Ghazal 36, Verse 3


tuu mujhe bhuul gayaa ho to pataa batlaa duu;N
kabhii fitraak me;N tere ko))ii na;xchiir bhii thaa

1) if you might have forgotten me, then should/might I tell you the address?
2) at one time in your saddle-straps there was even/also some prey/game


fitraak : 'Saddle-straps; cords fixed to a saddle for hanging game to'. (Platts p.776)


I am that very one [i.e., the prey]. (36)

== Nazm page 36

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, I am the same prey who had at one time been tied to your horse's saddle straps, and whom you considered to be unworthy, so that you loosened the straps and threw him away. Perhaps you've forgotten me. But to this very day I still consider myself your prey alone. (70)

Bekhud Mohani:

The poet has expressed his meaning in strangely heart-attracting words.... That is, I was such a lover of yours, whom you used to treat affectionately, and respect for whose love was in your heart. (Beauty of expression sacrifices itself for this style of expression.) (35-36)



What a note of pathos the lover seems to strike here! And yet, as you study the verse further, the matter-of-factness shows itself underneath. The first line is wonderfully colloquial, it might be said by anyone-- anyone politely preparing to refresh a casual acquaintance's memory of a long-ago social encounter. It is courteous, after all, to act as though the person might have forgotten you, in order to emphasize your own modesty and your listener's greater importance. But once you provide your address, you expect a friendly or at least properly polite reception.

So what does the lover provide by way of address? Not a current place of residence or business affiliation. Not even a past one. Only a very delicate and tentative reminder that there was once 'some' prey tied to your saddle. Only implication says that he himself was the prey. And the further suggestion is of course that he has nothing else to mention about himself-- no home, no work, no identity, nothing current to tell you who he is. He has only that identity of having been once strapped to your saddle. Which means that, in an important sense, he's there still. Could it be that you just haven't bothered to notice your hunting-bag lately? This extremely subtle, courteous, low-key, indirect verse, with its rich depths of suggestion, conveys between its two short simple lines the lover's whole plight.