Ghazal 78, Verse 3


((aashiqii .sabr-:talab aur tamannaa betaab
dil kaa kyaa rang karuu;N ;xuun-e jigar hote tak

1) lover-ship is endurance-demanding, and longing is restless

2a) what color/mood should I make of the heart, until its becoming 'blood of the liver'?
2b) what a color/mood I would make of the heart, until its becoming 'blood of the liver'!
2c) how should I make a color/mood of the heart, until the coming of 'blood of the liver'?


((aashiqii : 'Making love, amorousness, love, courtship; gallantry; the being in love, the state or condition of a lover'. (Platts p.757)


.sabr : 'Patience, self-restraint, endurance, patient suffering, resignation'. (Platts p.743)


tamannaa : 'Wish, desire, longing, inclination... ; reqnest, prayer, supplication, petition'. (Platts p.337)


be-taab : 'Faint, powerless; agitated, restless, uneasy impatient... ; devoid of splendour, lustreless'. (Platts p.202)


rang : 'Colour, colouring matter, pigment, paint, dye; colour, tint, hue, complexion; beauty, bloom; expression, countenance, appearance, aspect; fashion, style; character, nature; mood, mode, manner, method; kind, sort; state, condition; ... dancing; singing; acting; sport, entertainment, amusement, merriment, pleasure, enjoyment'. (Platts p.601)


That is, the affairs of passion are such that they can't be accomplished quickly, and longing is restless and is in a hurry. In short, until the liver would be turned to blood [jigar lahuu hu))aa] and would be finished off, it's very difficult to control the heart. (80)

== Nazm page 80

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, being a lover is a patience-demanding task, and longing is in a hurry to obtain success as quickly as possible. How would I be able to give patience to my heart and restrain my liver? The meaning is that when the liver will be turned to blood, at that time there will be effect in the sigh, and the aspect of success will be visible. (126)


In such a condition, until the liver turns to blood, and stability and effect would be created in passion-- until that time, how would I manage my heart, how would I control it? (208)


JIGAR: {2,1}

The commentators basically agree on the lover's paradoxical dilemma, and they agree that when the 'liver turns to blood' the dilemma will be resolved. They disagree on how it will be resolved. To Nazm, the resolution will be the liver's death, and thus apparently the lover's death, so that all his troubles will be over. Bekhud Dihlavi and Baqir seem to feel that the liver's turning to blood will create 'effect' [a;sar] in the lover's sighs, and will thus bring him at least some form of success.

If we read the second line as the commentators do, we have dil kaa ... ;xuun-e jigar honaa , 'the heart's being blood of the liver'. On this reading, the heart itself would eventually melt away through grief into a mere little blob of blood-- blood which itself could be reprocessed and used by the desperate liver in its quest for fresh supplies. This is a piquant way of solving the problem of the uncontrollably impatient heart.

But in any case, the multivalence of kyaa is the key to the verse. Perhaps the second line asks a question (2a): what would or could or should I do with the heart, how can I manage it, until it finally turns into blood and ends the problem? Or perhaps the line is exclamatory (2b): since my longing is so restless, it will uncontrollably turn the heart into such wondrously strange 'colors' and 'moods' during the brief interval before it finally turns into blood!

In the grammatical context of the line, another meaning for ;xuun-e jigar honaa , 'blood of the liver to be', would appear to be the arriving of (fresh) blood from the liver (2c). As everybody in the ghazal world knows (on this see {30,2}), the liver is the emblem of fortitude precisely because it makes fresh blood; it then sends this blood along to the heart, which rapidly uses it up through wounds, bloody tears, etc. So if the speaker asks how he can can control the impatient, restless heart until fresh blood supplies arrive from the liver, the verse also works perfectly well. (Although of course we might wish for aate tak instead of hote tak ). For more occurrences of ;xuun-e jigar , see: {16,1}; {62,6}; {114,1}; {149,10x}.

There's an enjoyable kind of 'catch-22' in the first line: to be a lover, you have to have endurance and patience; but the emotions of a lover make it impossible to have endurance and patience. It always makes me think of this verse of Momin's:

chaarah-e dil sivaa-e .sabr nahii;N
so tumhaare sivaa nahii;N hotaa

[there's no recourse for the heart apart from endurance
apart from you, it doesn't exist]

For another take on the lover's paradoxical plight, see the next verse, {78,4}. And on the 'list'-like structure of the first line, see {4,4}.

Faiz used this verse in one of his nazms, rang hai dil kaa mire . I used this particular nazm as an example in an article on translation. This article is now available online.