Ghazal 148, Verse 7

{148,7}

ham ko))ii tark-e vafaa karte hai;N
nah sahii ((ishq mu.siibat hii sahii

1) as if we ever renounce faithfulness!
2) if not indeed passion, then difficulty indeed

Notes:

Nazm:

Here 'difficulty' is appropriate in both senses. [These senses are described below by FWP.] (156)

== Nazm page 156

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, we won't become fearful of the troubles of passion and renounce faithfulness. If indeed [yuu;N sahii] we don't consider passion a source of comfort, we'll consider it a cause of difficulty. (215)

Bekhud Mohani:

It's impossible that we would abandon faithfulness. If the pleasure of passion isn't available, then it's not [nah sahii]; there's difficulty at least [hii sahii]. (287)

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION; IDIOMS

For discussion of the versatile idiomatic expression hii sahii , see {148,1}. And in fact this verse is a sort of garden of idioms: for discussion of nah sahii , see {9,4}. Most striking of all is the highly colloquial ko))ii , an emphatically negative exclamation that rests on an implied but colloquially omitted kyaa ; for more on this, see {7,5}.

As Nazm observes (though very cryptically), the complexity in the verse is generated by the second half of the second line, mu.siibat hii sahii , which has been carefully stripped of all accompanying grammar-- such as pronouns or a verb-- that would limit its meaning.

Thus we're left with two readings of the second line:

1) We're always faithful-- if not indeed to passion, then to difficulty indeed. (Whether or not we can count on passion, we can always count on difficulty to be our constant companion-- and one whose company we never seek to escape.)

2) We're always faithful-- if indeed we didn't have passion, then that would be difficulty indeed! (The suffering caused by passion is nothing compared to the real suffering that would be caused by the lack of passion.)

All this is done in six small words, one of which is used twice. Elegant, isn't it?