Ghazal 70, Verse 2


dil se niklaa pah nah niklaa dil se
hai tire tiir kaa paikaan ((aziiz

1) it emerged from the heart, but it did not emerge from the heart
2) the head of your arrow is dear/precious


((aziiz : 'Dear, worthy, precious, highly esteemed, greatly valued, honoured, respected, beloved'. (Platts p.761)


The head of your arrow, which had gone deep into the heart, emerged from it, but it didn't emerge; that is, love for it still remains. (70)

== Nazm page 70

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, apparently the head of your arrow emerged from my heart. But the truth is that is still has not emerged from the heart-- that is, in its place in the heart love for it is pricking like the head of an arrow that had broken off and remained in the heart, and you have pulled it out. (118)

Bekhud Mohani:

The beloved's arrow emerged from the heart, but its frisson, its relish, still remains. Therefore its emerging is equal to its not emerging. (153)



The elegant structure of the first line would have made for a delightful mushairah verse. While declining to tell us what it is talking about, the line describes whatever it is in terms of a flat-out, in-your-face logical impossibility, or paradox. We are left with that riddle to mull over-- what is it, and how can it do two opposite things at once? Under mushairah performance conditions, we would have to wait as long as could conveniently be managed, for the answer to what is really a kind of riddle.

And by the time we get the answer, we have been able to savor the fluent complexity-in-simplicity of the first line, and perhaps to guess the general direction in which he's planning to take us. But Ghalib would never do anything so commonplace as to say, 'I mean, of course, the arrow that you shot into my heart'. He does it by implication: he knows we will understand, so he says only, 'the head of your arrow is dear'. (Compare {6,9x}, in which the arrowhead seems actually to replace the lover's heart.)

Such simple lines, words of (almost literally) one syllable, full of flowingness, full of a sense of unforced, unpretentious affection. It's a lovely little verse; it resolves a simple but sophisticated riddle into a simple but sophisticated mood of love.