Ghazal 122, Verse 2


apne ko dekhtaa nahii;N ;zauq-e sitam ko dekh
aa))iinah taa kih diidah-e na;xchiir se nah ho

1) she doesn't look at herself-- look at the relish of/for tyranny!
2) {so that / as long as} the mirror would not be like/from the eye of a {prey / wild animal}


taa kih : 'So that, in order that, to the end that; as long as, until, so long'. (Platts p.303)


na;xchiir : 'A wild animal, wild beast; prey, game'. (Platts p.1126)


As long as the mirror would not be the eye of a hunted beast, that tyrant doesn't adorn herself and doesn't look at her appearance. (131)

== Nazm page 131

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Until the mirror of the eye of the prey is before her, that tyranny-adorner doesn't look at her face.' (185)

Bekhud Mohani:

God, God, what a relish she has for cruelty-- that if she doesn't have the mirror of the eye of the prey, then she doesn't look at her face! That is, she has so much relish for prey-killing that she's not aware even of her adornment. If she ever looks at her face, then it's in the stupefied eye of the prey, at the time of slaughter. (247)


[Compare his comments on Mir's M{389,7}.]


EYES {3,1}
MIRROR: {8,3}

The double possibilities of taa-kih work well here. If we take it in its most common usage as 'so that', then the beloved carefully withholds the sight of herself from the mirror, so that the sight of her wouldn't drive the mirror mad and inconveniently turn it into something like the obsessed and petrified eye of a deer caught in the beam of the headlights. (Here, we're reading se as short for jaise .)

Alternatively, if we take taa kih (together with the nah that's usual in such constructions) to mean 'as long as', then the beloved cruelly withholds the sight of herself from the mirror precisely until it does become such an eye-- until the mirror, obsessed with longing for the sight of her, becomes like the hunted, haunted eye of a wild animal.

A second version of this reading would take se as the postposition: she doesn't look at herself until she gets so close to her prey that she sees her reflection 'with, by means of' the hunted animal's eyes.

All the wordplay of seeing, and the exclamatory aside to an observer ('look at!'), and the mirror, and the eye, make for a wonderfully complex net of vision and reflection.