Ghazal 177, Verse 3


go samajhtaa nahii;N par ;husn-e talaafii dekho
shikvah-e jaur se sar-garm-e jafaa hotaa hai

1) although {she doesn't / I don't} understand, look at the beauty/elegance of the recompense--
2) from the complaint of tyranny, she is [habitually] eager/'hot-headed' for oppression


;husn : 'Goodness, goodliness; comeliness, beauty, pleasingness'. (Platts p.477)


talaafii : 'Making amends, reparation, compensation, recompense'. (Platts p.333)


jaur : 'Wrong-doing, injustice, oppression, violence, tyranny'. (Platts p.396)


jafaa : 'Oppression, violence, cruelty, injury, injustice, hardship'. (Platts p.382)


That is, she/he is young, and this action is not understood by her/him. (199)

== Nazm page 199

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'When we complain to the beloved about her wrong-doing, although because of her youthfulness she can't understand the aspect of our utterance, nevertheless this beauty/elegance of recompense is worth seeing-- or rather, it's worthy of praise: that she becomes even more eager for oppression'. (257)

Bekhud Mohani:

If she is youthful and doesn't understand that I take pleasure in her tyranny, and that I only complain of injustice so that she'll become even angrier and will show even more oppression than formerly, nevertheless it's still a fortunate coincidence that she doesn't understand for what purpose I complain-- and she still becomes angry. (348)



Who it is who doesn't understand? The commentators maintain that it's the beloved, and explain that she's 'youthful' [kam-sin] and thus (apparently) naive. It's equally possible, of course, that she's too indifferent (think for example of {19,2}) to devote much real attention to the matter; or that she's incapable of imagining the intensity of the lover's feelings; or that she may even be too hostile to him to bother listening to his complaint in the first place.

It's also possible, however, that it's the lover who doesn't understand. What he can't understand might be the emotional logic of her behavior-- perhaps he's 'youthful' and naive himself (as he seems to be in {14,4}), and doesn't yet know her-- as we do-- in all her radical untrustworthiness. Or else perhaps what he can't understand is the 'elegance of recompense' [;husn-e talaafii] itself-- how does it come about that in her seemingly random cruelty and indifference she just happens to behave in such a perverse way, answering a complaint about X not with Y or Z, but with more X?

There's also a sense in which this verse is like {177,1}, which played with the similarities and differences of shikvah and gilah . Here too, jaur and jafaa are very close synonyms (see the definitions above), and indeed are often linked into jaur-o-jafaa . It's easy to read them as identical: 'accused of X, she responds with even more X'. But an even more subtly enjoyable example of 'elegance of recompense' would be 'accused of X, she responds with Y'-- and then we notice that Y is something that differs from X in only the smallest degree. Or it could be that she doesn't even care what she's been accused of-- perhaps the very fact of someone's being presumptuous enough to complain in the first place is sufficient to make her (literally) 'hot-headed' for violence.

It might seem, in the normal world, that ;husn-e talaafii has to be read sarcastically. But of course in the inverted world of the lover, in fact it might be quite genuinely appreciative. The lover has learned how to get the beloved's attention, how to elicit her 'hot' response, how to turn her into a little torment-machine who produces cruelty on demand. What more can the half-mad, pain-addicted lover hope for? And what more does he really crave? See for example {177,5}.