taazagii daa;G kii har shaam ko be-hech nahii;N
aah kyaa jaane diyaa kis kaa bujhaayaa ham ne

1) the freshness of the wound, every evening, is not for nothing
2) ah!-- there's no telling whose lamp we extinguished!



be-hech : 'For nothing, without reason, purpose, or motive'. (Platts p.204)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme is entirely new, and not only its freshness and rareness, but its depth too, are worthy of praise. In


we have already seen someone's sigh passing through the lover's heart every night like an arrow. Here too there's the same sort of theme, but there's more mystery. In the heart there's a wound (the wound of passion, the wound of grief, etc.), and every evening it manifests itself with more radiance and brilliance. At this, the speaker suspects, 'Have I somehow extinguished someone's lamp, so that in return my wound has become illumined?'. In this, there are the following possibilities:

(1) In the world the number of lamps is limited. If somewhere one lamp will be lit, then in exchange for it somewhere somewhere another lamp will grow cold. That is, the number of lamps that are in the destiny of the world will remain exactly the same. It will neither increase nor diminish.

(2) In the world the magnitude of the light too is limited. If somewhere the light increases, then at the same time somewhere else it will diminish. If my lamp became brighter, or its dimness changed into brilliance, then somewhere some lamp will have gone out, or will have been put out.

(3) Between the speaker's heart and the grief of others is an inner harmony and an empathy. If somewhere someone's lamp is extinguished, then in empathy with it the wound (=wound of grief) in my heart glows more brightly.

(4) When every evening we sigh, the wound in our heart glows more brightly (from being blown on, fire flares up), but there's no telling whether we (because of this sigh) have blown out someone's lamp. (That is, the sigh was so powerful that some neighbor's lamp was blown out.)

(5) From the second line it doesn't necessarily follow that the speaker has deliberately put out anyone's lamp; rather, because of his action the lamp has gone out.

And consider some additional excellences: (1) To call the wound's becoming bright, or the brightness of the wound, 'freshness', is a superb metaphor, because in it there's also an implication that the wound is renewed every day. (2) There's a 'meaning-play' between aah and bujhaayaa . (3) In the tone, along with melancholy there's a bit of sorrow, but also a bit of pride-- that our lamp remains bright every evening, even if in order to be bright it was necessary for it to put out someone else's lamp. (5) For a detailed discussion of be-hech , see




The presence of the aah surely tilts the interpretive balance toward SRF's possibility (4), since only that one can make creative use of the twofold power of a sigh. In the first line the sigh can be imagined as acting like a bellows, causing the glowing coals of the lover's burning heart to flare up afresh. Then in the second line the sigh can be imagined as acting like a powerful gust of wind, blowing out some unfortunate person's oil lamp. Still, despite SRF's best efforts, to me the verse doesn't seem very coherent or exciting.