Ghazal 88, Verse 4

{88,4}

:zaalim mire gumaa;N se mujhe munfa((il nah chaah
hay hay ;xudaa nah kardah tujhe bevafaa kahuu;N

1) cruel one, don't desire that I would be {confirmed in / afflicted by / ashamed before} my doubt/suspicion--
2) alas alas, the Lord forbid!-- that I would call you faithless!

Notes:

gumaan : 'Doubt, distrust, suspicion; surmise, conjecture; (in comp.) thinking; suspecting ... ; —opinion, fancy, notion, supposition, imagination; —presumption; probability; —conceit, pride, haughtiness'. (Platts p.914)

 

munfa((il : 'Done, performed; made; --suffering or receiving the effect (of an act), affected (by); disturbed, afflicted; --abashed, ashamed'. (Platts p.1079)

Nazm:

That is, my doubt calls you faithess, and I call you faithful. Don’t act in such a way that I will be forced to be confirmed in my suspicions. The meaning is, don’t act faithlessly-- God forbid that I too should be forced to call you faithless. (88)

== Nazm page 88

Hasrat:

Don't make me ashamed before my doubt. Dammit [bhalaa], I-- and to think you faithless!' (79)

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, oh cruel one, don't act in such a way that I would be forced to be confirmed in my doubt. God forbid that I would call you faithless! The meaning is that my doubt calls you faithless, and I am calling you faithful. Don't act in such a way that I would be forced to be ashamed before my doubt-- that is don't act faithlessly. God forbid that I too would be obliged to call you faithless! (139)

Bekhud Mohani:

Her faithlessnesses have begun to appear very clear. But even today the heart doesn't want to call her faithless. 'Alas, God forbid!' gives information about the heart's dilemma. (182)

Arshi:

Compare {141,4}. (260)

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION; STRESS-SHIFTING
WARNINGS: {15,15}

The first line requires a bit of care and thought, because of the complexity of its use of munfa((il (see the definition above) and the versatility of se . (1) If munfa((il means 'done, made', then the first line urges the beloved not to cause the lover to be confirmed in his doubt. (2) If it means 'affected' or 'afflicted', then the line urges the beloved not to cause the lover to suffer as a result of his doubt. (3) If it means 'abashed, ashamed', then we have the situation imagined by Hasrat and by Bekhud Dihlavi, such that 'my doubt calls you faithless, and I am calling you faithful'; you thus shouldn't 'act in such a way that I would be forced to be ashamed before my doubt-- that is don't act faithlessly'. Compare the similarly complex use of munfa((il in {141,4}, to which Arshi rightly points.

The complexity of the grammar of the first line is effectively contrasted with the exclamatory, inshaa))iyah vigor and idiomatic fluency of the second line. Alas, alas, God forbid! --that I would call you faithless! How intolerable, impossible, unbearable! The lover begs the beloved not to force such a fate upon him. The grammar makes it clear that the lover's fear is not so much that she actually would be faithless, as that he would have no choice but to realize that she was faithless. He dreads having to recognize her in his heart as faithless, and-- worst of all-- to actually call her so.

According to the tone and emphasis, the reading of the second line can vary most effectively. Which is the real focus of grief?

1) that I myself would call you faithless (as opposed to someone else-- or everyone else-- doing so)

2) that I would actually call you faithless (as opposed to suppressing my doubts and constantly giving them the lie)

3) that I would call you faithless (as opposed to the countless other beloveds who are faithless, as I well know, but from whom I expect nothing better)

So in fact the second line, in its own way, is fully as multivalent as the first. Ghalib can make subtlety out of even the simplest phrases.