Ghazal 166, Verse 4

{166,4}

karuu;N be-daad-e ;zauq-e par-fishaanii ((ar.z kyaa qudrat
kih :taaqat u;R ga))ii u;Rne se pahle mere shah-par kii

1) if I would present/display the injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering-- what power?!
2) for the strength/endurance of my chief feather vanished/'flew away' before [my] flying

Notes:

((ar.z : 'Presenting or representing; representation, petition, request, address'. (Platts p.760)

 

qudrat : 'Power, ability, potency, vigour, force, authority, virtue'. (Platts p.788)

 

:taaqat : 'Ability to accomplish, capability; ability, power, energy, force, strength; ability to endure, power of endurance, endurance, patience'. (Platts p.750)

 

shaah-par (and shah-par ): 'The largest or strongest feather (in a bird's wing)'. (Platts p.719)

Nazm:

The strength/power is not in me that I would be able to present/display the injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering. That is, I can no longer flutter my wings, because there's no strength in my wing. This verse is by way of an allegory. (180)

== Nazm page 180

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'What capacity do I have, that I would be able to present/display the tyranny and oppression of the relish for wing-fluttering? Before it fluttered, the strength of my chief feather gave me a flat refusal.' (240)

Bekhud Mohani:

Janab Shaukat says, 'The second line is an expression of injustice/cruelty. That is, I myself had a relish for the fluttering of wings. So now where in my is the strength, that I would complain of the injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering? For before flying, why did the strength of my chief feather fly away (decline)? Whatever was done to me, was done by the relish for wing-fluttering.'

But the expression of injustice/cruelty, and a complaint, are not the same thing. (324)

FWP:

SETS == KIH; STRESS-SHIFTING

The first line is inshaa))iyah , and certainly seems to express helplessness or regret: the speaker has suffered from the 'injustice' or 'cruelty' of a 'relish for wing-fluttering', and finds himself without the power to 'present' or 'display' it. But it's very broad, so that we're left to wait in suspense for further clarification from the second line.

The second line takes advantage of the multivalent possibilities of kih , which connects it in one of a several ways to the first line-- the possibilities include 'in that' (the lines describe the same general situation); 'so that' (line 1 causes line 2); 'because' (line 2 causes line 1).

Moreover, when making the connection, we also have to decide for ourselves which part of the first line is to be emphasized. As different words are stressed, the interpretation too evolves:

=The speaker doesn't have the power to express or display the injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering, because his expressive powers deserted him when he lost the use of his chief feather. (How can a bird express its grievances properly without having the use of its wings?)

=The injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering is inexpressible-- the injustice and cruelty are such that this taste or 'relish' still persists, even though he long ago lost the power to act on it. (Perhaps it's like the pain of a 'phantom limb'?)

=The injustice/cruelty of the relish for wing-fluttering is inexpressible-- because of this cruel, uncontrollable relish, he has lost the force of his chief feather. (Perhaps he used to flutter it all the time, until its strength gave out before he even started flying?)

But the chief charm of the verse is the punchy juxtaposition u;R ga))ii u;Rne -- the colloquial 'flew away' [u;R ga))ii] to mean 'vanished', which works as a counterpoint to the standard 'to fly' [u;Rnaa]; the verse encourages us to enjoy both the similarities and the differences of the two forms.

This is one of the verses in which the lover/speaker is clearly a bird; for others, see {126,5}.