;Dhuu;N;D nikaalaa thaa jo use so aap ko bhii ham kho bai;The
jaisaa nihaal lagaayaa ham ne vaisaa hii phal paayaa hai

1) when we searched for and drew out that one-- well, we definitively lost even/also ourself
2) the kind of sapling we planted, only/emphatically that kind of fruit we have found



S. R. Faruqi:

This theme too is infinitely common, and will be found in various places in Mir's own poetry. For example, in


there's discussion of how the one who has become aware of how to find the (Divine) beloved, has become unaware of himself. Then, similar themes are found in



In the fourth divan, with a kind of helplessness and irritation he has said [{1458,4}]:

bah ;xvud just-juu me;N nah us kii rahe
ham aap'hii hai;N gum kis ko paidaa kare;N

[we remained in search neither of ourself, nor of that one
we ourselves are lost-- whom would we cause to appear?]

Or again, in the sixth divan, having become melancholy, he has said [{1889,3}]:

.su;hbat ((ajab :tara;h kii pa;Rii ittifaaq haa))e
kho bai;Thiye jo aap ko to us ko paa))iye

[a strange kind of companionship has happened to befall us, alas
if we would lose our own self, then we would find that one]

Despite all these, the present verse retains its rank. In it is sarcasm toward the speaker himself, and also toward that 'sought-for pearl' in pursuit of which he had lost himself. To construe the effort of searching and seeking for the beloved as the planting of a tree, and then the loss of oneself and the care for it as its 'fruit', is of course the perfection of metaphor-making; it's also the perfection of speaking with a double meaning.

For phal paanaa comes with both meanings [of approval and disapproval]. For example, we say, us ne .sabr kiyaa aur us kaa phal paayaa ; but we also say, us ko apne gunaaho;N kaa phal milaa . Here, an additional pleasure is that in the second line there's the style of a regular taunt, as if to lose oneself in searching for the (Divine) beloved remains something remote; merely the search itself is, if not a foolish act, then certainly a futile one.

In one verse in the fifth divan itself, the theme is the search being vain, but the style is not one of sarcasm and disdain, but rather is one of suppressing a smile at some foolish person [{1609,7}]:

sunaa thaa use paas lekin nah paayaa
chale duur tak ham ga))e us ;xabar par

[we had heard that he was near, but we didn't find him
we went a far distance, on that news]

In the present verse it's also necessary to note that to lose oneself was the result of 'finding and bringing out' that one, or else that the condition of success for finding him and bringing him out was exactly this: that the seeker himself would be lost. 'Thus he has lost himself as well'; this is an enjoyable ambiguity.

In any case, the speaker's tone is apparently one of anger at himself, but the matter is not entirely clear. Was it the speaker's intention to search out the (Divine) beloved, so that he would arrive at his own reality? Was the reality in fact that when the beloved would be obtained, then the seeker himself would be lost? That is, was his existence dependent on the beloved's nonexistence?

There's also the question of whom he was really seeking-- himself, or the (Divine) beloved? If the search was for the (Divine) beloved, then why the grief/sarcasm at losing himself? And if the search was for himself, then why didn't he do this from the start? In short, there are so many questions that by the end of the verse our inquiry isn't at all finished, and things are not at all clear.

If we assume-- and the tone of the verse immediately opens the road to this assumption-- that the speaker is not happy that he has lost himself and obtained the (Divine) beloved, then the intention must have been a verse if not of strict materialism, then of a level of humanism such that man is his own true goal. There's no need to be surprised at this result; Mir has other verses of this kind as well. For example, see ghazal




I have nothing special to add.