Ghazal 87, Verse 6


za;xm silvaane se mujh par chaarah-juu))ii kaa hai :ta((n
;Gair samjhaa hai kih la;z;zat za;xm-e sozan me;N nahii;N

1) from having caused the wound to be stitched up, the taunt of 'cure-seeking' is upon me
2) the Other has considered that there's no pleasure/relish in the wound of the needle!


la:z:zat : 'Pleasure, delight, enjoyment; sweetness, deliciousness; taste, flavour, relish, savour; —an aphrodisiac; an amorous philter'. (Platts p.955)


That is, the use of a needle in the wound is not in order to to cure it, but in order to obtain the pleasure of the wound of the needle. The theme is that of a former verse, but the author has here doubled its beauty by giving it the simile of the Rival's misunderstanding. (86)

== Nazm page 86

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, because of the stitching up of the wound, the Other taunts me with seeking a cure. That fool doesn't realize that in the wound of the needle there's that same pain that is felt from the sword or arrow or other sharp-edged weapon at the time of receiving the wound. The word 'pleasure' has been used in place of 'pain'. What doubt can there be of the excellence of the verse? (137)

Bekhud Mohani:

Somebody's verse is-- and it's a fine verse--

za;xmo;N me;N degaa ;Taa;Nke ai chaarah-gar kahaa;N tak
sau za;xm kar diye hai;N ik za;xm ke rafuu ne

[oh physician, to what extent will you stitch up the wounds?
the repair of one wound has created a hundred wounds]. (179)


Compare {171,2}. (228, 265).



Well, this one is pretty clear, and the commentators explicate it well. Among the other qualities of a good mushairah verse that the verse displays, it withholds its 'punch' word, sozan , till the very end.

As Bekhud Dihlavi observes, 'pleasure' [la;z;zat] has been used where we'd expect 'pain'. Which at once plunges us into the familiar vortex of the lover's pleasure-in-pain. In effect, the lover has been accused by the Other of un-lover-like behavior: of seeking the 'pleasure' of relief from pain, of a 'cure' [chaarah] for his wound. But instead, the lover claims to be seeking the 'pleasure' of more pain. This makes perfect sense to the lover, but the Other will never get it. This verse has a kind of fraternal twin in {171,2}.

If we dwell on this verse too minutely, it definitely becomes a candidate for the 'grotesquerie' category. Do we really need to imagine the process of stitching up a wound, in all its gory and painful detail? Does it really work, poetically, to make us consider the way the heavy needle is plunged again and again into the torn flesh, so that it creates, as Bekhud Dihlavi points out, what amounts to a whole series of fresh wounds with a sharp new dagger? To me, this verse is right on the borderline of being too graphic and grotesque to be fully effective.