Ghazal 186, Verse 5

{186,5}

dashne ne kabhii mu;Nh nah lagaayaa ho jigar ko
;xanjar ne kabhii baat nah puuchhii ho guluu kii

1) the poignard might never have applied its face/mouth to the liver
2) the dagger might never have inquired about the situation/idea/words of the throat

Notes:

Nazm:

By dagger and poignard are meant the airs and graces and conflict-seeking and cruelty of the beloved. (209)

== Nazm page 209

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the knife would never have come into contact with the liver-- that is, would not have shown affection to it. And the dagger too would never have inquired about the state of the throat-- that is, would not have given it attention. By poignard and dagger is meant the airs and graces and tyranny and injustice of the beloved. (268)

Baqir:

That unsuccessful lover to whose liver the cruel beloved's poniard would never show even its face, and about whose throat the dagger would never even inquire-- his [vain] longing is worth seeing! Asi and [Nazm] Tabataba'i have written this verse before the closing-verse; from this arrangement the interpretation of the verse becomes absolutely clear. (458)

FWP:

SETS == PARALLELISM; WORDPLAY
JIGAR: {2,1}
SWORD: {1,3}

This is the second and final verse of a two-verse verse-set; moreover, some commentators reverse the order of this verse and the preceding one; see {186,4} for discussion of all such matters.

The commentators read this verse as a further description of the sad situation of the lover in {186,4} who would remain all his life vainly longing for a quarrelsome, dispute-seeking beloved. This is certainly very tempting, for otherwise it's hard to see how to read those parallel nah ho constructions. The subjunctive is so ambiguous-- 'might not', 'would not'-- and the context impossible to provide, leaving us no tone of voice. This is what might be called an 'extreme verse-set verse'-- one which almost can't be read except as part of a verse-set. Very few verses in verse-sets are so radically dependent on context for their very intelligibility.

There's of course the nice wordplay of body parts ( mu;Nh , jigar , guluu ) and of conversation ( mu;Nh , baat , puuchhnaa , guluu ). But this hardly suffices as a frame for the whole verse. Indeed, this wordplay too works much more cleverly if we interpret the verse in the light of {186,4), because then a wistful and vain longing for 'conversation' even with weapons (poignard, dagger) is explained by the lover's adoration of an aggressive, conflict-seeking beloved.

For more about dashnah and ;xanjar verses, see {59,6}.