dekhe;N to terii kab tak yih kaj-adaa))iyaa;N hai;N
ab ham ne bhii kisuu se aa;Nkhe;N la;Raa))iyaa;N hai;N

1) let's see how long there are these crooked-style-nesses of yours
2) now even/also we have locked/'fought' eyes with someone



la;Raa))iyaa;N hai;N is an archaic form of la;Raa))ii hai;N

S. R. Faruqi:

'On' this ghazal, In'amullah Khan Yaqin, Shah Hatim, and Taban too have written ghazals. Shah Hatim has given his ghazal the title 'in the style of Yaqin' [bah :tarz-e yaqiin]. From this it can be guessed that this 'ground' was perhaps invented [nikaalnaa] by In'amullah Khan Yaqin himself. Mirza Farhatullah Beg, in the introduction to his edited diivaan-e yaqiin , has written that since Shah Hatim has given his ghazal the title 'in the style of Yaqin', this proves that Yaqin had a special style, and that he had to some degree influenced Shah Hatim as well.

My view is that this opinion of Mirza Farhatullah Beg is not correct. Yaqin's ghazal in this ground is not of any special rank, nor is any new style perceptible in Yaqin's poetry. He was undoubtedly a good poet, but not such that people like Hatim would consider his style to be individual and would imitate it. Shah Hatim (contrary to the usual practice of Urdu poets) behaved with great generosity in praising and commending his younger contemporaries. When he wrote on some of his ghazals 'in the style of Sauda', 'in the style of Yaqin', etc., he meant that by writing ghazals in the 'grounds' of these poets, he was acknowledging their stature and rank.

In the present ghazal too, this is the case. And the truth is that Shah Hatim's own ghazal in this 'ground', and Mir's ghazal, are both of higher rank than Yaqin's. Although indeed, Taban's ghazal is commonplace. But one verse of Shah Hatim's has rivalled/'fought with' a verse of Taban's. It's possible that Hatim might have composed this verse 'on' Taban's verse. Hatim's verse is, in any case, better than Taban's verse. Taban's verse is:

jhamkii dikhaa jhijhak kar dil le ke bhaag jaanaa
kyaa achpalaa))iyaa;N hai;N kyaa panchalaa))iyaa;N hai;N

[having shown a glance/glimpse, having hesitated-- having taken the heart, to run away
what restlessnesses there are, what dexterities there are!]

Now listen to Shah Hatim:

;Tuk ik sarak sarak kar aa bai;Thnaa ba;Gal me;N
kyaa achpalaa))iyaa;N hai;N aur kyaa ;Dha;Taa))iyaa;N

[just having slid along a bit, to come and sit by one's side
what restlessnesses there are, and what effronteries!]

In the present ghazal, Mir's opening-verse is nothing very excellent. I've retained it only so that the three verses [that are usually included in SSA to retain the shape of a ghazal] would be complete. The zila of dekhe;N and aa;Nkhe;N is good, there's mischievousness [baa;Nkepan] in the theme, but there's no fresh aspect.

These rhymes, Hatim and Taban have versified very excellently. Taban:

qismat me;N kyaa hai dekhe;N jiite bache;N kih mar jaa))e;N
qaatil se ab to ham ne aa;Nkhe;N la;Raa))iyaa;N hai;N

[let's see what's in our destiny, whether we survive or die
now we have locked/'fought' eyes with the murderer]


zulfo;N kaa bal banaate aa;Nkhe;N churaa ke chalnaa
kyaa kam nigaahiyaa;N hai;N kyaa kaj-adaa))iyaa;N hai;N

[while making coils of the curls, to go along having averted the eyes--
what few glances there are, what crooked-style-nesses there are!]

And indeed, Yaqin has composed a fine verse:

ham to chale pah yaa rab aabaad rakhyo un ko
un baa;Gicho;N me;N kyaa kyaa dhuume;N machaa))iyaa;N hai;N

[we have departed, but oh Lord, keep them flourishing/inhabited!
in those small gardens, what-all clamors have broken out!]

If in the second line he had not scanned baa;Giicho;N with a short medial syllable, then the verse would have become better.

Hatim's ;Tuk ik sarak sarak kar verse is worthy to be numbered among the jewels of our ghazal tradition. Mir's opening-verse, in the presence of these two, remains lacking in depth.



The final verse of Yaqin's is the one that really lodges in my memory, despite the (archaic) metrical liberties that SRF criticizes. The second line reminds me of what happens in the dastan world when a tilism, an enchanted mini-world, has its spell broken and collapses into nothingness: a huge, almost cosmic clamor is set up in the magical universe, and generally the magician who made the tilism dies at the same moment. Yaqin might consciously have intended such an allusion, but even if he didn't, it certainly can't be ruled out. For we have to wonder who is clamoring, and why. Was it only the speaker's passion that had been keeping those little gardens alive? And which 'little gardens' are they? That line not only has 'mood', but is full of 'meaning-creation' as well.