badan me;N us ke thii har jaa))e dil-kash
bajaa be-jaa hu))aa hai jaa bajaa dil

1) in her body, every heart-attracting place
2) was fitting/'in place'; the heart has {here and there / 'place and place'} become unfitting/uncontrolled/'out of place'



jaa))e : 'Place; room; ground, &c. = jaa (of which it is the usual form in the construct state)'. (Platts p.374)


bah , ba : 'With, by, for, from, in, into, to, up to, on, upon'. (Platts p.116, p.117)


bajaa : 'In place; true, accurate, right, proper; well-founded, with a good reason'. (Steingass p.156)

S. R. Faruqi:

be-jaa honaa = to be out of control

This theme is based on Muhammad Jan Qudsi's universally known [Persian] verse:

'The garment-hem of the gaze is narrow; and the flowers of beauty, many--
The flower-picker of your springtime complains against the garment-hem.'

The first thing Mir did was to replace an unromantic and worn-out theme (the garment-hem of the gaze, the flowers of beauty) with a forceful and romantic-- or rather, erotic-- one. In his verse there's mention of the body and its attractive places. Having described every part of the body as 'attractive', Mir has even added an implication of nakedness.

In the first line, the linguistic construction that he began by saying jaa))e dilkash , he has presented in its peak of perfection in the next line: dil bajaa ( :taur par) jaa bajaa be-jaa hu))aa hai . The literal meaning of be-jaa honaa is 'not to stay in its place'. Now the more interesting aspect comes to be that every attractive part of the beloved's body is in its place, but before every attractive part the heart doesn't manage to stay in its place. For the heart's being wrung, or writhing, what better scene and what better incitement can there be?

Then, the tight structure too gives pleasure-- on first glance it seems that the heart is not be-jaa but rather ba-jaa in its situation, and for it to be in its own place is be-jaa . Victor Shklovsky has rightly said that the artist makes something strange and presents it, and artistry is in truth the act of 'making strange', and this action applies to language too.

If you want to see proof of this, then look at this verse by Qa'im Chandpuri. He's made the idea absolutely flat, because in his verse there's no 'making strange', although the theme itself is the same as Mir's:

har ((u.zv hai dil-fareb teraa
kahye kise kaun saa hai bahtar

[every limb of yours is heart-beguiling
to whom could anyone say which one is best]

[See also {482,2}; {1526,4}.]



It's astonishing that people could ever think that Mir didn't go in for verbal tricks and artifices! Here's a verse built entirely on a sort of riddling use of word-play, meaning-play, and sound effects. The first line tells us that on the beloved's body every 'heart-attracting' 'place'...-- and then, because of enjambment, we have to wait for the completion of the thought in the second line.

Then the second line not only completes the thought, but also contrives to fit every single word except the verb into the 'place' and 'heart' domain. It could be read literally as:

'in-place'; 'out-of-place' has become, 'place-and-place', 'heart'

Really, we're in tongue-twister and mind-twister country here; we're next door to 'How much wood would a wood-chuck chuck, if a wood-chuck could chuck wood?'. The two occurrences of bajaa are particularly clever, since in context they have entirely different meanings.

Compare Ghalib's version of wild, riddling sound- and meaning-effects: