Ghazal 16, Verse 5


kam jaante the ham bhii ;Gam-e ((ishq ko par ab
dekhaa to kam hu))e pah ;Gam-e rozgaar thaa

1a) we too considered the grief of passion [to be relatively] less/small, but now
1b) we too knew little of the grief of passion, but now

2a) when we looked, then on [its] having become less, there was the grief of {livelihood / the age/ the world}
2b) when we looked, then on [its] having become less, it was the grief of {livelihood / the age / the world}


jaan'naa : 'To know, apprehend, understand, comprehend; to ascertain; to become aware of; to perceive; to recognise; to suppose, believe, hold, deem, think, consider, fancy, conceive; to judge, esteem, account'. (Platts p.374)


dekhnaa : 'To see, look, look at, behold, view, observe, perceive, suspect, mark, note, consider, look to, weigh well, examine, prove; try; to search, scan; ... to experience, suffer, endure, tolerate, bear the sight of'. (Platts p.557-58)


hu))e pah is an archaic form of hone pah , with the pah of course short for par (GRAMMAR)


rozgaar : 'Service, employ, situation, business; earning, livelihood; --the world; fortune; age, time, season'. (Platts p.605)


That is, even when it became less, it turned out to be a very great deal. (17)

== Nazm page 17

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Because of inexperience, like others I too thought that the grief of passion was small. But when I was trapped in that disaster, I became aware of the true state of affairs. That is, the grief of passion, even when it becomes less, turned out to be somewhat more than the whole world's grief. (36)

Bekhud Mohani:

My eyes have opened. And now I see that the limit of the grief of passion is impossible to tell. If one should suppose it to be the least possible, then it is equal to all the griefs of the world. Grief has been divided into two parts: 1) the grief of passion; 2) the grief of the world. (40)



ABOUT jaan'naa : This basic verb can mean both 'to know (accurately)' and 'to consider (perhaps wrongly)'. Its wide ra nge is made clear in the definition above. For a clear example in Nazm's normal prose of jaan'naa to refer to error, see {108,8}. Some complex or ambiguous examples in verses: {34,5}; {34,8}; {101,5}; {110,5}; {140,2}; {159,6}; {202,3}. Compare the situation of samajhnaa : {90,3}.

The divan version of this ghazal has no closing-verse; when it was originally composed, {16,10x} was its closing-verse.

The verse rests on the wonderful punning on kam . It also belongs to the 'snide remarks about the natural world' set; for others, see {4,8x}.

Similarly, dekhaa can convey not the idea of a passive 'look,' but the sense that we 'saw for ourself' or 'experienced' or 'endured' how it was.

In (2a), when the grief of passion lessens, we are able to notice the ;Gam-e rozgaar that the grief of passion had previously overwhelmed and rendered imperceptible. In (2b), as the grief of passion lessens, it itself turns into the ;Gam-e rozgaar -- which itself can be either the dreariness of the quotidien, earning a living, the death of a thousand cuts; or else the grief of the whole age. For more on rozgaar , see {20,7}.

The obvious verse for comparison is {20,7}, where the same dual interpretation is possible: there is either a replacement of one grief by the other, or a conversion of one grief into the other.