Ghazal 129, Verse 7x


kahtaa thaa kal vuh ma;hram-e raaz apne se kih aah
dard-e judaa))ii-e asadull;aah ;xaa;N nah puuchh

1) yesterday that confidant of the secret/mystery used to say to himself, 'Ah,
2) the pain of separation of Asadullah Khan-- don't ask!'


Gyan Chand:

The verse is clear. He has 'parroted' words about himself [apne mu;Nh miyaa;N mi;T;Thuu bane hai;N]. (318)



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is from a different, unpublished, ham-:tar;h ghazal from 1816, and is included for comparison. In the unpublished ghazal, this was the seventh and last verse.

This is a verse of what I call 'stress-shifting'. Depending on which part of the first line we choose to emphasize, the second line takes on variety of different nuances:

=he 'used to say' it, 'yesterday'-- why does he not say it today? Is it because Asad has now left this world, and is thus beyond all pain?

=the speaker is 'that confidant'-- is it something to which no outsider would be privy, if Asad had not confided in him?

=the speaker knows the 'secret/mystery'-- is Asad's anguish something far more (mystically) significant than that of any ordinary lover?

=the speaker said it 'to himself'-- because Asad is now dead? because no one else is available to hear it? willing to hear it? worthy to hear it?

=the speaker said it with an aah , a sigh-- of regret at the loss of Asad? of compassion for Asad's pain? of general melancholy at the human condition?

And then, of course, about Asad's pain of separation itself we learn absolutely nothing-- except that one shouldn't ask about it.