Ghazal 79, Verse 2


aataa hai daa;G-e ;hasrat-e dil kaa shumaar yaad
mujh se mire gunah kaa ;hisaab ay ;xudaa nah maa;Ng

1) the number of wounds/scars of the longing/grief of the heart [habitually] comes to mind
2) from me, an accounting of my sin, oh Lord-- don't ask



In this too there’s a new kind of mischievousness, which is absolutely untouched [by other poets]. Outwardly, he asks, oh Lord, don’t ask me for an account of my sins; and secretly he lays blame, as if he says, what kind of an account for sins? They are so numerous that when I count them, then the number of those wounds that you’ve given me in the world, and that are as numerous as my sins, comes to mind. Because the sins and the wounds are identical in number, he means that when he committed some sin, then because of his powerlessness, he could not satisfy his temperament; one or another longing certainly remained unfilfilled. For example, if he drank wine, then he didn’t attain union; and if he attained union, then he didn’t get any wine. Thus however many sins he committed, he suffered exactly that many wounds to his heart.
==Urdu text: p. 123 in Hali, Yadgar-e Ghalib


The meaning is that since the cause of every sin is one or another longing and ardor, then the mention of sins evokes the memory of those longings and shocks, for the abundance of the sins is similar to the abundance of the wounds. (80)

== Nazm page 80


There's another verse on this same theme: {230,10}. (73)


Compare {230,10}. (214, 283)


My unfulfilled yearnings left scars in my heart. I counted these scars as long as I lived. My life was measured in the reckoning of these scars of defeat. Now that you ask me for an account of my sins (my moments of pleasure), I am reminded of my life in your world.... See {230,10}. (1970, pp. 10-11)


ISLAMIC: {10,2}

Hali has done a good job of making the best case for this verse, though I can't share his enthusiasm for it.

The verse does offer us the mild amusement of its businesslike accounting imagery. It also requires us to make for ourselves the connection between the two lines, and provides an 'A,B' structure that can be read in two different cause/effect ways.

If we read the verse with A as the cause and B with the effect, we have 'I'm absorbed in thinking about all my numerous my unfulfilled longings, oh Lord, so I can't pay attention to you right now; go away, and don't come nagging at me about my sins!'

And if we read the verse with B as the cause and A as the effect, we have 'Oh Lord, don't ask me to account for my sins, because whenever you nag me about that, I always think of all my unfulfilled longings!' Then in this case we have two possible implications of that thinking: either 'when I do so I feel sad and miserable, so don't make me cry'; or 'when I do so I compare them to the accounting of my sins, so don't make me angry at you'.

Still, it's a trim, pithy, well-constructed verse. It's somehow too complacently tidy for my taste. Arshi is right that the ideal verse for comparison is {230,10}.

Compare Mir's more elliptically powerful vision of the same Doomsday situation: M{774,10}.