ab kuchh maze pah aayaa shaayad vuh sho;x-diidah
aab us ke post me;N hai juu;N mevah-e rasiidah

1) now she's begun upon some relish/enjoyment, perhaps, that mischievous-eyed one
2) water is in her skin, like a ripened/available fruit



mazah : 'Taste savour, smack, relish; delight, pleasure, enjoyment; anything agreeable to the palate or to the mind, &c.; a delicacy, a tidbit; a bon-mot; jest, joke, fun, sport, amusement'. (Platts p.1029)


diidah : 'The eye; the sight; a wanton, or impudent eye; (met.) impudence'. (Platts p.556)


rasiidah : 'Arrived; at hand; received; reached or overtaken by; mature, ripe, of age'. (Platts p.593)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse is such a masterpiece of erotic poetry that its equal will be hard to find. The theme too is fresh, and on top of this there are aspects of meaning too. The word sho;x-diidah in itself has a delightful tradition of erotic usages. Someone very bold and shameless is called sho;x-diidah -- that is, someone who would show no restraint/formality about making eye contact and flirtatious conversation, but who at the time of erotic intimacy (on the basis of his/her own temperament and perhaps on the basis of prior experience) would take a very long time to enter into a mood of being 'turned on'.

The word 'now' suggests that the affair of intimacy has been going on for some time, and the beloved's emotions have gradually awakened. Then, rasiidah has the meaning of 'ripened'-- that is, something that would not be unripe, that would be entirely ready. Thusrasiidah is ripened fruit, and mai-e rasiidah is wine that has been well fermented, or wine that is running through one's veins and arteries. In this regard, a fruit that has become over-ripe and has begun to decay is called mevah-e gu;zishtah . And rasiidah means 'follower, dependent' ([from the dictionary] shams ul-lu;Gaat ), and mevah is also a metaphor meaning 'son, dear one, young plant' ( burhaan-e qaa:ti(( ).

In addition, mevah-e rasiidah is a metaphor for the beloved. Thus Hafiz's [Persian] verse:

'I will give abundant thanks in the dargah of the Khvajah
If into my hands would fall that ripened fruit.'

Thus the meaning of the second line is that on the beloved's skin (and inside it), there's the wetness of perspiration (or dewiness, or moisture), the way there is in a ripened fruit. A ripened fruit is soft, and this is a sign that inside it is moist-- that is, full of juice. At the time of intimacy, for emotional excitement to cause perspiration, or for tears to come into the eyes, is a common observation. Ghalib:


This both is, and is not, a verse in Ghalib's special style. It is not a verse in Ghalib's special style, because in his poetry themes of erotic intimacy are very rare. But nevertheless, Ghalib's style shows in this verse: the image in the first line he has expressed, in the second line, in an 'abstract metaphor' [tajriidii isti((aarah] ( te;G-e nigah ko aab denaa ).

In Mir's verse, the first line is of a physical and psychological kind, and all its important words ( ab , maze , sho;x-diidah ) have been taken from everyday life. In the second line the powerful image is utterly physical and sensual; nothing in it is abstract or conventionalized-- so that Mir's beloved is not even wordplay; she is on the level of physical and erotic expression, touch and observation.

Consider this as well: the beloved is now, physically, fully awakened-- that is, she has become soft; about a ripened fruit it's known that it's soft. Thus on such an occasion to say mevah-e rasiidah is an 'affinity of meaning' [munaasibat-e ma((navii] as well. Then, the affinity between ripened fruit (for example, pomegranate, apple) and the beloved's body is obvious. A final point is that in a state of physical excitement, wetness comes into the mouth and some parts of the body as well. In this regard, for water to be in the skin is supremely eloquent. The connection of a zila between maze and mevah-e rasiidah should also be kept in mind.

If we take aab to mean 'luster, sparkle', then two further meanings are created. Usually ripened fruit has a yellow or yellowish-red color (for example, orange, mango, apple, etc.). They acquire a shine at the time when they ripen. In a state of emotional excitation, too, the swift flow of blood causes the face to begin to glow. (See


A second point is that if on the beloved's face there would be light little drops of perspiration, then her face is assumed to be glowing. On this theme there are a number of verses; for example,


In the present verse, the excellent idea is that the perspiration has come because of emotional excitement, and because of it her face is shining like a mevah-e rasiidah . Previously too Mir has versified a theme similar to this, but there the simile is commonplace. From the fourth divan [{1375,5}]:

jo ((araq ta;hriik me;N us rashk-e mah ke mu;Nh pah hai
miir kab hove hai;N garm-e jalvah taare us :tara;h

[the sweat that, in movement, is on the face of that envy of the moon--
Mir, when are the stars 'hot for' radiance/appearance in that way?]

Here, 'movement' means 'erotic excitement, desire'. In one more place he has used the theme differently, but in all the important words in the first line ( lu:tf , lab-rez , kaam , badan ) is the suggestion of erotic pleasure, and the grammar and usage in the second line are peerless [{1251,7}]:

lu:tf se lab-rez hai us kaam-jaa;N kaa sab badan
mu;xtila:t ho jaa))e ham se jo kabhuu to haa))e vuh

[it is brimming with pleasure, the whole body of that desire-spirited one
if there would ever come to be mingling with us, then-- ah, that!]

It should also be kept in mind that the [Persian] idiom aab bah post afgandan is used for a person who has only just now freshly emerged from childhood and entered the stage of maturity ( [from the Persian dictionary] chiraa;G-e hidaayat ). Since Mir has brought into ;zikr-e miir and into his poetry numerous words and idioms from chiraa;G-e hidaayat , it's probable that this idiom too he took from there.

A good poet (for example, Dagh) versifies idioms and fresh words with correctness of meaning, and enjoyableness. A great poet (for example, Mir) when he does this, makes alterations in the word or idiom, and it seems that that word or idiom had come into existence just so that it would be used in his verse. (Barkati's dictionary is devoid of the idiom aab bah post afgandan .)

Shah Mubarak Abru has written a ghazal of two or three verses, with the same formal structure [ham-:tara;h] as the present verse. Its opening-verse also has Mir's rhymes:

dekho yih du;xtar-e raz kitnii hai sho;x-diidah
duunii cha;Rhii sar uupar juu;N juu;N hu))ii rasiidah

[look how mischievous-eyed is this Daughter of the Grape!
she raised her head up twofold, the more she became ripened]

Here the theme is commonplace, but the word rasiidah has been used in its full meaningfulness, and the wordplay is fine. After Nasikh and Zauq, not even such verses are to be seen-- not to speak of after Mir!

[See also {1460,3}; {1719,3}.]



I have nothing special to add.