Ghazal 86, Verse 4


dil me;N aa jaa))e hai hotii hai jo fur.sat ;Gash se
aur phir kaun-se naale ko rasaa kahte hai;N

1) [it/she] comes into the heart, when there is leisure from fainting-spells

2a) which other lament, then, do they call 'effective'?
2b) which lament do they call, then, more effective?


aa jaa))e hai is an archaic form of aa jaataa hai (GRAMMAR)


;Gash : 'A swoon, stupor, insensibility, fainting'. (Platts p.771)


An 'effective' lament is one that attains effectiveness. But the poet has here, through an inquiry, made it clear that his laments have never attained effectiveness. He doesn't even know that they call 'effective' a lament that reaches its goal and causes an effect. Rather, he considers 'effectiveness of a lament' to be its having emerged from passion and its arriving and being present in the heart. (84-85)

== Nazm page 84; Nazm page 85

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, when I obtain respite from fainting spells, then my beloved comes into my heart, and this is the effect of my lament. I don't know which other lament they call 'effective'. What more effectiveness can a lament have than this, that it at once seizes the beloved and brings her into the heart? (135)

Bekhud Mohani:

In this verse the lover's state has been beautifully evoked. But detail has been sacrificed for this. That is, our life is such that we are constantly writhing in passion. When we recover ourself, then again the picture of the beloved comes into the heart. (175)


SPEAKING: {14,4}

In proper mushairah style, the first line on its own is uninterpretable, since it lacks a subject. Even when we are allowed to hear the second line, there seem to be at least two possibilities. Either it is, very plausibly, the 'lament' that comes into the heart; or, as some commentators maintain, it is the beloved herself who comes into the heart, fetched by the lament.

In either case, it is merely a setup for the clever, inshaa))iyah -based second line. The pleasure of this line is enhanced by the deliberately dual reading possible for aur , which can be read as either an adjective modifying 'lament' (2a), or an adverb modifying 'effective' (2b). Either reading of course works beautifully within the larger rhetorical structure of the verse.

The second line is a question, no doubt-- but is it innocent and naive? Straightforward and earnest? Cynical? Bitter? As the tone shifts, the whole rhetorical flavor and interpretation of the verse shift as well. Here are some of the ways we could put the verse together:

= My lament comes into my heart whenever I have a moment free from fainting spells, and thus demonstrates its ongoing existence and penetrative power. And that's about it. But I call that pretty 'effective'. For since no lament has any more power than that, what more can any other 'effective' lament do? (A cynical, resigned tone.)

=The lover's lament comes into his heart whenever he has a moment to spare from fainting spells. Isn't this what it's supposed to do? Doesn't this count as 'effect'? Do other laments really achieve more, or is that just a rumor? (An earnest and sincere tone.)

=The lover's lament not only can't bring him access to the beloved, it can't even mitigate his suffering. It can do no more than come into his heart, in brief intervals between his prolonged fainting spells. This must be what they call 'effect', since he's never known any lament to do more. It's clear that laments are as useless as everything else. (A bitter tone.)

=The lover's lament causes (an image of) the beloved to come into his heart whenever he has a moment to spare from his fainting spells. This image and its prompt availability is proof of the lament's effectiveness. What more can any other 'effective' lament do? It's not as if any of them could actually get him near the beloved in person! (A rueful tone.)

=The lover's lament causes the beloved herself to come into his heart-- whenever, of course, he's not too absorbed in fainting spells. Isn't she kind and wonderful to do it, and isn't the lament splendidly 'effective', since it can to induce her to do it? What more could any lover possibly ask? (A tone of desperately forced cheer.)

So there's a considerable range of voices and tones. My own favorite is probably the second reading, since it so cleverly opens the door to all the other meanings, simply by remaining so apparently ignorant of them. It reveals a failure and non-access so radical that the inquirer doesn't even know-- really doesn't know, not just pretends for rhetorical purposes not to know-- what 'effect' in laments could possibly mean.

For another verse about the 'effectiveness' of laments, see {210,4}.