barso;N me;N pahchaan hu))ii thii so tum .suurat bhuul ga))e
yih bhii sharaarat yaad rahegii ham ko nah jaanaa jaane se

1) over the years, recognition had occurred-- so you've forgotten my face/form?!
2) even/also this mischief/wickedness will be remembered-- you did not know us, knowingly!



sharaarat : 'Wickedness, mischief, vice, depravity, villainy, atrocity'. (Platts p.724)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse too there's a story, and as usual there's of course the cleverness of language-- ham ko nah jaanaa jaane se means 'deliberately not to recognize us'. It's clear that this meaning is understood only after a moment's pause.

Initially the thought occurs that it means 'not to recognize us, because of our going (away)'. The enjoyable thing is that this second meaning too is not so incorrect. In the first line the speaker has said, 'Over the years you had learned to recognize us, and then you forgot our face'. If this line is read together with the second line, then the possibility is created that the speaker/lover had, after trying for a long time, made the beloved familiar with his face. Then some necessity or obligation compelled him to go somewhere for some days. Now that he's back, he sees that it's just like the first day, and the beloved doesn't recognize him. The speaker/lover attributes this to the beloved's mischievousness-- that he had only gone away for a little while, and she used it as an excuse to forget his face! As if his going [jaanaa] became an excuse for her not knowing [jaan'naa].

In both cases the theme is the beloved's naughtiness and mischief. The difference is only that in the light of the first meaning the theme has been expressed by means of dexterity of language. And in the light of the second meaning the theme has been conveyed by adopting a style of expression in which some ideas have been left out, and we are obliged to fill them in for ourselves.

In the first line the helplessness and sarcasm are fine, but in the second line there's a kind of finality-- that now nothing is to be expected from the beloved except mischief and negligence. With yih bhii sharaarat yaad rahegii , it's as if one era of life is over, and in the next era not even those things that used to happen can be expected. They were not very fine things, but they were certainly at least something. The beloved had begun to recognize the speaker's face. Now, not even that relationship has remained.

The beloved's character is that of an extraordinarily thoughtless/ignorant tyrant-- that she has shown ingratitude/disloyalty, but the speaker becomes compelled to attribute her behavior to rawness, naughtiness, and the coquetry of a beloved, more than to evil. After all, she is not be-;hau.slah like Ghalib's beloved in


In Mir's verse the speaker has made the word sharaarat greatly meaningful-- that there may be a thousand unkindnesses, but still it is only/emphatically sharaarat . Otherwise several other words would have been possible: ;harakat , tajaahul , etc. In sharaarat there's the perfume of youthfulness and playfulness/coquettishness.



Along with the wordplay of her 'not knowing' the lover 'knowingly', there's also the further enjoyably ominous (?) threat to the beloved that her mischievous show of 'forgetfulness' will be 'remembered'.

Note for grammar fans: As SRF notes, the verse uses the confusing form jaan'naa jaane se to create a kind of misdirection. The more obvious initial-guess meaning is as SRF notes, to take jaane se as 'from [my] going, because of [my] going', derived from the oblique infinitive of jaanaa , 'to go'. But then the cleverer, more enjoyable-- because it plays on two senses of the same verb-- reading is to take the jaane se in the sense of 'knowingly, deliberately'; this is a petrified phrase (somewhat on the order of nah jaane , 'there's no telling, there's no knowing'). Since this petrified phrases is derived from jaan'naa , 'to know', it could be thought of as based on the adverbial perfect participle.