Ghazal 120, Verse 5

{120,5}*

abhii ham qatl-gah kaa dekhnaa aasaa;N samajhte hai;N
nahii;N dekhaa shinaavar juu-e ;xuu;N me;N tere tausan ko

1) now/still we consider it easy to {look at / see} the slaughter-ground
2) we haven't seen your steed [as] a swimmer in a river of blood

Notes:

shinaavar : 'A swimmer; nimble, active'. (Platts p.762)

 

tausan : 'A young unbroken horse; a high-blooded, noble steed, war-horse, charger, steed, horse'. (Platts p.343)

Nazm:

The beloved's blood-shedding has drowned everything, beyond all customary limits. (129)

[See also his remarks in the commentary on {195,2}.]

== Nazm page 129

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that we consider that our murderer will select one fortunate lover from the group of lovers and martyr him with the dagger of coquetry and the sword of sidelong glances. We don't realize that after this spectacle so many men will cut their throats out of envy that a river of blood will flow. (182)

Bekhud Mohani:

As yet we haven't seen your steed swimming in a stream of blood. This is the reason that we consider going to the slaughter-ground and giving our life to be easy. That is, when that time comes, we'll see whether our senses remain to us. (242-43)

FWP:

SETS == MUSHAIRAH

This is an excellent mushairah verse: the first line is thrillingly ominous, but completely abstract. We must wait-- and under mushairah performance conditions, that wait can feel like forever-- for the second line. And even then, the second line is uninterpretable until the last possible moment, when we finally get to the steed; we thus experience the whole verse in a single shock of pleasure.

There are also two possibilities inherent in dekhnaa that in English are subdivided into two separate verbs. The more obvious is to interpret dekhnaa as 'look at'-- because the slaughter-ground will be such a horrific river of blood, we will be in danger of losing our nerve; it will not be easy to summon up the will to 'look at' it. The second possibility is that we literally won't be able to 'see' the slaughter-ground-- it, like all other landmarks and everything else in the vicinity, will be submerged in a rippling river of blood (as with the 'ocean of blood' in {208,12}).