Ghazal 143, Verse 6


aa;Nkh kii ta.sviir sar-naame pah khe;Nchii hai kih taa
tujh pah khul jaave kih us ko ;hasrat-e diidaar hai

1) the picture/image of an eye has been drawn on the letter-'heading' so that
2) it would be revealed/'opened' to you that it has a longing for a sight/vision


ta.sviir : 'Picture; drawing; sketch; painting; portrait; an image'. (Platts p.326)


sar-naamah : 'Titles at the beginning of a letter (given to the person to whom it is addressed); address, superscription, direction of a letter; --a heading'. (Platts p.648)


jaave is an archaic form of jaa))e (GRAMMAR)


diidaar : 'Sight, vision (= diid ); look, appearance; face, countenance, cheek; interview'. (Platts p.556)


khul jaanaa is a word of .zil((a , for it has an affinity with 'address', and also an affinity with 'eye'.

== Nazm page 153

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, instead of writing a letter, on the envelope of the letter I have drawn with a pen a picture of an eye. And what I mean by this is that it would become clear to you that the writer of the letter has an extremely great longing for sight. (211)

Bekhud Mohani:

At the top of the letter we have drawn a picture of an eye, so that it would become clear to you that we long to see you. (280)


[See his comments on Mir's M{429,4}.]


EYES {3,1}
WRITING: {7,3}

This verse is a real jewel of wordplay. The round personal seal of the sender that often appears at the beginning of a formal letter resembles an eyeball; for illustrations, see {61,5}. Eyes read letters, eyes look at pictures, eyes behold beloveds. Eyes are in 'heads' [sar], which is part of 'headings' [sar-naamah]. Eyes become open, and through the sight of a pictured eye the writer's longing to see you would be revealed or would become 'opened' [khul jaanaa] to you. Letters too, when they are to be read, become open, so that their contents are revealed or 'opened'. Thus the strands of imagery are beautifully woven together, with a naturalness that makes them seem entirely obvious and unforced.

And the pictured eye would show the beloved that it has a longing for a 'sight' or 'vision'; since it is only a picture, its longing can never be fulfilled. But the writer too has a longing for a 'sight'-- that is, of course, the sight of her. And his longing might possibly even be fulfilled-- if only his letter could be able to move her to insight and compassion.

A piquant verse for comparison is {61,5}, which also has to do with writing and eyes.

Note for grammar fans: This verse offers an elegant example of the way that grammatical subtlety can be used to add literary subtlety to a verse. There are two ways of reading the first line, and they give rise to two ways of reading the second line:

=Someone-- any colloquially-omitted subject, followed by a ne -- 'has drawn' [khe;Nchii hai] the picture of the eye, so that she'd realize that that person, 'he' [us ko], has a longing for the sight of her.

=The picture of the eye 'is in a state of having been drawn' [khe;Nchii hu))ii hai]-- the past participle, with the hu))ii colloquially omitted-- so that she'd realize that 'it' [us ko], the picture itself, has a longing for the sight of her. There's no indication of who has drawn it; perhaps in its eagerness it has even somehow drawn itself?

For more on the ambiguity between the past participle and the perfect tense, see {115,2}.