yak qa:trah ;xuun ho ke palak se ;Tapak pa;Raa
qi.s.sah yih kuchh hu))aa dil-e ;Gufraa;N-panaah kaa

1) having become a single drop of blood, it leaped down from the eyelashes
2) some story like this occurred, of the 'Forgiveness-refuged' heart



;Tap pa;Rnaa : 'To spring or vault (over), to leap or jump (over or across); to jump down'. (Platts p.356)


;Gafr : 'Forgiveness, pardon, remission of sins, absolution: — ;Gufraa;N-panaah , s.m. Asylum of forgiveness'. (Platts p.771)


panaah : 'Protection, defence, shelter, shade, asylum, refuge'. (Platts p.270)

S. R. Faruqi:

;Gafraa;N-panaah = the one who would be in the shelter of the Lord's forgiveness-- that is, a very virtuous [nek] person

The use of yih kuchh is here as appropriate as in


The sound effects of the first line too are fine, and through ;Tap it creates the effect of abruptly dripping. By saying ;Gafraa;N-panaah , how excellently the speaker has expressed the innocence and sinlessness of the heart. yak qa:trah ;xuun can also mean 'fully a whole drop of blood', the way yak bayaabaa;N tanhaa))ii means 'an extremely large amount of solitude'. The theme is melancholy, but the tone is cheerful/lively. He's composed an amazing verse.

It's possible that ;Gafraa;N-panaah might have been said sarcastically. There are two aspects to this sarcasm: (1) The heart, despite its innocence and sinlessness, was compelled to turn to blood. (2) On passing from the world the heart received refuge bestowed by the Lord, but in that world there was no refuge for it. It was in the grip of griefs and despairs, to such an extent that it became blood. Thus its ;Gafraa;N-panaahii will give it no peace in that world. In the tone there's a kind of contempt directed against the arrangement of all creation-- what kind of justice is this, and what kind of arrangement, where the condition of the good is so bad?

There's another aspect as well. Usually poets assume passion to be a sin, and the lover to be a sinner. Despite this, the speaker has called the heart innocent and ;Gafraa;N-panaah , as if it had endured so many sorrows that there had been atonement for the sin of passion. Basically there's 'tumult' in the verse, but 'meaning-creation' is also present. Mir is our only poet who is a complete master of everything-- 'mood' and 'meaning-creation', 'tumult' and 'meaning-creation'. In Ghalib, there's very little 'mood'; but indeed, in the rest of the qualities he's on the same level as Mir.

[See also {266,2}.]



About Persianized yak constructions: for a detailed discussion, see {452,2}.

For the heart to turn to blood is usually a sign of intense misery and longing (as in G{230,2}); and in any case the suffering lover routinely weeps bloody tears. So the 'leap' down from the eyelashes feels, in the ghazal world, radically and even exhilaratingly suicidal. But then, how did 'this' become the 'story of the Forgiveness-refuged heart'? There seem to be two main possibilities. The first possibility would suggest that the lover's suffering heart joyously leaped down out of this miserable world, in order to take refuge in God's forgiveness alone. Like a 'drop' merging into the ocean, it thereafter had no individual story to tell, so that this leap of faith became 'more or less' (through the beautifully chosen yih kuchh ) the whole of its story (as in G{21,8}).

The second possibility would be that even after taking refuge in God's forgiveness, the lover's heart was miserable to the point of suicide. This could mean either that God's forgiveness was an inadequate refuge, or else that despite the heart's claiming or invoking it ('I take refuge in God!'), the refuge hadn't actually been bestowed.

The word panaah is a noun of course, but ;Gafraa;N-panaah , literally 'Forgiveness-refuge', is used adjectivally, so that the i.zaafat phrase is a noun-adjective one meaning 'the heart that is Forgiveness-refuged'. There's an inevitable ambiguity here: is the heart a 'refuge-seeker' (it is in the act of seeking this protection) or a 'refuge-receiver' (it has already been granted this protection)? As we all know, not every 'refugee' actually finds a safe and secure 'refuge'.

SRF describes the heart as 'innocent' and 'sinless'. This would be either because after the heart has taken refuge in God, the heart's sins have been forgiven; or else because (as he also suggests) the heart has suffered so much that it has already atoned for its sins. Both these reasons can only be extrapolations; on the face of it, the verse doesn't tell us anything at all about the heart's degree of innocence or sinfulness. It tells us only that the heart was seeking a 'Forgiveness-refuge', and then about the heart's spectacularly suicidal leap out of misery and suffering, into-- what? Ultimately, its leap was an entirely non-verbal 'gesture', so that any interpretation can only be speculative.