Ghazal 148, Verse 8

{148,8}

kuchh to de ay falak-e naa-in.saaf
aah-o-faryaad kii ru;x.sat hii sahii

1) give something, after all, oh unjust sky!
2) the {send-off of / leave for} sigh and complaint, { at least / indeed }

Notes:

ru;x.sat : 'Facilitation, license, indulgence; leave, permission to depart, leave of absence... dismissal, discharge'. (Platts p.590)

 

ru;x.sataanah : 'A present made on dismissing a person, parting present'. (Platts p.590)

 

ru;x.satii : 'Anything given at parting, a parting present'. (Platts p.590)

Nazm:

That is, he doesn't say 'give my desire alone', he says 'then give me leave to complain'. (156)

== Nazm page 156

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Oh sky, I don't say to you, fulfill my desire! Oh cruel one, give me leisure to complain-- for does it do any harm to you to give it?' (215)

Bekhud Mohani:

Oh sky, the claim of justice was that my heart's desires would be fulfilled by the beloved. All right, this didn't happen [achchhaa yih nah sahii]-- give me at least permission [ijaazat] to complain. That is, what a disaster it is that we are deprived of union, and on top of that, the tyranny that for fear of disgracing the beloved, or for fear that it might displease you, we sit with the seal of silence placed on the lip of complaint! The words of the verse tell us that now the lover no longer has the strength to suppress his complaint. (287)

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION; IDIOMS
SKY {15,7}

For discussion of the versatile idiomatic expression hii sahii , see {148,1}.

In this verse too, as in others in this ghazal, the second line is deliberately cryptic, and its relationship to the first line is left for us to determine. Here are three possible readings of the second line:

1) give me permission to sigh and lament as much as I wish, about your injustice

2) give a send-off or dismissal to my sigh and lament, so it will depart; then I will at least be silent and cease to complain aloud about your injustice

3) give something or other-- after all, it's the send-off of sigh and lament, and the occasion requires a gift from you. (That is, either I'm sending off my sigh and lament into the world, to be heard by whoever is listening; or else my despair and hopelessness are now so deep that I am giving up sighing and lamenting for the future.)

The first two meanings are relatively straightforward. The first emerges directly from the literal meaning of ru;x.sat as 'to give leave or permission'; see {44,2} and {92,6} for examples of this usage. The second comes from the very common use of ru;x.sat as 'to give leave or permission to depart', which is based on the requirement of courtly etiquette that no one can leave the royal presence without permission. Since the language of courtesy accords to the other person a high rank, this assumption is borrowed into polite language in Urdu: instead of saying that you think you'll be going, you ask formally for 'leave' or 'permission' [ijaazat] to depart. Many such rituals of parting include a gift given by the person of superior rank to the departing subordinate.

One of the most common rituals of departure in the culture is the formal sending off of a bride to her husband's house; the term ru;x.sat is commonly used for this ceremony. It includes gift-giving on a large scale: the terms ru;x.sataanah and ru;x.satii (see the definitions above) record the strong association of such formal send-offs with gift-giving. It is thus amusingly appropriate to address even such an unjust entity as the sky on this particular occasion: it's a ru;x.sat after all, oh unjust sky, and surely even you should give at least something!