Ghazal 21, Verse 7


dimaa;G-e ((i:tr-e pairaahan nahii;N hai
;Gam-e aavaaragiihaa-e .sabaa kyaa

1) [I/we] have no mind/taste/nose for the perfume of the garment

2a) what grief is there, over the wanderingnesses of the breeze?
2b) what grief there is, over the wanderingnesses of the breeze!
2c) as if there were any grief over the wanderingnesses of the breeze!


dimaa;G : 'The brain; head, mind, intellect; spirit; fancy, desire; airs, conceit; pride, haughtiness, arrogance; intoxication; high spirits (produced by stimulants, esp. by drinking bhang, &c.; --the organ of smell'. (Platts p.526)


If the breeze were not a wanderer and disturber, then the scents of all the flowers would collect in one place. But the poet says that he has no mind/heart for the scent of a garment. What does he care about the wandering disposition of the breeze? He who feels no desire for the world, why would he grieve over the faithlessness of the world? (22)

== Nazm page 22


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {21}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

I don't care for the scent of the beloved's garment, on which Others have put perfume. If the breeze comes from the Rival's street, bearing the scent of perfume on a garment, then what's it to me? The word 'wandering' tells us that the breeze has come from the Rival's street. (45)

Bekhud Mohani:

It's possible that he might have said this to some critical friend, or to the Rival, or to the beloved herself. We ought not to consider that the lover has renounced passion. Such words emerge from a person's tongue at times when complaint reaches a limit, and apparently no hope remains. (54)



As usual in this ghazal, the second line with its refrain of kyaa opens up a multitude of possible relationships with the first line (see {21,1} for more on this).

2a) I {am in no mood / have no 'nose'} for the perfume of the (wanton, inaccessible beloved's) garment. So what is this grief that I feel over the fickle behavior of the breeze, when it blows the perfume indiscriminately all around, to the Rivals and everybody else as well as to me; or when it blows the perfume away from me entirely?

2b) What grief I feel over the fickle behavior of the breeze! It blows the perfume all over, to everyone else as well as to me; or it blows the perfume away from me entirely. Therefore, I {am in no mood / have no 'nose'} for the perfume of the garment.

2c) I {am in no mood / have no 'nose'} for the perfume of the garment-- as if I care whether the wind blows the perfume toward me, or away from me, or to the Rivals, or all over the place!

Another pleasure in this verse is the enjoyable use of the multivalent word dimaa;G . Its range of normal meanings centers on 'mind, intellect', but idiomatically to say mujhe dimaa;G nahii;N is somewhat like saying 'I have no taste for, I'm not in the mood for'. And then of course, the most perfect meaning here is the secondary meaning of 'the organ of smell'. This makes the verse almost-- but not quite-- an example of iihaam , a form of wordplay in which the poet uses a word with two meanings, and you at first think he intends the more common meaning, but then you realize he intends the more obscure one; he thus misdirects you and then forces you to retrace your mental steps. It's one more way of getting extreme mileage out of a single word and line in a highly compressed two-line poem. In this case the poet intends both meanings, but the process the reader goes through to recognize the extremely evocative meaning of 'sense of smell' is the same one-- misdirection and return. For more on dimaa;G , see {11,2}.

'Wanderingnesses' seems a bit hyperbolic, but perhaps it's meant to emphasize how extremely fickle the breeze is. For other examples of such pluralized abstractions, see {1,2}.