Ghazal 68, Verse 9x


asad se tark-e vafaa kaa gumaa;N vuh ma((nii hai
kih khe;Nchiye par-e :taa))ir se .suurat-e parvaaz

1) toward Asad, the suspicion/notion of renunciation of faithfulness-- it's {such a / 'that'} meaning--
2) that one would pull out from the wing of a bird, the aspect/picture/idea of flight


gumaa;N : 'Doubt, distrust, suspicion; surmise, conjecture;... ;--opinion, fancy, notion, supposition, imagination; --presumption; probability; --conceit, pride, haughtiness'. (Platts p.914)


.suurat : 'Form, fashion, figure, shape, semblance, guise; appearance, aspect; face, countenance; prospect, probability; sign, indication; external state (of a thing); state, condition (of a thing), case, predicament, circumstance; effigy, image, statue, picture, portrait; plan, sketch; mental image, idea; --species; specific character, essence; --means; mode, manner, way'. (Platts p.747)


parvaaz : 'Flight; leaping, springing; light, glory, radiance; a residence, resting-place; a roost, perch; ... a certain progress or stage in the divine life; whatever is veiled or hid from public view'. (Steingass p.245)


To form with regard to Asad the suspicion that he would renounce faithfulness has the meaning, and has the example, as if someone would remove from a bird's wing the power of flight. No one can snatch it away. In just this way, toward me a suspicion of the renunciation of faithfulness is impossible.

== Asi, p. 126


The meaning is that renunciation of faithfulness by Asad is impossible.

== Zamin, p. 188

Gyan Chand:

To suspect Asad of renunciation of faithfulness is the same thing as if the power of flight would be pulled out of the flight-feather of the wing of a bird. It's obvious that this is not possible. Neither can flight be removed from wings, nor can faithfulness be removed from Asad.

== Gyan Chand, p. 214



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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

What is it that's so terrible? A 'suspicion/notion of the renunciation of faithfulness'. But then we have the cleverly positioned little introductory phrase 'toward Asad', as a kind of grammatical midpoint with two possible readings. The phrase can be taken as a 'suspicion [directed] toward Asad'-- that is, the beloved's suspicion that he might have renounced faithfulness. But it can equally well be taken as a notion of the renunciation of 'faithfulness toward Asad'-- that is, the idea that the beloved might renounce faithfulness toward Asad.

Either way, the prospect is so unacceptable, even so unimaginable, that the only possible comparison is something bizarre: to pull out from a bird's wing not just the capability of flight, but the very 'aspect/picture/idea' of flight. (And of course all the other possibilities of .suurat as well; see the definition above.) Gyan Chand says, comfortingly, that everybody knows that's impossible. But then, it would follow that it would be equally impossible for either of the two kinds of 'suspicion, notion' to which it's equated in the first line, to exist. Yet it's all too possible, as anybody familiar with the ghazal world knows, that either or both of them might exist.

Thus we have to imagine that there could be some kind of ghastly, crippled, deracinated state of a bird's wing that had lost the very 'aspect/picture/idea' of flight. This is the picture the verse wants us to imagine, for the lover's state in the event of the 'suspicion, notion' envisioned in the first line.

For another take on the .suurat-e parvaaz , see this verse's cousin, {68,7x}.

Compare also {48,6}, in which a less abstract, more physically excruciating analogy is proposed.