marte jaise .sabr kiyaa thaa vaisii hii be-.sabrii kii
haa))e dare;G afsos ko))ii din aur nah yih biimaar jiyaa

1) while dying, the way he had [formerly] shown patience/endurance, in only/emphatically that way he showed impatience
2) alas, woe-- what a pity this sick one didn't live for some days more!



.sabr karnaa : 'To exercise self-restraint, to practise patience, to be patient, to wait; to endure, to bear up patiently'. (Platts p.743)

S. R. Faruqi:

A theme resembling this, he composed in the fifth divan [{1633,2}]:

nuur chiraa;G-e jaan me;N thaa kuchh yuu;N hii nah aayaa lekin vuh
gul ho hii gayaa aa;xir ko yih bujhtaa saa diyaa afsos afsos

[radiance/light had somehow not come into the lamp of life, but it
became only/emphatically extinguished finally-- this dying-ish lamp, alas, alas!]

In the present verse, the excellence is that it's as though for the sick person to live or die was within his own power to choose. In passion, he had shown patience; but however much patience he had shown in passion, at the time of dying he showed that much impatience, and wasn't willing to live for even three or four days.

But if we reflect a bit further, then we see before us the kind of situation that reminds us of Jacques Derrida's principle that what a text actually says is in effect entirely contradictory to its outer interpretation. Here, outwardly there's an expression of sympathy for the sick person, and a mourning for his death. But if his life was so bitter that he was becoming impatient for death, then to wish that he had lived a few days more is in truth to show enmity toward him. On such an occasion one feels that the speaker of the verse is not some friend or sympathizer, but rather is the beloved, and that in the guise of friendship she's actually showing enmity. In {1633,2} this idea is not present.

Some people think that in Mir's poetry too the kind of trivial repetion is present, about which I complain in the case of Firaq Sahib. Such people will declare that in the haa))e dare;G afsos utterance the dare;G or the afsos is redundant. But in reality that's not the case. If you read dare;G and then pause, then the interpretation becomes 'Alas, how sorrowful a thing this is!'. But the relationship of this utterance is with the lover's impatience, not with his death. The next word, afsos , is about the lover's death. Thus both words are doing separate work.

The final point is that by saying 'sick one' he has created more compassion in the situation. That is, that person was someone who was brought to mind only by saying 'sick one'. There was no need for any further detail.

Derrida's view is in fact connected with the philosophy of linguistics, and isn't always effective in literary criticism. But in any case, it's an aspect of the verse's multi-layeredness that outwardly it should say one thing, and inwardly something else.



The first line correlates the lover's 'impatience' in dying, with the 'patience/endurance' he had shown in his life. Since the second line makes it clear that he died very rapidly and 'impatiently', the verse establishes, by implication, the extent of the lover's longsuffering patience/endurance during his life.