Ghazal 191, Verse 3


khel samjhaa hai kahii;N chho;R nah de bhuul nah jaa))e
kaash yuu;N bhii ho kih bin mere sataa))e nah bane

1) she's considered it a game-- may she not abandon it, not forget it!
2) if only it would be even/also like this: that she couldn't stand not to torment me!



If only it would be that without tormenting me she would have no peace. (214)

== Nazm page 214

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, even the tyranny and cruelty with which she treats me, she considers a game. Thus I fear lest she might leave off the tyranny, or forget it. If only it would be that she would have no peace without tormenting me, and every day, regularly, she would keep tormenting me! (274)

Bekhud Mohani:

Compare {60,6}. (133)

The beloved is young, and torments me. But she doesn't consider it necessary to torment me-- rather, where there are other games, this game too is one among them. And from her tyranny I get pleasure-- may the Lord grant that she not forget, or leave off! May she herself get such pleasure from tormenting me that she wouldn't be able to stand not to torment me.

Janab Shaukat [writes], 'the beloved fears lest the lover might leave her. What-- as if such a thing can happen!' What a beautiful idea he has expressed. (374)



The verse begins with a brief report from the lover. She plays with me, he says, the way a cat plays with a mouse-- she considers it a 'game' to torment me. He thus sets up strong grounds for complaint. We won't be surprised if he goes on to lament her cruelty, beg for better treatment, threaten to seek refuge in death, or the like.

But then the rest of the verse goes on to obsess not about this torment, but only about the fear of losing this torment, and the hope of assuring more of it. Since to the beloved it's a childish game, she might capriciously abandon it, or she might casually forget about it. The one thing the lover really longs for is that this playful torment at her hands could be guaranteed to continue. After all, anything is better than being ignored by her (as we're reminded in {148,2}). And as so often, we're also back to the old pain-equals-pleasure paradox that lies at the heart of the ghazal world.

The second line of the verse reveals a simpler form of the same wordplay as that of the previous verse, {191,2}. Instead of ban - bin - bane we have only bin - bane ; but in the immediate aftermath of the previous verse and the astonishingly complex second line of the first verse, even this much sound-play and script-play still resonates enjoyably. (On the grammar of bin sataa))e , see {191,02}.)

Bekhud Mohani approvingly cites Shaukat's alternative reading of the first line, which is one of fear on the beloved's part: 'she has considered it [=my expressions of devotion] a game [on my part]-- [she thinks,] "may he not forget, may he not leave off!"'. But even apart from the highly un-beloved-like behavior that it envisions, this reading doesn't seem to offer any connection at all with the second line, so I don't think it's really sustainable.