Ghazal 180, Verse 3


;xa:t likhe;Nge garchih ma:tlab kuchh nah ho
ham to ((aashiq hai;N tumhaare naam ke

1) we will write a letter, although there might/would be no petition/purpose/result
2) we are, after all, a lover of your name


;xa:t : 'Writing, character, handwriting... a letter, epistle'. (Platts p.490)


ma:tlab : 'A question, demand, request, petition; proposition; wish, desire; object, intention, aim, purpose, pursuit, motive'. (Platts p.1044)


'There being no purpose/goal' means that although there might not be a new theme to write in every letter, your name will appear. (203)

== Nazm page 203

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'If no new theme for writing a letter would come to hand, then so be it. We are a lover of your name. We write your name in the heading of the letter, and if there's no purpose/goal, then there isn't.' (262)

Bekhud Mohani:

Although there would be no necessary thing to write in the letter, we will certainly write the letter, because we do not care about the letter itself, nor about a new theme. We are, after all, a lover of your name; in it your name will appear again and again.

[Or else:] ma:tlab nah ho means that the purpose would not be achieved [ma:tlab nah nikle]. (358-59)


WRITING: {7,3}

Bekhud Mohani points out the double meaning in the first line: ma:tlab nah ho , which is most easily read as 'there would be no purpose/goal' (in writing the letter), can also mean ma:tlab nah nikle , a 'purpose/goal would not be achieved' (by writing the letter)-- that is, it would be fruitless. In good mushairah-verse style, the first line is thus piquant but uninterpretable, until we're allowed, after the usual delay, to hear the second line-- which itself can't be understood until the last possible moment, when we hear the simple, forceful naam .

Another enjoyable subtlety, as Mehr Afshan Farooqi points out (Dec. 2005), is the double meaning of ;xa:t as both letter in the sense of 'epistle' or written message, and letter in the sense of 'character' (by which Platts, in the definition above, means 'letter of the alphabet') or 'handwriting'. So the speaker might be proposing merely to write the 'letters' of the beloved's adorable name, perhaps over and over, as lovers have been known to do-- an activity that of course goes even more elegantly with the second line.

In the second line is a textbook case of the beauties of to . It balances the sentence so gracefully, colloquially, and untranslatably, that there's no way I can do it justice; 'after all' is much more cumbersome and limited. Imagine taking it out, and just think how much plainer and cruder the feeling of the words would become.

For a similar example of the lover's pleasure in merely mentioning the beloved, see {53,11}.