Ghazal 131, Verse 3


de daad ay falak dil-e ;hasrat-parast kii
haa;N kuchh nah kuchh talaafii-e maafaat chaahiye

1) do justice, oh Sky, to a {longing/grief}-worshiping heart!
2) indeed, one or another kind of recompense for the past is needed


daad denaa : 'To dispense justice; to do justice (to), to appreciate, to give due praise (to), to praise duly... --to make reparation'. (Platts p.499)


;hasrat : 'Grief, regret, intense grief or sorrow; --longing, desire'. (Platts p.477)


talaafii : 'Making amends, reparation, compensation, recompense'. (Platts p.333)


maafaat : 'That which is past'. (Steingass, p. 1141)


chaahiye : 'Is necessary, is needful or requisite, is proper or right'. (Platts p.420)


That is, a great many longings were not fulfilled-- fulfill some desire at least! (140)

== Nazm page 140

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Alas, Sky, so many longings you have flung down into the dust! Now we ought to receive justice for those longings. My longing-worshipping heart has become very much grief-stricken. Fulfill another of our longings, through which there will be reparation for past things.' (196)

Bekhud Mohani:

'Oh Sky, if none of my longings were fulfilled, then so be it. Do justice to my longing-worshipping heart. That is, you ought to do justice to the fact that although no longing of mine was fulfilled, nevertheless I still long! I don't get upset and abandon them. That is, what a heart we have, and what a man of spirit we are!' (261)


SKY {15,7}

The rhetorical structure here is almost miraculously ambiguous. What is the relationship between the two lines, and among the various phrases? There are just astonishingly many ways to put them together. And since each contains several vaguely connected abstractions, the permutations multiply. Here are only some:

=Oh all-observing Sky, at least give me credit for my patience and perseverance, and for all the suffering you've watched me enduring at the beloved's hands. After all, I deserve some recompense, and it's clear I haven't gotten any other! A little praise and recognition from you wouldn't come amiss; it would be better than nothing.

=Oh impartial Sky, I call you as a witness and a judge-- I've received no justice my whole life long! My heart is full of vain longings, and has never been able to gratify them. Do justice in my case: judge between me and the world, since nobody else will!

=Oh cruel Sky, you haven't fulfilled even one of my longings! Now, in the name of justice, you owe me something-- you ought to do something for me. (Fulfill a longing? Praise me for my patience and fortitude? Fulfill a longing by praising me for my patience and fortitude?)

=Oh serene, solitary, and desire-free Sky, I speak to you as my soul-mate. My heart has worshipped longing and grief for so long that it no longer even craves anything else. It has achieved a purity and rigor that are worthy of your notice and admiration. Your recognition would compensate for all that I've suffered.

If we look at the particular elements, it's easy to see why the combinations are indefinitely numerous:

=Is the Sky being blamed? (For what?) Asked for justice? (What kind?) Asked for praise? (For what?) Asked to fulfill a longing? (What longing?) The Sky is usually the source not of justice but of suffering and fresh disasters (as in {14,8})-- is it being asked for such favors only in an ironic way? (After all, the Sky is addressed quite without hope in {66,5}.)

=Does the '{longing/grief-worshiping heart' mean simply a heart that's consumed with longing all the time, even though (or because) its longings are never fulfilled? Or does it mean a heart that worships the process of longing itself, as distinct from any object of the longing? Or does it mean a heart that worships grief, because grief is the only proper and natural state of the true lover?

=Does the second line echo and re-describe the same situation as the first, such that the doing of justice by the Sky would constitute the recompense? Or is the second line an incidental, throwaway observation that the lover simply mutters to himself, after addressing the first line to the sky? The introductory words haa;N kuchh nah kuchh give a careless, afterthought air, as of someone mentioning a minor secondary point in a vague way (compare a very similar rhetorical structure in {36,4}).

The phrase talaafii-e maafaat is wonderfully sonorous and resonant. But beyond providing sound effects, it also has a sense of formality and completeness, a feeling of what's done is done. We know that, no matter what the lover says or hopes or urges or intends, there's never going to be any recompense for the past.