Ghazal 174, Verse 2


bosah dete nahii;N aur dil pah hai har la;h:zah nigaah
jii me;N kahte hai;N kih muft aa))e to maal achchhaa hai

1) she doesn't give a kiss, and at every moment/'glance' her gaze is on the heart
2) in her inner-self she says, 'If it would come for free, then the merchandise is good'


la;h:zah : 'A look, a glance; --a moment, the twinkling of an eye; a minute'. (Platts p.954)


With the word 'kiss' they use 'to give' and 'to take'; for this reason, the poets always versify a kiss as the value/price of the heart, and the heart as being on sale for a kiss is a shopworn theme. But here, the excellence of the idiom and the style of the construction have made this theme fresh. (194)

== Nazm page 194

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In this verse Mirza has created a picture of the beloved's greediness/avarice. (251)

Bekhud Mohani:

From this verse it's also understood that lover and beloved are both tricksters, and both take each other's measure. The lover's idea is that if success is not obtained, there's no gain in hanging oneself. The beloved says, 'If I give a kiss and take the heart, then what do I gain?'. Let's see who comes away with the prize! Such a great theme, Mirza has expressed in a verse that outwardly has no special rank. 'She says in her heart'-- that is, she's a trickster, she doesn't say it with her tongue. (341)


GAZE: {10,12}

The double meaning of la;h:zah , both primarily 'glance' and (only by extension, it seems) 'moment', is perfect here, especially the way it's bumped right up against nigaah .

The colloquialness of the beloved's tricky thoughts is another delight. Apparently the asking price for the heart is a kiss. But the beloved is a tough customer, and a shrewd bargainer. There are really several ways we could read her remark:

=Anything one gets for free is a good deal (don't look a gift horse in the mouth, just take it and run).
=If one gets a thing for free, then that's excellent (a smart shopper will always hunt for the best bargains).
=If this particular thing is available for free, then it's worth the price (because this thing is basically worthless).

Compare the lover's own (playfully?) dismissive judgment about himself in {162,11}.