Ghazal 132, Verse 4


nah kartaa kaash naalah mujh ko kyaa ma((luum thaa hamdam
kih hogaa baa((i;s-e afzaa))ish-e dard-e daruu;N vuh bhii

1) if only I had not lamented! --how did I know, oh confidant/'breath-sharer'
2) that it would/will be a cause of increase of inner pain-- even/also that?!


afzaa))ish : 'Act of increasing; increase, addition'. (Platts p.62)


daruun : 'Inside, interior; — heart; bowels'. (Platts p.(514)


The first line is anchored in idiom, but inappropriate Persianness is dominant [;gaalib] over the second line. The word hamdam has an affinity with naalah [since breath is needed for lamenting], otherwise 'formerly' [pahle] or 'Advisor' [;h] could also have fit in here. (142)

== Nazm page 142

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says,'Oh companion, if only I had not lamented! How did I know that the heart's hidden grief and sorrow would by this means become apparent?' The meaning is, I used to consider that a lament will certainly have an effect, and through it some aspect of success will emerge. But its being proved ineffective has given an even greater blow to the heart. (198)

Bekhud Mohani:

If I had known that from lamenting, the pain of the heart would increase further, then I would not have lamented. That is, now the state I'm in is such that not even a lament is free from the fear of harm. (264)



Here is the ultimate exclamatory verse, based on sheer expressive emotion and getting maximum mileage from the ambiguity of bhii . Is it that everything else increases inner suffering, and now I've found out the hard way that lamentation, like everything else, also increases it ('that too')? Or is it that I expected lamentation to be in a different category, but to my shock and dismay even lament itself has the effect of increasing inner suffering ('even that')?

A lament is supposed to externalize grief, to vent it, to make it manifest to the beloved and to the world at large. At worst, one would expect that it might have no effect at all: perhaps through the lover's weakness it was inaudible; or else in the world's general indifference to his plight, no one cared to listen to it. But the lover has now discovered a new 'worst case' below the level of the previously imagined worst case. Instead of venting and releasing grief from the heart into the outside world, the lament actually works in reverse: it increases the lover's inner suffering. Who knew that a lament could work like that?

And how, in fact, does it work like that? Does the lover feel moved to sympathetic pain by his own lament, the way he hopes (vainly) that others would feel? Does he feel his pain redoubled by the clear evidence that no one is listening to his lament, as Bekhud Dihlavi suggests? Is his heart now so weak and feverish that even the process of lamenting, which is supposed to lighten it, burdens it instead, as Bekhud Mohani proposes? The lover so excels at 'worst case' situations that the mechanisms could be all of the above.