Ghazal 67, Verse 3


mai-;xaanah-e jigar me;N yahaa;N ;xaak bhii nahii;N
;xamyaazah khe;Nche hai but-e be-daad-fan hanuuz

1) in the wine-house of the liver, here, there is {not even dust / nothing at all}
2) the injustice-skilled idol heaves a thirst-yawn, now/still


;xamyaazah : 'Stretching; yawning, gaping'. (Platts p.494)


khe;Nche hai is an archaic form of khe;Nchtaa hai (GRAMMAR)


be-daad : 'Injustice; iniquity; --adj. Not doing justice, unjust, lawless'. (Platts p.202)


fan : Sort, species, kind; way, mode; --(in Pers. & Urdu) a craft; an art; a science; an accomplishment; skill, sagacity (syn. hunar ); --art, artifice, cunning, wile, trick, ruse, manœuvre, stratagem'. (Platts p.784)


The blood-drinking beloved, who used to consider the blood of my liver to be wine and always used to drink it, is yawning with thirst, and her intoxication does not increase-- but here, in the wine-house of the liver there's not even a grain of dust. (66)

== Nazm page 66

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, in the wine-house of the liver, here not a single drop of the wine of passion is left now. Dust is blowing around. That is, all the blood has already been used up. But the beloved, thirsty for blood, is still yawning with thirst. (116)

Bekhud Mohani:

The beloved, who used to drink the wine of the blood of the liver from the wine-house of my liver, now yawns with thirst. And the state of the wine-house is such that in it dust is flying around. The meaning is that in us this capacity did not remain. But even now that tyrant's heart is not satisfied with tyranny; she still thirsts for more, she is not intoxicated enough. (149)


FOOD: {6,4}
IDOL: {8,1}
JIGAR: {2,1}
WINE-HOUSE: {33,6}

This is another 'liver' verse; for discussion and an inventory, see {30,2}. Since the liver is, in ghazal physiology, the source of all fresh blood, it can well be likened to a wine-house that should serve up ruby-red wine. But what to do when the wine-house itself has been drunk dry? The idiomatic expression ;xaak bhii nahii;N is normally used to mean 'nothing at all'; in that sense it works well, but its literal meaning, 'not even dust', is also amusingly appropriate. A dried-up environment with no more liquid wine/blood would be easily imagined as a desert, a place full of unmoistened dust; but the my liver is in such dire straits that 'not even dust' is to be found in it. Compare the similar idiomatic usage, and imagery of blood and dust, in {114,1}.

A ;xamyaazah is, literally, a yawn or stretch, but it's considered to be a sign that intoxication is waning and more wine will be required. For a discussion and examples, see {12,2}. Things look ominous for the lover. The cruel, unjust beloved is yawning ominously, hanuuz . Does that mean she's yawning 'now', so that a fresh episode of torment is about to begin, as she decides to punish me for having no wine? Or is she yawning 'still', meaning that after I've just finished giving her all the wine/blood in my liver, she's still not satisfied? Both meanings of hanuuz are equally possible; for further discussion, see {3,4}.

The imagery of the verse is cleverly calibrated to make use of both meanings. Is the beloved 'injustice-skilled' because she's a veteran practitioner of injustice and cruelty, and her yawn of incipient thirst is ominous because she's soon going to look around, quite callously, for her next convenient victim? This state would correlate to the reading of hanuuz as 'now'. Or is she so expert in injustice that even though she's just finished drinking up the last drop of blood (and even dust) from the lover's liver, she's more than prepared to continue her impossible demands, and to punish him with fresh torments for the emptiness of his wine-house? This state would correspond to the reading of hanuuz as 'still'.

This verse is also a candidate for my category of 'grotesquerie', since it so clearly makes the beloved a blood-drinking cannibal who is literally eating (or rather drinking) the lover alive: she gets drunk on blood; she slurps up the fresh blood even faster than the unfortunate lover/liver can produce it. Needless to say, the lover's only regret is that he can't keep up a blood supply sufficient to meet the demand.