Ghazal 188, Verse 2


us lab se mil hii jaa))egaa bosah kabhii to haa;N
shauq-e fu.zuul-o-jur))at-e rindaanah chaahiye

1) if sometime a kiss from that lip will be only/emphatically obtained-- then, indeed
2) {an excessive ardor / an ardor for excess} and a rakish courage are needed


fu.zuul : 'Excess, redundance.... ; a busy, meddling spirit; impertinent interference; folly; --adj. Excessive, extravagant, exorbitant; redundant, superfluous, exuberant; unnecessary, needless, useless'. (Platts p.782)


rindaanah : 'Dissolute, lewd, disorderly, licentious, profligate, rakish, like a debauchee'. (Platts p.600)


The Urdu of the elders was such that they used to say 'in you [tujh] street' and the meaning was 'in your [terii] street'... [and so on; thus 'from that [us] lip' really means 'from that one's [us ke] lip']. (210)

== Nazm page 210

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Sometime a kiss from her lip will be obtained. Indeed, in that connection an ardor that has gone beyond the limit, and a rakish courage, are required.' (269)

Bekhud Mohani:

Ardor that has gone beyond the limit, and a rakish courage, are necessary. If these would exist, then one day or another a kiss from her lips will surely be obtained. That is, the beloved does not refuse. Indeed, we need courage.

[Nazm is wrong:] this is considerably more powerful than that [example that he gave], because it alludes to the lips, or puts a finger on the lips, and would say that these lips take away the life. Now let justice be done: in which is there more effectiveness? This is not contrary to habitual usage, but is exactly the habitual usage itself. (367-68)



Bekhud Mohani is surely right: the ominous, evocative 'that lip' is at the heart of the verse, looming like a thundercloud. A lip deadly in its beauty? A lip deadly in the words that fall from it? A Divine lip? A lip of stone? A lip of cruelty and tyranny? A lip from which scorn and mockery would emerge? A lip that would open in a 'teeth-baring smile' (as in {166,1})? A lip already kissed by the Rivals and the Others, and thus devalued? We aren't given the slightest hint. The only thing we can gather from 'that lip' is that the lip is unique, recognizable immediately with no further identification.

And if the lip itself is dangerous and very possibly dubious, so are the qualities needed to get a kiss from it. Both fu.zuul and rindaanah have conspicuously negative associations (see the definitions above). It's true that a good case can be made for something like 'daredevil', 'rakish', 'hell-raiser', with the possibly favorable sense of having an extreme degree of courage. But still, the general effect is of excess, of trouble-making, of courage applied in a wild or destructive way, of 'folly' or 'profligacy'.

What else can this remind us of, but the devil-may-care spirit of {115,8}? The careless, casually concessive haa;N works perfectly-- and untranslatably-- in both cases. The lover is very ready to concede the 'folly' and 'profligacy' of what he's doing; after all, he knows his life is forfeit anyway, and he hardly cares.

It's also possible that what's really so deadly is not the process of obtaining the kiss, but the aftermath, the next stage: 'once you get a kiss from that lip, then watch out!'.

Note for meter fans: On jur))at , see {4,4}.