Ghazal 14, Verse 4


go nah samjhuu;N us kii baate;N go nah paa))uu;N us kaa bhed
par yih kyaa kam hai kih mujh se vuh parii-paikar khulaa

1) although I might not understand her utterances, although I might not find out her secret/mystery/device

2a) but is this a small/lesser thing-- that that Fairy-faced one opened up to me?
2b) but this is no small/lesser thing-- that that Fairy-faced one opened up to me!


bhed : 'Breaking, separation, disunion, difference, disagreement, interruption, disturbance; betrayal; breach, rupture, fracture; fissure, chasm, cleft; separation, difference, distinction, peculiarity; discrimination, discernment; kind, sort, species, variety; device; secrecy, secret, mystery.' (Platts p.199)


In this verse, 'to open' means 'to converse freely and informally'. (14)

== Nazm page 14


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {14}

Bekhud Mohani:

The states of the lover and the beloved are as different as earth and sky. (32)

Naiyar Masud:

Now if the beloved is speaking the kind of words to the lover that the poor wretch can't even understand, and for this reason the beloved's secret/device is not clear to him, then why would he falsely think that she had opened up to him?....

The lover does not have trouble understanding what she is saying to him. Rather, he doesn't understand why she is conversing with him. Because up till now, the beloved has never been kind to the lover, so the lover is not familiar with her coquetry, and is ignorant of the real motive of any deed of hers....

Both 'to me' and 'that fairy-faced one' can be emphasized equally, or either one of them, in different tones of voice, and various latent interpretations can be brought out.

== (1973: 117-20)


[See his discussion of Mir's M{944,6}.]



SPEAKING verses: {3,9x}; {3,13x}; {14,4}; {14,7}; {15,11}, with a list of kyaa kahuu;N verses; {19,2}; {19,3}: {20,4}; {21,13}; {24,7}; {25,1}; {25,10x}; {32,3}; {36,5}; {36,6}; {36,11}; {37,4x}*; {39,4}; {42,1}; {46,7}; {53,9}; {58,10}; {59}, kahe ba;Gair ; {62,11}; {72,4}; {74,2x}; {86}*; {86,4}, on 'tone'; {88}; {91,2}; {103,1}*; {107,7}; {109,6x}; {109,7x}; {120,11}; {125,1}**; {125,4}; {126,10}**; {127,1}, rejected; {138,5}; {141,1}; {147,1}, 'flame of the voice'; {149,8x}; {151,9}; {156,3x}; {157,2}*; {159,4}; {160,4}*; {163,1}; {173,5}; {177,1}*; {178,1}; {178,3}; {178,9}; {183,3}; {191,1}; {201}, kyaa kahiye ; {208,7}; {209,1}**, ultimate; {215,4}; {231,8} // {349x,4}*; {349x,8}; {351x,3}, poetry; {361x,3}, poetry; {370x,7}; {392x,2}; {422x,2}; {424x,1}, plea to the Lord; {427x,6}; {433x,7}* vs. silence; {435x,7}, poetry; vs. silence; {438x,4}

The perfectly chosen, elegantly multivalent word bhed sets us up for the question in (2a). The lover thinks it is a rhetorical question, but we know that unfortunately it's not. It's all too possible that the beloved's bhed is something cruel or exploitative toward the lover, and her show of 'opening up' to him is some kind of a preparatory trick.

Or else, as in (2b), the defensive lover is protesting too much. He is struggling to justify the beloved's behavior at all costs. And of course, what does it mean to say that the beloved 'opened up' to you, if you didn't understand a single thing the beloved said, or what meaning might lie behind it?

Among the other flexibilities of kyaa , in the second line, kyaa kam hai can be read as a general, idiomatic, rhetorical question ('Is it a small thing? --of course it's not!'). For another such use, see {120,2}. Alternatively, however, it can apply specifically to the first line: it would have been a 'big thing' for me to understand her conversation and know her secrets; but her opening up to me-- is that a lesser thing? (Of course it's not, it's just as good, or almost as good.)