threaten the mad lover with the danger of dying, when it's usually the sublime terminus of his whole doomed journey, and much less painful than many of the ordeals he has to undergo beforehand.

And of course, the verse could be addressed by the lover to the beloved, warning her against the perils he knows all too well. In this case the incoherent structure of the second line could be a sign of the lover's urgency and his anxiety for her welfare.

Compare Ghalib's more smug and censorious version of the beloved's falling in love: