Ghazal 125, Verse 7


hame;N phir un se umiid aur u;Nhe;N hamaarii qadr
hamaarii baat hii puuchhe;N nah vo to kyuu;Nkar ho

1a) for us, then/again, to have hope from her, and for her to respect/value us--
1b) we have hope from her, then/again, and she esteems/values us--

2) if she wouldn't inquire about even/emphatically our thought/speech, then how/why would [it] occur/be?


baat : 'Speech, language, word, saying, conversation, talk, gossip, report, discourse, news, tale, story, account; thing, affair, matter, business, concern, fact, case, circumstance, occurrence, object, particular, article, proposal, aim, cause, question, subject'. (Platts p.117)


That is, how would [kyuu;Nkar ho] we have hope, and how would she have esteem? There is awkwardness in the construction. And for the sake of the rhyme he has made the h of vuh into a vaa))o [which is contrary to the pronunciation]. (134)

== Nazm page 134; Nazm page 135

Bekhud Mohani:

She doesn't turn her face toward us; she doesn't even address us; she doesn't even inquire about our thought/utterance. What hope would we have from her, and how would she know our worth? That is, if we had conversed, then she would have known what excellences are in me. (253)


This meaning is very fine. But there can be another aspect: that hame;N phir un se umiid be considered a separate sentence and that it be understood to have a hai . That is, again we have hope from her. Now the meaning emerges that at one time we were in despair, but now we are again becoming hopeful, our hope is again placed on her. And there, things are such that she doesn't even inquire about our thought/utterance. In such a situation, that she would esteem/value us-- how would it be? If 'and' is taken with the meaning of 'but', then the meaning becomes absolutely clear.

== (1986: 237) [2006: 259]



On the spelling of vuh as vo, see {125,1}. On the ambiguities of kyuu;Nkar , see {125,1}.

A clever trick: the permissible omission of verbs in the first line permits either the future subjunctive [ho] or the present tense [hai] to be inserted at our pleasure, for either or both of the two independent clauses in the line. The commentators go for the subjunctive (1a), and Faruqi for a hybrid (present for the first clause, subjunctive for the second); but (1b), the entirely present, is surely equally possible.

In fact, (1b) is a moving, even desperate, reading. The lover is trying so hard to reassure himself. Why hasn't he heard from her? Why hasn't she invited him into her presence? Well, there surely must be a reason! After all, he trusts her, and she values him-- how would it be possible for her to ignore him? (Implied answer to the rhetorical question: why, it wouldn't be possible at all!) Rather, the Messenger must have gone astray; she must have forgotten where the lover lives; the weather must have been bad; someone must have intercepted her letter, etc. The lover will clutch desperately at any implausibility, rather than believe the beloved is really at fault and acting culpably. Compare {36,1} and {91,3}.

And finally-- does the implied 'it' in the last clause refer to the lover's faithful hope in her, or her esteem for him, or her not inquiring about him? As so often, we're left to decide for ourselves.