;xa:t ke phu;Tne kaa tum se kyaa shikvah
apne :taali(( kaa yih likhaa .saa;hib

1a) about the brokenness of the writing, what complaint do I have against you?
1b) about the brokenness of the writing, as if I have a complaint against you!
1c) about the brokenness of the writing, what a complaint I have against you!

2) this writing/decree of my fate/fortune, Sahib



;xa:t : 'A line, a streak, or stripe, a mark; lineament; —writing, character, handwriting chirography; a letter, epistle'. (Platts p.490)


phu;Tnaa (variant of phuu;Tnaa ): 'To be broken, to be broken i nto; to be broken down; to be dispersed, be separated, be detached'. (Platts p.292)


:taali(( : 'Star, destiny, fate, lot, fortune; prosperity'. (Platts p.750)


likhaa : 'Written, &c.; what has been (or is) written; a writing, written document; decree (of fate); fate, destiny, predestination'. (Platts p.959)



This ghazal is not included in SSA; for discussion, see {775,1}.

Of course tum se kyaa shikvah makes excellent use of the 'kya effect'. If it is read as 'What complaint do I have against you?' (1a), then it's a genuine question: can my wretched fate be blamed on you, or not? If it's read as 'As if I have a complaint against you!' (1b), then it's a vehement exclamation of repudiation: my complaint is not with you, but with my stars. And if it's read as 'What a complaint I have against you!' (1c), then it's an indignant expostulation: how strongly I complain against you about my wretched fate, since your writing is the shaper of my destiny!

Then in the second line, to what does the 'this' refer? Something in the first line, no doubt, but there's more than one possibility. It could be 'the brokenness of the writing' that is to blame-- the fact that the writer of my fate had such careless or inept handwriting. It could be 'the writing' itself that is to blame-- since its brokenness too is part of what is 'written' into my destiny. Or, of course, it could be the 'Sahib' herself-- her careless handwriting, and her irrevocable presence in my life, are inseparable parts of my fate.

Is the Sahib a 'writer of fate' herself, or is the complaint about some other 'writer of fate'? As usual, we're left to decide for ourselves. And what kind of 'writing' is it, anyway? One of the most enjoyable aspects of the verse is the possibility that the whole thing is a tragicomic lament about the beloved's sloppy handwriting. Perhaps she wrote him one of her (rare) letters, and scrawled it so negligently that he can't even read it. In response, he composes a verse that elevates her sloppy handwriting to the level of unjust but immutable cosmic destiny. Because, of course, to him that's exactly what it is.