Ghazal 3, Verse 1

{3,1}

juz qais aur ko))ii nah aayaa bah ruu-e kaar
.sa;hraa magar bah tangii-e chashm-e ;hasuud thaa

1) besides Qais no one else came into the field/face of action

2a) perhaps the desert had the narrowness of an envious/spiteful eye
2b) but [nevertheless], the desert had the narrowness of an envious/spiteful eye

Notes:

.sa;hraa : 'A desert, waste, wilderness; a jungle, forest; a plain'. (Platts p.743)

 

bah (and its conjoining form ba ): 'With, by, for, from, in, into, to, up to, on, upon'. (Platts p.116)

 

magar : 'If not, unless, except, save, save only, but; besides, however, moreover; --perhaps, perchance, peradventure, by chance, haply, probably, possibly; in case'. (Platts p.1061)

 

;hasuud : 'Envious, spiteful, malignant'. (Platts p.477)

Nazm:

That is, only Qais has made a name for desert-wandering; except for him, the desert is like an envious person's eye toward anyone else except him; it's not been said (?) as if the desert, despite its breadth, is as narrow as the eye of an envious person. Here magar means 'perhaps'. (3)

== Nazm page 3

Vajid:

Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {3}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The reason might be that the desert was narrow like the eye of an envious person, so that there wasn't even scope for any other lover. (11)

Bekhud Mohani:

The first line expresses longing: alas, that no one turned out like that except Qais. In the second line he expresses hatred: this coquetry by the desert never gave me a chance. (5)

FWP:

SETS == MAGAR

DESERT verses == {3,1}; {4,8x}; {5,4}; {6,10x}; {6,14x}; {7,6}; {11,1} ; {11,4x}; {12,7x}; {16,4}*; {16,10x}; {17,2}; {18,2}; {18,3}; {22,8}; {27,10x}*; {31,1}; {35,8}; {40,3x}; {42,3}; {44,3x}; {68,2}; {84,4x}; {91,9}; {92,1}; {92,2}; {101,3}; {104,1}; {112,5}; {140,6}; {145,16x}; {156,1}; {166,2}; {172,1}; {175,4}; {183,4}; {190,1}; {208,4}; {214,2}; {214,15x}; {220,3x}; {221,3}; {222,2x}; {223,3x}; {223,4x}; {228,3}; {229,4}

EYES verses == {3,1}; {3,3}; {3,10x}; {3,12x}; {12,4x}; {14,8}; {15,16x}; {22,4}; {25,7}; {27,5}; {33,6}; {34,4}; {35,1}; {38,3}; {44,1} (with discussion of collyrium); {48,9}; {52,1}; {53,5}; {53,12x}; {54,4x}; {61,5}; {62,6}; {64,4}; {72,3}; {88,2}; {92,2}; {93,1}; {106,3}, evil eye; {108,11x}; {109,8x}; {111,4}; {111,6}; {117,1}; {120,3}; {122,2}; {143,6}; {145,8x}; {146,4x}; {147,1}; {147,3}; {147,4x}; {162,6}; {164,4}; {169,2}; {173,5}; {175,4}; {178,6}; {180,5}; {181,5}; {185,3}; {190,9}; {190,11x}; {192,2}; {192,4}; {208,13}*; {214,14x}*; {221,3}; {223,2}; {223,6x}; {229,5}; {231,2}

The two meanings of magar (see the definition above) can both work excellently here. The 'perhaps' meaning preferred by the commentators makes the second line a cause of the first line (as in 2a). Perhaps the narrowness of the desert-- the proverbial narrowness of an envious person's eye, or simply an 'envious eye'-- caused everybody except Qais to stay away. Perhaps the desert warned them off with a hostile glare. Or perhaps the desert even literally was so narrow? (Perhaps many are called to the lover's life, but few are chosen.) For another use of the 'envious eye', see {3,10x}.

But why stop with one meaning when two are so manifestly there for the taking? For the 'but' meaning creates another, equally provocative relationship: the desert loved Qais so specially that even though no one else was even on the scene at all, it remained possessively vigilant, so that the 'eye of a jealous person' is exactly what it showed. For another meditation on the desert's love for Qais, see {175,4}.

The word ruu , literally 'face', has an affinity with chashm , 'eye'.

Faruqi suggests (July 2000) that this verse should be compared with {117,1}. I would add {228,7} as well.

On the possibilities of juz , see {101,1}.