miir du))aa kar ;haq me;N mere tuu bhii faqiir hai muddat se
ab jo kabhuu dekhuu;N us ko to mujh ko nah aave pyaar bahut

1) Mir, make a prayer/blessing on my behalf; after all, you've been a faqir for a long time
2) now if I would see her sometime, then-- may I not feel great love!



du))aa : 'Prayer, supplication (to God); an invocation of good, a blessing, benediction; wish; congratulation, salutation'. (Platts p.518)


faqiir : 'A poor man; a beggar; a religious mendicant; a derwish; an ascetic, a devotee'. (Platts p.783)

S. R. Faruqi:

He has expressed themes similar to this one in two other places. In the third divan [{1305,7}]:

nahii;N hai chaah bhalii apnii bhii du))aa kar miir
kih ab jo dekhuu;N use mai;N bahut nah pyaar aave

[desire is not healthy-- make a prayer for me too, Mir
that now when I would see her, may I not feel great love!]

In the sixth divan [{1859,9}]:

ab dekhuu;N us ko mai;N to miraa jii nah chal pa;Re
tum ho faqiir miir kabhuu yih du))aa karo

[now when I would see her, then let my life not leave me
you're a faqir, Mir-- sometime, make this prayer]

The theme of the faqir and the making of a prayer/blessing, in one place he has versified like this in the second divan [{919,15}]:

yak vaqt-e ;xaa.s ;haq me;N mere kuchh du))aa karo
tum bhii to miir .saa;hib-o-qiblah faqiir ho

[at some special time, make a prayer on my behalf
after all, Mir Sahib, Your Worship-- you're a faqir]

In the present verse, the greatest excellence is that in it the special themes of all three other verses have been comprehended.

Additional points are that in ab jo kabhuu dekhuu;N there's also a suggestion that it's very rare to see her, and in the future too there's not a lot of hope of seeing her-- and even so the heart is so much out of control that he knows that whenever he sees her, he'll feel so much love that he'll forget all the good advice, all the complaints, all the hardships, and in his heart the longing will flow in waves as it did before.

In a way, this verse is about trying to forget, or at least trying to break of relations; its melancholy is that not even this effort is properly done-- rather, it's already been decided that the attempt will remain fruitless. Thus instead of trying fully to forget or to break off relations, the speaker contents himself with trying to diminish the relationship. This is as if some gambler would say, 'I just can't give up gambling-- well, instead of big wagers let me try making small wagers'. It's obvious that all these are only ways of fooling oneself; the outcome is already known.

And then, is this even an attempt? He himself can't do anything, can't take a single step. He tells another person to make a prayer. Now that person may or may not make the prayer, the state of our heart may or may not have an effect on him. And the Lord knows whether he would even be a true faqir or not.

It's possible that the speaker is asking for the prayer from another because deep in his heart he wouldn't want the relationship with the beloved to be diminished. It would be a prayer by another, so perhaps it wouldn't be accepted. If he had made the prayer himself, then that would be different.

Simplicity, cleverness, the experience of pain, a light touch of humor-- all have been brought together so beautifully that the verse is almost impossibly perfect [baayad-o-shaayad]. The prayer for not feeling 'great' love is also fine-- since I will feel love, but may it not be so much that I would lose control.

[See also {877,10}.]



In this verse the time imagery too is enjoyable. Mir has been a faqir 'for a long time' [muddat se], which is why the speaker asks him to make a du))aa . And the speaker anchors his request in the 'now' [ab]-- the tiniest possible little adverb, yet it evokes an all too powerful history: 'After everything that's happened, now if I would see her...'. And then the kabhuu , as SRF notes, suggests that the highly charged experience of seeing her might not even happen at all, so that the speaker may be obsessively worrying about a non-event. And then even if that sight of her should ever happen, he can't possibly imagine not feeling 'love'-- he only seeks not to feel 'great love'.

The speaker is obviously a lover, and obviously (in the ghazal world) 'Mir' is a lover too. So in what sense is he a faqir? Apparently, in some real religious sense (see the definition above). Otherwise, what would be the point of asking him for a du))aa on the grounds that he's a veteran faqir? If he were just another poor wanderer in the deserts of passion, there would be no reason to expect his du))aa to be any more efficacious than the speaker's own.

So is the speaker a lover but not a faqir? Or is he a lover and an apprentice faqir, one with less spiritual authority? Mir's having been a faqir 'for a long time' turns out to be a key to the logic of the verse. If the speaker has a powerful history ('now if I would see her'), then surely 'Mir' has an even longer and more powerful one; and of course, we're led to wonder what it is, and to make our own guesses.

Note for grammar fans: Here's a case in which bhii doesn't mean 'even' or 'also', but is used colloquially in some vague phrase-balancing way (as in tum bhii kaise aadmii ho ! ) that I've translated in this case as 'after all'. Because there's no reason to believe that the speaker is a faqir and Mir is a faqir 'too'; in fact, the line implies that the speaker is not a faqir (or at least, not one in the same sense that Mir is), and that's why he's appealed to Mir for some particularly efficacious prayer or blessing.