Ghazal 35, Verse 4


((u;zr-e vaa-maa;Ndagii ai ;hasrat-e dil
naalah kartaa thaa jigar yaad aayaa

1) an excuse of/for fatigue/lagging-- oh longing/sorrow of the heart!
2) I used to lament-- the liver came to mind/recollection


vaa-maa;Ndagii : The remaining or lagging behind (esp. from fatigue); --openness; exposure'. (Platts p.1177)


;hasrat : 'Grief, regret, intense grief or sorrow; --longing, desire'. (Platts p.477)


naalah : 'Complaint, plaint, lamentation, moan, groan; weeping'. (Platts p.1117)


The gist is, oh longing of the heart, accept my excuse of fatigue. I wanted to lament, but I thought about the liver-- may it not split apart! For this reason, I didn't lament. In the first line, qabuul kar ['accept'] is omitted. And this kind of omissions are in Persian, and in Urdu grammar they are not proper. Beauty results from omission in a verse, but only where the omission is idiomatic. (34-35)

== Nazm page 34 ; Nazm page 35

Bekhud Mohani:

From such omissions [as Nazm mentions], the mischievousness of the poetry increases, and trimness of construction brings forth a new form. Especially if he addresses something lifeless as if it were a living thing, of which this verse is an example. (83)


The heart is so amazed that it wants to complain and lament with tumult and commotion. But I present to it the excuse of my weakness and inability. The reason is that because of the effect of lamentation, the liver has split apart, and its life is over. Now I am remembering it. (101)


JIGAR: {2,1}

What a study in complexity! The verse consists of an exclamatory 'A,B' first line containing two elements, the relationship of which to each other is not specified. This line is related in some manner unspecified to a second line-- which also contains two 'A,B' elements with a relationship that is itself unspecified. Here are some possible readings:

1a) I make an excuse of fatigue to you, oh Longing of the heart. (Forgive me!)
1b) You make an excuse of fatigue to me, oh Longing of the heart? (For shame!)
1c) An excuse of fatigue? Oh, the longing of the heart! (How can this state of affairs be endured?)

2a) When I used to lament, the liver came to mind. (Cause and effect.)
2b) I used to lament, and also the liver came to mind. (Two parallel events.)
2c) I used to lament because the liver came to mind. (Effect and cause.)

Then, the idea that 'the liver came to mind' can itself have three senses: I used to lament, and then (1) I realized that it was time to call on the liver and make use of its blood-freshening activity; or (2) I realized that my liver couldn't stand it, and ceased my moans and groans; or (3) I remembered, regretfully, the earlier days when I had had a liver (that is, I wished that my vanished liver had still been available). As so often, all three of these senses work elegantly, in different relationships, with various readings of the first line.

Although the exact permutations become so complex, the general problem is clear enough. The liver and the heart play crucially different roles in ghazal physiology; for more on this see {30,2}. The liver is the source of fresh blood. As blood streams from the countless wounds in the suffering heart, and is channeled up to the eyes to drip out in tears of blood, fresh blood becomes an urgent necessity.

Yet as the lover's passion progresses, not only does the heart turn to blood, but the liver itself is gradually worn away. Now the lover can only (try to) lament because he cannot lament properly-- fatigue has weakened the heart, and the liver is only a fond memory. What is left? The longing of the heart, which seems to outlive the heart itself; and the lament, which seems to outlive the means of its expression.