Ghazal 9, Verse 5


huu;N tire va((dah nah karne me;N bhii raa.zii kih kabhii
gosh minnat-kash-e gulbaa;Ng-e tasallii nah hu))aa

1) even/also in your not making a promise/vow, I'm content/agreeable, for not ever
2) did my ear become {indebted to / humbly pleading for} the auspicious-sound of comfort


raa.zii : 'Pleased, well-pleased, content, contented, satisfied, agreed, willing, acquiescent; regarding with good will or favour, liking, approving'. (Platts p.582)


gulbaa;Ng : 'The note of the nightingale; warbling; --sound; --fame, rumour; --glad tidings; --a loud shout'. (Platts p.911)


minnat : 'Kindness or service done (to); favour, obligation; —grace, courtesy; —entreaty, humble and earnest supplication; —grateful thanks, praise'. (Platts pp. 1070-71)

minnat-kash : 'Under obligation, obliged' (Platts p.1071).


That is, if you had made a promise of union, then in that case I would have been happy, because it was exactly my desire; and since you did not make a promise, I'm happy even with that, because I'm saved from obligation-- and from an obligation that I never could have repaid. (10)

== Nazm page 10


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {9}

Bekhud Mohani:

Mirza Naushah does not mean, 'I consider your promise to mean nothing', but rather, 'Your promise is my life, but when you do not want to make a promise, then why would I torment my heart? I am happy, considering that if you had made a promise, then the goal would have been attained. If you did not make a promise then you did well, because my ear did not become indebted to the good news of comfort.'


VOWS: {20,2}

There are two ways of reading the second line. First, as Nazm and the other commentators propose: I'm glad that my ear never abased itself, begged, flattered the 'good news' (or 'rumor') of comfort.

Second, as a less defiant and more resigned statement: even if you don't promise I'm content, I accept it, because after all I'm used to it-- never have I heard a single word of encouragement from you anyway. Being under no 'obligation' to comfort (because of never having received any) is my normal state, so why should I repine?

The verse reminds us that minnat-kash , 'doing (or 'a doer of') minnat '-- literally, 'pleading, entreating' or 'gratefully praising' (see the definition above)-- doesn't just convey a neutral-sounding 'under obligation', but rests on a much more vividly humiliating image of humble supplication. The usage is similar to that of sharmindah in {9,1}. In both cases, the poet plays with conventional metaphors for 'being under obligation, being indebted', and does so in a way that also invokes their original, literal meanings.