Ghazal 4, Verse 1

{4,1}*

kahte ho nah de;Nge ham dil agar pa;Raa paayaa
dil kahaa;N kih gum kiije ham ne mudda((aa paayaa

1) you say, 'we won't give back the heart, if we find it lying [around]'

2a) do we even have the heart, that it would be lost?! --we found out your object!
2b) where is the heart, that it would be lost? --we attained/'found' our object!

Notes:

mudda((aa : 'Desire, wish; suit; meaning, object, view; scope, tenor, drift; -- object of search'. (Platts p.1015)

 

paayaa is here colloquially used to replace the subjunctive, paa))e;N ; GRAMMAR.

 

kiije is an archaic form of the passive, kiyaa jaa))e ; GRAMMAR.

Nazm:

That is, your expression is saying: if we find your heart lying somewhere, then we won't give it back. Here, there's no heart at all that we might lose and that you might find lying somewhere. But from this attachment/intimacy we understood that the heart is in your custody alone. (4)

== Nazm page 4; Nazm page 5

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Indeed, hearing this, I've understood your meaning: that is, you yourself have stolen my heart. (12)

Bekhud Mohani:

Indeed, when you said that, I found the reward I had asked for: that you too pay attention to me, and value my heart. (7)

FWP:

SETS == DIALOGUE; KAHAN; OPPOSITES
LOSING/FINDING {4,6}

The two Bekhuds explicate (2a) and (2b) respectively. The Urdu is carefully ambiguous, and Ghalib surely intended both. For another such play on paanaa , see {153,6}.

In the second line, dil kahaa;N kih gum kiije is a wonderful question. 'Where is the heart, that we could lose it?' is the obvious meaning, but it also contains 'Where is the heart?'-- which of course is just what you'd say if you did lose your heart. Or you might say, 'Where is the heart?' and be eagerly looking for it, specifically because you wanted to lose it [kih gum kiije].

There's also the strong rhetorical-question reading of kahaa;N -- 'Where? Why, nowhere, of course! Nowhere, never, no way! As if!'. In this case, 'As if I had a heart! How would I possibly have a heart?!' The question might be seen as almost insulting, as well as absurd, to think that a passionate lover would still retain his heart.

And then of course by so utterly not having a heart that you can't even lose it, you claim to have found or attained your goal.

Justin Ben-Hain suggests (Feb. 2013) that the nah could be taken as a kind of emphatic pointer, so that the first line would read 'You say, don't you, "we'll give back the heart, if we find it lying around"?' The colloquial, teasing feel of this reading is wonderful, and since the second line calls the beloved's credibility into question, in a sense it hardly matters whether she tells one kind of lie or another (since she already has the heart and thus can't possibly 'find it lying around' anyway). The only weakness of this reading is that it makes less sense of 'We found out your object!', since her claim to be ready to give back the heart doesn't reveal her true object (to keep the heart) the way her claim not to be ready to give up the heart does. But the complexities of the second line invite complexities in the first one, and Justin's proposed reading has a pleasure of its own, so why should we not add it to the other pleasures of the verse?

For another ambiguous use of mudda((aa paayaa , see {4,15x}.

On the use of the perfect verb form as a subjunctive, see {35,9}.