Ghazal 64, Verse 7x


fusuun-e yak-dilii hai la;z;zat-e bedaad dushman par
kih vaj'h-e barq jyuu;N parvaanah baal-afshaa;N hai ;xirman par

1) the pleasure/relish of cruelty to an enemy is a magic-spell of harmoniousness
2) since/while the aspect/semblance/cause of lightning, like a Moth, is wing-fluttering over the harvest


fusuun : 'Enchantment, incantation, fascination, &c.'. (Platts p.761)


la;z;zat : 'Pleasure, delight, enjoyment; sweetness, deliciousness; taste, flavour, relish, savour; --an aphrodisiac; an amorous philter'. (Platts p.955)


vaj'h : 'Face, visage, countenance, aspect; --presence, appearance, shape, semblance; --mode, manner, reason, ratio; way, method, plan; cause, means'. (Platts p.1182)


The enemy's heart is full of the pleasure of oppressing me; from this there is concord and friendship, because the one in whose heart resides the pleasure of cruelly destroying my harvest like lightning-- that one is entranced and keeps hovering over my harvest and falling upon it as though s/he had been captivated, the way someone would wander who was restlessly in love with someone. What a fine thought it is-- praise be to God!

== Asi, p. 119


The meaning of the verse is that the pleasure of cruelty creates, even/also on the enemy, the effect of an incantation of concord. That is, it makes the enemy into a friend-- the way lightning, which is the enemy of the harvest, flutters around the harvest like a Moth so that it would obtain the Moth's friendship or concord.

But from this meaning no intention/purport emerges, because neither is it established that the harvest is a candle, nor is it established that lightning takes pleasure in cruelty.

== Zamin, p. 171

Gyan Chand:

The fusuun-e yak-dilii is that incantation that would bring together the hearts of two people. The verse can have a number of meanings.

(1) The beloved is giving me the pleasure of cruelty. Lightning is hovering over my harvest the way that a Moth would be flying. Having seen my terrible condition, even the Rival's heart has melted, and he has become my sympathizer.

(2) The beloved is showing cruelty to me and to the Rival both. Lightning is hovering over both our harvests.

(3) This cruel one, considering me her special lover, has singled me out for tyranny and oppression. The beloved's and my accord of heart has become a cause of pain to the Rival; he is wracked by jealousy/envy because the beloved doesn't oppress him, because she shows a special negligence toward him. He doesn't know that lightning falls only on the harvest, it doesn't fall just here and there. The beloved's attention (which is nothing other than tyranny and oppression) will be toward me alone, not toward others like the Rival.

Emphasis will be given to the first meaning. My pleasure at cruelty is working as an incantation of accord on the enemy; the second line is a commentary on cruelty.

== Gyan Chand, p. 209



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Here is another of those endlessly recursive, undecideable 'friend/enemy' verses; for more on these, see {4,3}. The first line says that the relish of cruelty to an enemy is a magic spell that melds two hearts harmoniously into one. Thus there are probably three entities involved, all of them at this point unidentifiable; or conceivably there are only two such entities, if one of them is masochistically fond of receiving cruelty. We have to wait-- under mushairah performance conditions-- for the second line to bring us whatever clarification is on offer.

Then when we finally hear the second line, we realize that it's opaque even by Ghalibian standards. The little kih can mean either 'since' or 'while', each of which offers a different relationship to the first line. And then the vaj'h-e barq opens up a wide range of possibilities (see the definition above) -- something that causes lightning? something that looks like or resembles lightning? something that behaves according to the 'way' or 'method' of lightning? Whatever it is, it is hovering or floating, literally 'wing-fluttering', over the harvest.

So far, so good. Ghalib has quite a set of lightning-and-harvest verses; for a full list and discussion, see {10,6}. Since we know that tormenting an enemy is envisioned in the first line, we're quite prepared for something flickering like heat lightning around the harvest-ready fields, with a looming threat of violence. It would even make sense to compare the brooding threat of incipient lightning to some kind of ominously hovering bird of prey.

Yet the verse compares the lightning to an ominously hovering-- Moth! What's going on here? The Moth, after all, is famous for flying into a candle-flame and meeting a gloriously fiery death: if anything, he's more like the harvest than the lightning. Moths are also so tiny, that it's hard to think of one as a hovering image of menace, like a bat. Yet the grammar of the second line clearly likens the vaj'h-e barq to the hovering of a Moth over the harvest. In the ghazal world we never see the Moth flying over open fields; we always see him somewhere in a room, near a candle. (Outside flyers include the Nightingale, the Anqa, and the Huma, and the Ring-dove.) So what exactly is he doing there? Are we to take it that the presence of the vulnerable, fire-fascinated Moth somehow incites or evokes the lightning?

It's a moody and ominous line, in any case. Perhaps we should think of a giant, supernaturally deadly Moth. (There is, after all, a movie monster called Mothra.) In any case, it's possible to put the two lines together by main force; Gyan Chand explores several possibilities. But they all feel a bit unmotivated; the various possible kinds of connection all remain tenuous. This nineteen-year-old poet experimented wildly and then decided not to publish some of his more hyperbolic efforts; since we're fishing verses out of his desk drawer, we can hardly complain about what we find there.