Ghazal 84, Verse 5x


.sabr aur yih adaa kih dil aave asiir-e chaak
dard aur yih kamii;N kih rah-e naalah vaa karuu;N

1a) endurance-- and such a style/air that the heart might become bound/imprisoned by ripping/tearing!
1b) endurance, and this style/air!-- such that the heart might become bound/imprisoned by ripping/tearing

2a) pain-- and such an ambush that I might open the road of lament!
2b) pain, and this ambush!-- such that I might open the road of lament


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


aave is an archaic form of aa))e (GRAMMAR); here 'come' is used in the sense of 'become' (see Platts p.84)


asiir : 'Bound, tied, made captive; —s.m. Prisoner, captive'. (Platts p.55)


chaak : 'Fissure, cleft, rent, slit, a narrow opening (intentionally left in clothes); —adj. Rent, slit, torn, lacerated'. (Platts p.418)


naalah : 'Complaint, plaint, lamentation, moan, groan; weeping'. (Platts p.1117)


Endurance intends to make the heart a prisoner of the tearing of the wound, so that he would in no way emerge from it; and Pain is in a kind of ambush, seeking somehow to lament, and vent its spleen. (161-62)


Twofold grief and suffering afflicts the madman. One is the claim of Endurance that he should die, but by no means lose his grip on self-control; on the other side is Pain, which insistently demands that he should hasten to lament and complain. (229)

Gyan Chand:

How can I have endurance! Endurance has created such a situation, that I would imprison the heart in ripping-- that is, that the heart would become ripped apart. This will be at the very time when Endurance will have turned its face away. Pain remains anxious for me to begin to lament-- as if there's not Endurance, but Pain.

== Gyan Chand, p. 259



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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The idiomatic turn of phrase 'X-- and Y!' is the foundation of both lines here; for greater recognizability, this structure is described on the SETS page as 'I and'. The idea is to point to the extreme incommensurability of X and Y, as though they can hardly even be mentioned in the same breath, much less compared in words. (A similar idiomatic structure is kahaa;N yih , kahaa;N vuh ! ) This 'incommensurability trope' has a paradoxical feeling to it: 'How can X and Y exist in the same world?'. (Or else, conversely, 'X and Y are each other's perfect yand-and-yin complements'.)

One obvious reading is to assign the 'X' qualities to the lover, and the 'Y' qualities to the beloved. But the commentators offer a reading in which all the qualities belong to the lover, so that the verse describes a struggle between personified aspects of his psyche. Really 'I and' verses like this are so open-ended that the possible readings range widely.

A final fillip of indeterminacy is provided by the flexibility of kih . Both lines are so structured that it might introduce either a clause that describes the 'Y' quality alone, as in (1a) and (2a), or a clause that describes a reaction to the whole 'X-- and Y!' situation, as in (1b) and (2b).