Ghazal 157, Verse 2


dekhnaa taqriir kii la;z;zat kih jo us ne kahaa
mai;N ne yih jaanaa kih goyaa yih bhii mere dil me;N hai

1) look at the pleasure/relish of speech/confirmation-- {for / since / in that / what} she said

2a) I considered/felt this: that 'it's as if this too is in my heart'
2b) I considered/felt this: that 'this too is {speaking / a speaker} in my heart'


taqriir : 'Speaking, discoursing; relating; explaining; confirming; speech, discourse, statement, declaration, assertion, relation, recital, narrative, account, detail; exposition; avowal, confession; ascertainment; confirmation'. (Platts p.330)


kahnaa : 'To say, utter, speak ... ; to tell, declare, mention, state, deliver, relate, repeat, recount; to acquaint ... ; to advise, admonish; to affirm, assert, aver, avow'. (Platts p.880)


la;z;zat : 'Pleasure, delight, enjoyment; sweetness, deliciousness; taste, flavour, relish, savour; -- an aphrodisiac;... sensual pleasures'. (Platts p.955)


There can be no better praise of anyone's beauty of speech than that whatever idea emerges from the speaker's mouth enters into the listener's heart in such a way that he suspects that this idea was in his heart even beforehand.
==Urdu text: p. 125 in Hali, Yadgar-e Ghalib


That is, it seemed to me that whatever thing she said, she said the thought of my heart. (168)

== Nazm page 168

Bekhud Mohani:

God, God, what pleasure in speech would be greater than this, that whatever thing she said, it established itself in my heart in such a way that I considered that I too used to say this! The word jo is meaningful-- that is, whatever sort of thing at all it might be. (301)


SPEAKING: {14,4}

Bekhud Mohani singles out jo for special attention, and I'd add two other words as well: bhii , and goyaa . But I think he's right that jo is the most crucial; for a detailed discussion of its multivalent possibilities, see {12,2}. It's able cleverly to keep open the question of who speaks the second line. If we take jo us ne kahaa to mean 'in that she spoke', or else 'what she said' (with jo in its normal correlative sense), then the speaker of the second line would be the lover, the voice of the whole verse: 'when she said something' (or 'what she said')-- I felt that I already agreed with it'. Let's first deal with this obvious, straightforward reading.

For we encounter a small shock of unexpectedness in the phrasing of the second line. The first line leads us to expect the obvious tribute to a fine orator: whatever she says, I am instantly persuaded: I think, 'oh yes, this is what I think too, this is what is in my heart too'. And that's almost what we get-- but not quite. For instead of 'this is in my heart too' [yih mere bhii dil me;N hai , or yih mere dil me;N bhii hai] we get, quite unmistakably, 'this too is in my heart' [yih bhii mere dil me;N hai]. The focus is thus shifted from the group of things that she says (which I now endorse) to the group of things that are in my heart (of which this now becomes one). (The 'even/also' range of bhii seems in this case best captured by the 'too'.)

This too is in my heart-- in addition to what? To her? To all the moods and modes of passion? To all the things that I'd like to reply to what she's just said? And of course, for something to 'be in my heart' is more intimate and less explicit than for me to simply endorse or accept something. I absorb her words into my heart because they're hers and are thus precious little parts of her; and not because they are formed into rhetorically persuasive ideas or even because they're words at all (I'd love a lock of her hair just as much). The lushness and sensuality of la;z;zat works perfectly with this interpretation. All this richness of implication is achieved by the careful, subtle positioning of bhii .

Then there's the clever double use of goyaa , which literally means 'speaking' or 'speaker' (2b), and by extension comes to mean 'so to speak' or 'as if' (2a). As so often, the wordplay points to meaning-play; for more on this versatile expression, see {5,1}. Thus there's a very notable affinity among taqriir , kahaa , goyaa -- and then, as counterpoints to speech, we also have 'knowing' [jaan'naa] and 'seeing' [dekhnaa].

Nor is that all, for the versatility of taqriir too is beautifully appropriate. The la;z;zat-e taqriir can be either the pleasure of her speech, or the pleasure of the lover's speaking. Since the verse begins with a neutral imperative, 'look at', there is plainly an implied addressee, and the lover is a 'speaker' himself. Moreover, taqriir can also mean 'confession' or 'confirmation', so perhaps the lover is also enjoying the great relief of speaking out and confessing or confirming his love, 'getting it off his chest'.

But now, to return to the possibilities of jo -- what if we were to read the two lines not as end-stopped, but with enjambement? Then jo us ne kahaa would become a speech introducer, and the speech it introduces would be the second line: 'how gratifying it is to have confirmation! -- the way (after I spoke) she said [the second line]'. This reading, though less obvious, is quite grammatically possible. The lover is glorying in an all-too-rare moment of support and affirmation from the beloved. On this reading, the multivalence of bhii is even more enjoyable, since we all know quite well some of the other things that are in the beloved's heart. And the 'as if' quality of goyaa too becomes more poignant (it's as if these things are in her heart too, but really they're not).