Ghazal 15, Verse 9

{15,9}

naalah-e dil me;N shab andaaz-e a;sar naayaab thaa
thaa sipand-e bazm-e va.sl-e ;Gair go betaab thaa

1) in the lament of the heart, last night, the style of effect was unattainable
2) it was the 'wild rue' of the gathering of 'union' of the Other, although it was faint/powerless/restless/lusterless

Notes:

betaab : 'Faint, powerless; agitated, restless, uneasy, impatient...; devoid of splendour, lustreless'. (Platts p.202)

*Platts Dictionary Online*

Nazm:

That is, although the heart was restless, its restlessness was counterproductive. (16)

== Nazm page 16

Vajid:

Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {15}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Wild rue is a black seed that people burn; then they expose children to its smoke, to protect them from the evil eye. Mirza Sahib says that last night there was absolutely no effect of the lament of the heart. My friend was in the gathering of the Other. That lament that was extremely restless, and because of its restlessness came to the tongue time after time-- for the gathering of the Other it became a black seed. That is, it was saving the gathering of the Other from the evil eye. The ineffectiveness of a lament has been shown with an entirely untouched thought, in new words. (33)

Bekhud Mohani:

In order to repel the evil eye, wild rue is used.... Last night, in our laments there wasn't even a trace of effect. And although the heart was restless, still its restlessness created no effect on the heart of the beloved or the Rival. Rather, in their enjoyment even more excess appeared. That is, from the effect of my laments, the beloved's heart ought to have melted, and there would have been interference with the Rival's enjoyment. But on the contrary-- both were delighted with my laments. (36)

FWP:

SETS == WORD
'UNION': {5,2}

This opening-verse appears, unusually, in the midst of the ghazal; or else, in the view of some, it introduces a new ghazal in the same pattern. I follow Hamid and Arshi in treating the whole thing as a single ghazal.

My restless heart, dark with sorrow, smolders and smokes; but its suffering is not merely ineffective but actually counterproductive. The lover here finds himself, as he does so often, in the worst of all possible worlds.

The chief thematic basis of the verse is the equation of the heart with the seeds of wild rue, in appearance (shrunken and blackened by grief), condition (burning and smoldering), and effect (contributing to the Other's wellbeing). Unfortunately the suitable literal meaning of 'rue' in English is just adventitious here and can't be used for anything.

But the verse's chief charm is the excellently suitable adjective betaab . The lament was the 'wild rue' of the gathering, although it was 'faint' (and thus couldn't make a suitable impression); and although it was 'powerless' (and thus couldn't ward off the evil eye); and although it was 'agitated' (and thus not suited for an elegant gathering); and although it was lusterless (like burnt-out dark seeds). The verse thus offers a kind of meditation on the meanings of betaab , and becomes an example of what I call 'word-exploration'.

Compare {153,5}, which also has to do with evening gatherings and the repelling of the evil eye.