Ghazal 35, Verse 7


phir tire kuuche ko jaataa hai ;xayaal
dil-e gum-gashtah magar yaad aayaa

1) again/then thought goes to your street
2) but/perhaps the lost heart came to mind/recollection


gum-gashtah : 'Who (or that which) is lost'. (Platts p.914)


magar : 'If not, unless, except, save, save only, but; besides, however, moreover;—perhaps, perchance, peradventure, by chance, haply, probably, possibly; in case'. (Platts p.1061)


That is, only in your street is there the likelihood of the heart's becoming lost, so that thought would seek for it there. (35)

== Nazm page 35

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In presenting this theme, Mirza has paid such regard to the courtesies [aadaab] of passion that he does not blame the friend for stealing the heart; rather, he expresses the idea of the heart's being lost in her street. A second subtlety of meaning in this verse is that what makes him restless is the memory of the beloved. But to protect the secret of passion, the excuse is made of the lost heart's coming to mind. (69)

Bekhud Mohani:

Perhaps the lost heart has again come to mind. For nowadays the thought goes toward your street. That is, the lost heart will probably be there. (84)



The wonderful pivot of this seemingly simple little verse is magar , which means both 'perhaps' and 'but' (and ably supporting it is phir , meaning both 'then' and 'again'). If we take magar to mean 'perhaps,' then the second line supplies a tentative explanation for the first line: perhaps the reason thought goes to the beloved's street at that time-- 'then' [phir]-- is that it remembered the heart that had been presumably lost there. This is the version the commentators prefer, and it's the most obvious one.

However, if we take magar to mean 'but', then the second line supplies a cautionary deterrent: thought constantly sets off for the beloved's street, but then it remembers the lost heart. Does it begin the journey again and 'again' [phir], and lose heart (so to speak) and stop again and again? Is it confused about where the heart may be, since it was lost so long ago that it only occasionally comes to mind? Now that the heart is already lost, does it wonder what is there to offer? Does it ask itself what's the point of going there? That thought may well give a lover (and his 'thought') pause.