Ghazal 126, Verse 7


;Gala:t hai ja;zb-e dil kaa shikvah dekho jurm kis kaa hai
nah khe;Ncho gar tum apne ko kashaakash darmiyaa;N kyuu;N ho

1) the complaint about the attraction of the heart is erroneous; look-- whose is the fault?
2) if you wouldn't pull/draw me toward yourself, why would there be tension/struggle/attraction between us?


ja;zb : 'Drawing, attraction; allurement; absorption'. (Platts p.378)


jurm : 'A sin, crime, fault, offence, transgression, misdemeanour'. (Platts p.379)


kashaakash : 'Repeated pulling; pulling backwards and forwards, or to and fro; jostling, hustling; bringing and taking away; command after command; commanding and countermanding; great unpleasantness, or grief, or pain; distraction, dilemma, perplexity, difficulty; struggle, contention, wrangle, squabble; attraction, allurement'. (Platts p.835)


That is, the attraction of the heart draws me this way; you draw me that way; this is the cause of tension. (137)

== Nazm page 137

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, if you complain to me about the attraction of my heart, that 'this draws me toward it'-- this is incorrect. Just reflect and look: whose is the fault? That is, mine, or yours? If you would not draw me toward you, then why would there be a tension between us? (191)

Bekhud Mohani:

Momin Khan has composed a fine verse:

yih ((u;zr-e imti;haan-e ja;zb-e dil kaisaa nikal aayaa
mai;N ilzaam un ko detaa thaa qa.suur apnaa nikal aayaa

[this excuse of the test of the attraction of the heart-- how it turned out!
I used to lay the blame on her; the sin turned out to be my own] (256-57)



Isn't this a classy mushairah verse? And it's full of wordplay which is also, as so often, meaning-play. It's lucky for the translator that we have the English word 'attraction', which can do many of the same tricks that ja;zb can: it can include the mechanical action of a magnet, and (by an obvious extension) the effects of an 'attractive' beloved on a lover who is 'attracted'. The senses of 'drawing, pulling' [khe;nchnaa], and a number of the meanings of kashaakash , work perfectly with this semantic range.

The final two words before the refrain are the wonderfully multivalent kashaakash (full of both positive and negative senses, as can be seen from the definition above) and then the crucial rhyme-word darmiyaa;N , which suddenly drives home the point: that it takes two to tango, that a (desirable or undesirable) kashaakash exists not in the beloved's heart or in the lover's heart alone, but in the space between them. Between them the air is charged with electricity-- or with magnetism. And the source of this charge between them, that produces the whole kashaakash , is not the lover but the beloved.

The lover is surely saying this ruefully-- wouldn't he give anything to be as 'attractive' to the beloved as she is to him? But he knows he's not; the attraction is one-sided, it's all based on her drawing him toward her. Why should the magnet complain about the iron filing? Alternatively, Dalpat Rajpurohit suggests (Oct. 2017) that the beloved might be drawing herself ( apne ko ) away from him-- if the magnet moves away, naturally the iron filing must follow.

Moreover, the nature of the complaint is unspecified: it is just 'of/about the attraction of the heart'. Is the complaint that the attraction exists at all ('you're pursuing me!'); or that it's somehow unsatisfactory ('you're pursuing me in ways that I don't like')? Is the magnet complaining that the iron filing is drawn toward it, or that it's drawn toward it awkwardly or excessively?

And of course, the very complaint itself is also a part of the constant kashaakash --whatever form(s) it may take-- between the lover and the beloved. The kashaakash caused by the (one-sided) 'attraction' produces the complaint, and the complaint is part of the delightful mischievousness and perversity [sho;xii] that only increases the 'attraction' and thus prolongs the kashaakash . Ghalib leaves us to play with the paradox of a relationship that is both entirely one-sided and inherently mutual.