Ghazal 17, Verse 8

{17,8}*

kii mire qatl ke ba((d us ne jafaa se taubah
haa))e us zuud-pashemaa;N kaa pashemaa;N honaa

1) after my murder, she swore off cruelty/tyranny
2) alas-- the repenting of that quick-repenter!

Notes:

jafaa : 'Oppression, violence, cruelty, injury, injustice, hardship'. (Platta p.382)

 

pashemaa;N : 'Penitent, sorry, repentant, remorseful, filled with regret; abashed, ashamed; disgraced'. (Platts p.264)

Nazm:

That is, the moment she saw the blood, she felt mercy: 'What have I done?'. There was neither any delay in becoming angry, nor any delay in repenting. And it's possible that he might have called her a 'quick-repenter' as a taunt or insult-- that is, when the deed has been irrevocably done, to feel mercy then, is that to repent quickly? (18)

== Nazm page 18

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The pleasure of the words 'that quick-repenter' can't be described. This is a special mood of ecstasy, it can't be written down. Only people with taste can experience something of its pleasure. (38)

Bekhud Mohani:

Two aspects emerge from 'alas': 1) I love her coquettish temperament. 2) I can't bear to think of her repentance. (43)

Faruqi:

[See his comments on Mir's M{558,5} and M{1219,1}.]

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION; REPETITION; STRESS-SHIFTING

What a study in the extraordinary power of inshaa))iyah speech! This is another very famous, much-loved verse.

Is her repentance being exclaimed at because it is so quick (it occurs as soon as she has killed him), or so slow (it occurs only after she has killed him)? As Nazm points out, there's no way to tell: it's both at once. For more on the fickleness of the beloved, see {46,1}.

Is the 'alas!' ironic or straightforwardly melancholy?

Is the exclamation rueful, amused, regretful, bitter, detached?

And is the exclamation evoked by the murder itself, the repentance, the quickness, or the general nature of 'that quick-repenter'?

The un-analyzability of this verse (since we have only a few bits of information and a vague, un-pin-down-able exclamation about them) causes Bekhud Dihlavi to consider it a verse of mood. I agree-- the pleasure of it is the intricate texture of all those kinds of haa))e available at once, and flickering in and out of the reader's mind. Doesn't it make you want to recite it, and to linger expressively on the haa))e ?

This verse belongs to the 'dead lover speaks' set; for discussion and more examples, see {57,1}.