Ghazal 19, Verse 4


aaj vaa;N te;G-o-kafan baa;Ndhe hu))e jaataa huu;N mai;N
((u;zr mere qatl karne me;N vuh ab laave;Nge kyaa

1) today, having put/'tied' on sword and shroud, I go there

2a) what excuse to avoid slaying me will she find now?
2b) now, will she find an excuse to avoid slaying me?
2c) there's no way she'll find an excuse to avoid slaying me, now!



That is, if she doesn't have a sword, then I'll give her one. (20)

== Nazm page 20

Bekhud Mohani:

It was a custom of the Arabs, that when someone was resolved to die, he wrapped a shroud around his head; then no one stopped him from dying. Today I go there having put on sword and shroud. Now she won't make any excuse to avoid slaying me. Or else: let me see what excuse emerges now. (47)


There can be two excuses for not killing someone. One, the fear of death; from my wrapping a shroud around my hear it's clear that even that fear has been vanishing. Second, that no sword is present; that too I've brought with me. Now she'll have no scope for making excuses. With what solicitude he has expressed the approach of death! (76)


[See the discussion in M{277,8}.]


SWORD: {1,3}

Another exercise in kyaa , and a particularly elegant one. It is elegant because all three of the semantic possibilities of the kyaa are perfectly colloquial and perfectly relevant. It does not leave you with a sense of out-of-control possibilities too numerous to mention and too vague and shifting to pin down. It leaves you with a sense of clarity and humor-- clarity about three perfectly strong and fine alternative meanings for the second line, each of which connects to the first line in a natural, unforced, instantly intelligible and amusing way.

The lover's clever contrivance, which he reports with pride and triumph, is after all a device for ensuring his own immediate death. (Compare {209,8}.) Yet somehow this verse, to me at least, isn't the smallest bit morbid or grandiose. Instead, his naive pride (though perhaps not too naive, depending on how we read the second line) is irresistible. Don't we find ourselves rooting for him? (Rooting for him to successfully get himself killed?) Or at least, we're glad to see him have his small moments of glee while he can. For another example of his failure, see {24,4}.

On the possibilities of kyaa , see {15,10} for discussion.

Compare Mir's version of this challenge to the beloved: M{946,3}.