Ghazal 60, Verse 1


kyuu;N jal gayaa nah taab-e ru;x-e yaar dekh kar
jaltaa huu;N apnii :taaqat-e diidaar dekh kar

1) why did I not burn up, having seen the radiance of the beloved's face?
1) why did I not burn up, having seen [my] endurance of the [sight of the] beloved's face?

2) I burn [with jealousy/pain], having seen my own strength of sight/vision


jalnaa : 'To burn; to be burnt; to be on fire; to be kindled, be lighted; to be scorched, be singed; to be inflamed, to be consumed; to be touched, moved, or affected (with pity, &c.); to feel pain, sorrow, anguish, &c.; to burn or be consumed with love, or jealousy, or envy, &c'. (Platts p.387)


taab : 'Heat, warmth; burning, inflaming; pain, affliction, grief; anger, indignation, wrath, rage; light, radiance, lustre, splendour; strength, power, ability, capability; endurance'. (Platts p.303)


The way lightning is the limit case [of light intolerable to the eyes], in the same way the author has expressed the limit case of jealousy: I myself burn at my own strength of vision. The same meaning he has expressed very clearly in a later verse: {153,1}. (55-56)

== Nazm page 55; Nazm page 56

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He's expressed the perfection of jealousy with such excellence that it's impossible to praise it sufficiently. He says, seeing the radiance of the beloved's face, I ought to have burned up-- why didn't I burn up? Now the result has emerged that seeing my own strength of sight, I burn [with jealousy]. That is, jealousy has lit a fire within my heart. (103)


The use of 'burn' in the two lines is entirely different; this pleasure of language is especially worthy of note. (139)


[See his commentary on Mir's M{1243,3}.]


SETS == MULTIVALENT WORDS ( taab , jalnaa )
GAZE: {10,12}

ABOUT taab : In verses like this one wordplay is hard to distinguish from meaning-play. For the whole pleasurehinges on the various meanings of taab (and jalnaa ). The protean taab (a Persian cognate to the Sanskrit taap , as in tapasya ) has the root meaning of 'heat', from which its associations of wrath, radiance, and endurance are all semi-metaphorically derived. More verses based on taab wordplay: {53,2}; {64,2}; {204,8}.

ABOUT jalnaa : The literal meaning of jalnaa is of course 'to burn', but its range of extended, semi-metaphorical associations include suffering, pain, and jealousy/envy (on this latter sense see {53,4}). Some examples with jalnaa : {05}, of which it is the refrain. Compare the somewhat more limited range of garmii ({81,9x}).

In the first line, the sight of the taab , radiance, of the beloved's face ought to consume me in flame (1a); or, my own taab , endurance, of the sight of the beloved's face ought to consume me in flames of jealousy/wrath at my toughness and presumption (1b). In the second line, in either case I burn with jealousy and rage against my own 'strengh of sight', which has caused me to behave not with the glorious self-abandon of the Moth flying into the candle-flame, but with an entirely discreditable, un-lover-like enduringness (see {1,2} for the related concepted of sa;xt-jaanii , 'tough-lifedness'). In short, it is my failure to jalnaa that causes me to jalnaa ; the problem is my taab of the beloved's taab .

Nazm rightly points to {153,1} as an excellent example of the same theme-- at the thought of his being able to see the beloved, the lover exclaims that he is 'jealous of himself'.