Ghazal 113, Verse 9


asad zindaanii-e taa;siir-e ulfat'haa-e ;xuubaa;N huu;N
;xam-e dast-e navaazish ho gayaa hai :tauq gardan me;N

1) Asad, I am a prisoner of the impression/effect of the intimacies/affections of beautiful ones

2a) the curving/noose of the hand of graciousness has become a neck-ring on [my] neck
2b) the neck-ring on [my] neck has become the curving/bending of the hand of graciousness


taa;siir : 'The making an impression; impression, effect; operation; penetration'. (Platts p.304)


ulfa:t : 'Familiarity, intimacy; attachment, affection, friendship'. (Platts p.76)


;xam : 'A bend, curve, crook; a curl, knot, ringlet; a coil, fold, ply; crookedness, curvature; bending, flexure; --the part of a noose which encircles the neck; a noose; --the upper arm'. (Platts p.493)


navaazish : 'Caressing, soothing; caress; blandishment; —kindness; politeness, courtesy; favour, patronage'. (Platts p.1158)


:tauq : 'A neck-ring; a collar (of gold, &c., for ornament; or of iron, &c., for punishment; or worn as a badge of servitude); a necklace; a yoke'. (Platts p. 754)


That is, when the beloveds, out of graciousness and kindness, placed their arms around my neck, they became a neck-collar for me, and placed me in bondage. And the impressions of their graciousness became a prison cell for me. And in reality there is neither prison cell, nor neck-collar. (122)

== Nazm page 122

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says: oh Asad, the impression of the love of beautiful ones has become a prison for me, and in that the beloveds out of graciousness have put their arms around my neck, that is acting as a neck-ring around the throat. The meaning is that I am a captive of love. (173)

Bekhud Mohani:

I am not in the control of beautiful ones because of the compulsion of the heart. Rather, they have put their arms lovingly around my neck. This very putting of the arms has become a neck-ring around my neck. That is, the beautiful ones themselves want me; otherwise, I'm not in anyone's power. (230)


BONDAGE: {1,5}

What a marvelously ambiguous verse! The double meanings of ;xam , added to the double meanings of :tauq (see above for definitions), combine to produce some wonderful permutations. Here are only some of them:

= the beloveds' graciously extended hands have placed me under such a heavy burden of gratitude that their very curve has become like a neck-ring such as chained prisoners wear

= the beloveds' graciously extended hands have so captivated me that I feel their very curve as a proud ornamental necklace, a token admitting me to their service; it is an honor to be one of their retainers and wear their livery

= the beloveds' show of kindnesses and intimacies have set a trap for me; I have been lured close, and now those gracious (?) hands have placed a noose of captivity around my neck

= the beloveds are inherently tricky, crooked, convoluted, 'bent': they have cold-bloodedly ensnared me with a show of kindnesses and intimacies and extended hands, and thus their trickery has resulted in my bondage

= the neck-ring around my neck has become the curving of the hand of graciousness, because I'm so reconciled to captivity as a result of the beloveds' graciousness (or because I'm so delusional; compare the subtleties of {230,7})

For more on :tauq , see {54,1}. Unlike the commentators, I'm not convinced that the beloveds actually place their arms around the lover's neck. That seems like overkill, and indeed almost vulgar, especially since they are in the plural. It is more true to their tyrannical elegance that they would merely crook a finger to beckon from a distance, or give a vague benevolent wave of the hand, or make an affirmative gesture of some lofty kind.

For an equally complex verse along similar lines, based on the imprisoning effects of the beloved's curls, see {19,6}.