Ghazal 36, Verse 4

{36,4}

qaid me;N hai tire va;hshii ko vuhii zulf kii yaad
haa;N kuchh-ik ranj-e giraa;N-baarii-e zanjiir bhii thaa

1) in shackles/bondage, your wild one has that same memory of curls
2) indeed/yes, there was even/also some small trouble/pain/vexation of the heaviness of the chains

Notes:

qaid : 'A shackle, fetter, bonds; bondage; confinement, imprisonment; control; restraint; restriction'. (Platts pp.796-97)

 

va;hshii : 'Wild, untamed; shy; unsociable; --uncultivated; uncivilized, barbarous; savage; untractable; fierce, ferocious; brutish; cruel; --s.m. A wild beast; a brute; a savage'. (Platts p.1183)

 

kuchh-ek : 'Somewhat, some little, a little'. (Platts p.819)

 

ranj : 'Trouble; sorrow, grief, affliction; sadness; anguish of mind, distress; suffering, pain, hardship; pains, toil, inconvenience; offence, annoyance, vexation, molestation; anger; disgust'. (Platts p.599)

Nazm:

In comparison to the memory of the curls, he has mentioned the imprisonment in chains as very light, so that the memory of the curls can be shown to weigh more heavily. (36)

== Nazm page 36

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, your madman has still not forgotten your curls, by which he had previously been imprisoned. Although along with it, he also had a light thought of the heaviness of the chains also. Through this mention, he wanted to show that the imprisonment in chains is less in harshness than the imprisonment of the curls. (70)

Bekhud Mohani:

One ought to consider it as if someone is narrating some event, and after saying something he falls silent. Then spontaneously, or when someone asks him, he reflects and says, oh yes, there was one more matter. In this verse 'yes' and 'also' create an image of pausing in mid-sentence and reflecting before giving a reply. (86)

Mihr:

The affinity of prison, madman, curls, and chains needs no commentary. (140)

FWP:

SETS
BONDAGE: {1,5}
CURLS: {14,6}
MADNESS: {14,3}

Of course the curly tresses [zulf] and the round iron chains or shackles in which a prisoner is confined have their shape in common, and their binding power. The lover may even describe himself as a 'hereditary slave of curls', so that he wouldn't flee from chains (see {19,6}). As Bekhud Mohani points out, the structure of the second line, starting with the idiomatically concessive haa;N ('indeed,' 'oh yes', 'to be sure'), conveys the clear impression of a minor afterthought. The main point having been made, the speaker adds a small supplementary or concessive point he had previously overlooked. As the commentators observe, the effect of this structure is to emphasize both the importance of the curls, and the 'light' weight and trouble [kuchh-ik ranj] of the 'heavy' chains by comparison.

But if we look closely at the verse, another question arises: are the curls and the chains necessarily two different things? In the ghazal world madmen are chained up, of course, so the lover might really be in physical confinement, as the commentators believe. But the lover calls himself a 'wild one' [va;hshii], which may or may not be the same as a madman; it could also refer to a wild animal, the prey of some hunter. Thus the lover might also be referring to his lifelong emotional captivity as a form of bondage.

In that case, it is the curls themselves that ensnared him, and the thought or memory of them continues to fetter him. He exults in cherishing 'that very same' memory-- although he does feel, once in a while, that the curl-memory chain, far from being weightless as a feather as we would expect, weighs just a tiny bit heavily. Though he certainly doesn't complain. If he could identify himself in {36,3} as a forgotten prey dangling from the beloved hunter's saddle-strings, why can't he also see himself as enduring life imprisonment in the chains of her curls?

Compare Mir's association of chains with a 'twisting' spring breeze: M{451,1}.