Ghazal 151, Verse 9

{151,9}

;Gaalib tumhii;N kaho kih milegaa javaab kyaa
maanaa kih tum kahaa kiye aur vuh sunaa kiye

1a) Ghalib, you yourself say-- what answer will you get?
1b) Ghalib, you yourself say-- will you get an answer?
1c) Ghalib, you yourself say-- what an answer you'll get!

2) granted/assuming that you would [repeatedly] speak and she would [repeatedly] listen

Notes:

Nazm:

In the second line there is sarcasm-- that is, all right, granted that you spoke and she listened, but think about this: what answer will you get? The persuader is convinced that Ghalib has gone mad, that he's gone there to express his passion; in that place even access is impossible, much less that anyone would listen to his whole utterance. For this reason, he has said 'granted'. (163)

== Nazm page 163

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, oh Ghalib, you yourself think, and answer this question: what answer will you get from there? You've assumed that you would keep expressing your desire to her, and she too would keep listening, but what prospect will there be of your desire's being fulfilled? How will you be able to reach there, and then how will the imposingness of beauty give permission for the expression of longing? Where are you, and where is she? Just think it over for yourself. (218)

Bekhud Mohani:

The persuader says, first of all, she won't listen to your words; and even if she would listen, then you yourself think, what answer will she give? That is, her temperament, her pomp, her rank, make it impossible that she would agree to your words; so what is the behefit of this foolishness? (293)

FWP:

SETS == DIALOGUE; KYA
SPEAKING: {14,4}

This is another one of those remarkable and delightful verses that does so much with such (seemingly) simple means. In the first line, Ghalib is asked to answer a question about his chances of getting a question answered. As if that weren't complexity enough, the relationship between the first and second lines is also left up to us to decide. There are two possible logical relationships, and two senses of kyaa , yielding at least these four choices:

=Assuming that you talk and she listens (which is not guaranteed), will you even get an answer? (You won't!)

=Assuming that you talk and she listens (which is not guaranteed), what kind of answer will you get? (A rejection, for sure!)

=Will you get an answer at all?-- though I grant that you'll talk in any case, and (for whatever reasons) she'll listen.

=What kind of answer will you get?-- though I grant that you'll talk in any case, and (for whatever reasons) she'll listen.

The usefulness of maanaa is that it can be applied variously, to mean either 'I now assume for the purposes of argument (though not necessarily in the real world) that X might happen', or 'I grant you that X will no doubt happen'. For another clever exploitation of the possibilities of maanaa , see {152,6}.

For an even more extravagant exercise along the same general 'dialogue' lines, see {46,7}.