Ghazal 180, Verse 5


dil ko aa;Nkho;N ne pha;Nsaayaa kyaa magar
yih bhii ;halqe hai;N tumhaare daam ke

1a) how the eyes ensnared the heart!-- perhaps
1b) did the eyes ensnare the heart? --perhaps
1c) as if it was the eyes that ensnared the heart!-- but [rather]

2) even/also these are links of your net/snare



That is, how the eyes have tormented the heart! But the additional meaning is, what have my eyes done-- they have trapped the bird of my heart! Perhaps the lover's eyes too are links of your net/snare. This meaning emerges with difficulty from these words; it has not been presented well. (203)

== Nazm page 203

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'How your eyes have ensnared our heart! But thus it is proved that our eyes too are links of your net/snare.' The meaning is that the lover's eyes make him absorbed in the beauty of the beloved; thus it is proved that the eyes are links in the net/snare of the beloved. (262)

Bekhud Mohani:

To call one's own eyes links in the net/snare of the beloved is a new idea-- and is this excellence a small thing? By saying only kyaa , he directs the hearer's attention to however many, and whatever kinds, of sufferings that have come upon the heart. In this verse, this word is meaning-producing [ma((nii-;xez]. The verse is not defective in the presentation of its meaning. Janab [Nazm] Tabataba'i did not deign to give it his attention. (359)


EYES {3,1}

Here's a clever combination of the possibilities of kyaa with those of magar . If we read the first line, with the commentators, as an exclamation of amazement at the ensnaring power of the eyes, then the line is perfectly set up to hypothesize a reason: 'perhaps' it happened that way because they're links in your net/snare (1a).

But we can also read the first line as a yes-or-no question: did the eyes ensnare the heart, or didn't they? Then the second line becomes a further speculation about this kind of causality (1b).

Equally possible is an indignant negative exclamation ('As if the eyes did it! It was hardly the eyes that did it! The eyes didn't do it at all!'), then the line is perfectly set up to invoke the meaning of magar as 'but': it wasn't the eyes themselves that did the damage in their own right, but rather their role as links in your net/snare (1c).

On any of these readings, the question of whose eyes they are, the lover's or the beloved's (or both!), is also of course enjoyably left open. Eyes are round like the circular meshes in a net; the beloved's beautiful eyes too can be net-meshes just as plausibly as they can be shooters of glance-arrows. But if it's the lover's own eyes that have betrayed him, and have allied themselves with the ensnarer-- then his situation is even more piquant, and his captivity is hopeless indeed.