Koi mere dil se puchhe tere teer-e-nim-kash ko
someone ask me, how much I enjoyed your half-drawn arrow
Ye khalish kahan se hoti jo jigar ke par hota
Why would I feel lancinating pain (that I enjoy), if the arrow had pierced pass my heart
Teer-e-nim kask = half drawn arrow, slow arrow meaning arrows of eyelashes shot with tipsy, squinty, or ogle eye. Khalish=Prickle, lancinating pain Jigar=actually means liver but in poetry it is used in sense of heart
This is the 2nd verse of Ghalib’s 13th ghazal.
Meaning: In Urdu Eyelashes are called Mizgan. Because eyelashes are stiff, prickly, and sit on curved alignment under arch of eyebrows, poets call them arrows: arrows of eyelash drawn by arch of eyelids/eyebrows
While aiming, a good archer uses maximum force, pulls his arch in full, to kill his game, and not just leave it injured. His fast arrow pierces body and comes out from the other side. If the pull of arch were weak, the arrow will fly slow; will remain stuck in the body of prey; will create excruciating or lancinating pain; and will make the game twist and squirm. A true lover relishes such excruciating or lancinating pain and adores the painful twist and squirm. Ghalib says to his beloved, “Darling! Carelessly drawn arrow from eyelash of your tipsy, squinty, ogle eyes has stuck into my heart; ask me about what pleasure it gives me. If you had pulled arch of your eye fully, the arrow would have passed through my heart; it would not have given me the prickle or lancinating pain. Meaning I would have died and would have been robbed of this pleasure. In this verse, Ghalib has judged half-drawn arrow superior simply because it has given him so much pleasure of hurt.
Bekhud: Beloved is ashamed of her bad performance: a weak throw. Her performance would be judged bad in art of archery. Accomplished archers’ arrow would pass though games’ body while her got stuck. Buy praising her arrow, Mirza Ghalib is applauding her performance and removing her humiliation
Taba Tabai’s opinion: In second stanza of verses, Ghalib has used Urdu word Jo (جو). For fitting into meter, its last letter Vow (و ) remains unpronounced. This is not only right but also a beautiful construction. However because Vow (و) is silent two J (ج) are together meaning now it is pronounced J-J. This has created some harshness in in the meter. However, Ghalib has created this intentional sound