te;G dare;G nahii;N hai us kii bismil-gah me;N kisuu se bhii
hai;N to shikaar-e laa;Gar ham par ek ummiid par aa))e hai;N

1) the sword is not averse, in her slaughter-ground, to anyone at all
2) we are a meager/puny prey; but {on the chance / 'on a single hope'} we have come



dare;G honaa : 'To have a disinclination or objection'. (Platts p.515)


laa;Gar : 'Lean, thin, gaunt, meagre'. (Platts p.945)

S. R. Faruqi:

dare;G nahii;N hai = does not stop

Naziri and Bedil have versified the theme of the meager prey so finely [in Persian] that they could hardly be rivalled. Naziri:

'I am that prey that is not worthy of being killed,
I am ashamed before that person who is my Executioner.'


'I am such inferior goods that in my slaughter-place,
Instead of blood, sweat [from shame] dripped from the murderer's sword.'

Before Bedil's 'meaning-creation', even Naziri's 'mood' is eclipsed. But Mir has made a whole scene, and created something entirely new: that the beloved's sword does not stop in the face of anything whatsoever. From far-off places people eager for slaughter are gathering in troops. We are a meager prey, but since the beloved's sword does not stop, we have come 'on the hope'.

The ambiguity of ek ummiid is very excellent, because in it is also the suggestion that despite our meagerness we also have confidence in something on the basis of which the murderer's eye will fall on us. The style of speech is that of everyday conversation; on this basis, even more sharpness has been created.

The theme of the meager prey, Mir has composed in two other places, in different styles. In the second divan [{753,4}]:

asiir jarge me;N ho jaa))uu;N mai;N to ho jaa))uu;N
vagarnah qa.sd ho kis ko shikaar-e laa;Gar kaa

[if I would become captured in the herd, then I would be so
otherwise, who seeks out a meager prey?]

From the sixth divan [{1913,5}]:

kunj me;N daam-gah ke huu;N shaayad
.said-e laa;Gar ko bhii shikaar kare

[I am in the corner of the net-place-- perhaps
she might hunt down even/also a meager prey]

Both verses are good, but in the present verse the scene-setting, and the ardor of the prey, and the ambiguity of ek ummiid -- all these together lift it higher than the other two.

There's also the point that in the present verse the repetition of par [=but] and par [=on] is very fine. There's in any case the connection of a zila between par [=wing] and shikaar , but let's consider this as well: we are obliged [by the meter] to read par with aa))e , and for a moment we are deceived into thinking it's paraa))e (meaning 'alien'). That is, the speaker feels himself to be alien. Consider this prose rendering: hai;N to shikaar-e laa;Gar , par ek ummiid ( hai ) __ ( afsos kih ham ) paraa))e hai;N . It's clear that this meaning is not real. But the trickery/complexity of unreal meanings too is part of the pleasure of a verse, because they generate tension. It's a fine verse.

[See also {584,8}; {1041,4}.]



On the source of these verses see {1853x,1}.

The beginning of the verse, with the clunky but rhythmically swingy rhyme of te;G dare;G , is also a treat.

SRF points out the 'misdirection' in the second line, when we are phonetically invited to hear par aa))e as paraa))e . This may not constitute a formal iham, but it's worth considering along those lines. For more on this question, see {178,1}.