Ghazal 34, Verse 3

{34,3}*

shar;h-e asbaab-e giriftaarii-e ;xaa:tir mat puuchh
is qadar tang hu))aa dil kih mai;N zindaa;N samjhaa

1) don't ask for a commentary/'opening out' of the reasons for confinement/bondage of temperament
2) to such an extent the heart became narrow/oppressed that I considered it a prison-cell

Notes:

shar;h : '(inf. n. of sh - r - ;h , to uncover, lay open, &c.), s.f. An exposition, explanation, interpretation, a running commentary (on a work or text); annotation; description'. (Platts p.724)

 

giriftaarii : 'Seizure, capture, arrest, apprehension; --captivity, imprisonment, bondage; embarrassment, entanglement'. (Platts p.904)

 

tang : 'Contracted, straitened, confined, strait, narrow, tight; wanting, scarce, scanty, stinted, barren; distressed, poor, badly off; distracted, troubled, vexed'. (Platts p.340)

Nazm:

The dictionary meaning of 'commentary' is of 'opening'; the author has used this word because of its affinity with 'narrow'. And 'narrowness' of temperament and 'opening' of temperament have the same opposition. And when it comes to 'confinement of temperament', he has adopted the wordplay of a 'cell'. (33)

== Nazm page 33

Bekhud Mohani:

shar;h has the meaning of 'opening', so it has an affinity with 'confinement' and 'narrow' and 'cell'. 'Don't ask me for a detailed account of the reasons for the bondage of my heart'-- that is to say, neither can I express it, nor can you listen to it. (80)

Chishti:

There is an iihaam in shar;h­-e asbaab. 1) the explication of the reasons for confinement of temperament (this is the intended meaning); 2) it's the name of a famous book on medicine [:tibb]. (356)

FWP:

SETS == INEXPRESSIBILITY; WORDPLAY
BONDAGE: {1,5}

A multivalent excursion into wordplay. Asking for a commentary is of course just what one would do when in perplexity, so the old 'don't ask' inexpressibility trope is refreshed by a literal interpretation. As the commentators observe, the literal meaning of shar;h rests on the idea of explication or description as 'opening out,' so that it interacts beautifully with the 'confinement' of temperament and the 'narrow' heart that is taken for a prison cell.

The verb samajhnaa can mean not only 'to understand' (accurately), but also 'to consider' (subjectively, perhaps inaccurately); on this see {90,3}.