aa))e hai;N miir kaafir ho kar ;xudaa ke ghar me;N
peshaanii par hai qashqah zunnaar hai kamar me;N

1a) Mir has come, having become an infidel, into the Lord's house
1b) the infidel Mir has come, having been in the Lord's house

2) on his forehead is a sect-mark, a sacred-thread is around his waist



qashqah : 'The sectarial mark made by the Hindus on the forehead with sandal, &c.'. (Platts p.791)


zunnaar : 'Waist-cord, belt (particularly a cord worn round the middle by the Eastern Christians and Jews, and also by the Persian Magi); the Brahmanical or sacred thread'. (Platts p.618)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction, but nevertheless there's a pleasure in the first line. The prose of the line can be in either of these ways:

(1) Mir, having become an infidel (after becoming an infidel, or despite becoming an infidel), has come into the Lord's house.

(2) Mir the infidel (that infidel person whose name is Mir) has come, having been in the Lord's house.



Unusually (but not at all uniquely), this ghazal includes the poet's pen-name in the opening-verse, but not anywhere else in the ghazal; thus it has no formal closing-verse.

The two readings of the first line that SRF identifies result from the fact that ho kar is a 'midpoints' case-- a word or phrase that can be read either with what precedes it , as kaafir ho kar , or with what follows, as ho kar ;xudaa ke ghar me;N .

The qashqah is nowadays known as a tilak or ;Tiikaa . Although the word is Persian, it apparently came into being to describe a characteristically Hindu sectarian mark (and also to one used by women for beauty and auspiciousness). But the case of the zunnaar is different. Though in the ghazal world it refers unambiguously to the Brahminical sacred thread (the modern jane))uu ), its antecedents range more widely: it could once have referred to some kind of religious waist-cord used by 'Eastern Christians, Jews, and Persian Magi' (see the definition above). Mir would surely have known perfectly well that the jane))uu is worn over the left shoulder, and then passes across the body and hangs down below the waist on the right side. But after all, kamar works so well here as a rhyme-word, and he makes such good use of it.

The zunnaar is another example, along with for example the laalah -- 'a tulip; (in India, also) the red poppy', as Platts explains-- of the intense stylization of ghazal vocabulary. In the ghazal world, things have exactly the qualities that are poetically necessary, no more and no less. A word that referred to one thing in Hafiz's poetic world could effortlessly have come to mean something different in Mir's.

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