Ghazal 121, Verse 7

{121,7}

shab ko kisii ke ;xvaab me;N aayaa nah ho kahii;N
dukhte hai;N aaj us but-e naazuk-badan ke paa;Nv

1) may she not somehow have come into somebody’s dream last night!
2) today, the feet of that delicate-bodied idol are painful

Notes:

Nazm:

It is immersed in the description of delicacy, that from going into somebody's dream her feet hurt. (131)

== Nazm page 131

Bekhud Dihlavi:

With the thought of her going, jealousy/envy did not permit any mention of her going in a waking state. Thus the idea was created that perhaps she might have gone to somebody's place in a dream. (184)

Bekhud Mohani:

[Contrary to Nazm's view,] being a lover and being jealous have an inherent [cholii daaman] relationship. Jealousy and illusion have an abundantly established relationship. Here there's no description of 'immersion in delicacy'. Rather, there's the expression of the activity of illusion. That is, because of jealousy illusion has increased to such an extent that the idea can't for a moment be entertained that her feet may hurt because of going somewhere. (246)

Faruqi:

[See his comments on Mir's similar verse M{759,5}.]

FWP:

SETS == HUMOR
DREAMS: {3,3}
IDOL: {8,1}

It's a sly, funny little verse, replete with lovely Ghalibian possibilities. Like so many, it does its work indirectly. Just consider some of the possible implications:

=The lover is so jealous/envious that he can't stand the thought that she would visit anyone, so he attributes her sore feet to a dream visit (Bekhud Dihlavi's interpretation).

=The beloved is so cruel and indifferent that she'd never visit a lover in reality, so any such foot-tiring visit could be only a dream

=The beloved is so delicate that even if she went somewhere in a dream, her feet would be sore (Nazm's interpretation).

=Even if the beloved visited some lover in a dream, only her feet could be sore, not her 'delicate body', because she's an 'idol' whom the lover wouldn't dare to touch even in his dreams.

=If the beloved visited some lover in a dream, her feet might well hurt from the effort of walking all over him, stomping on his heart, treading him underfoot, avoiding the touch of his hands on her feet, etc.

And of course the question remains, whose dream? It apparently isn't that of the speaker, since in the first line he expresses apprehension about who might have been the recipient of her dream-visit-- unless of course he's being almost morbidly discreet by making a show of ignorance. What lover wouldn't dream of such a visit? (See {97,3} for an example.) Yet surely no lover's dream could have the nerve (or the power) to cause her feet to hurt? Did she then travel somewhere in her own dream, for her own purposes?

In any case, we know the beloved has strange powers over the dream world. For an intriguing, almost mysterious counterpoint verse to the present one, see {25,3}. For more verses about the beloved's visiting the lover, see {106,2}.