Ghazal 192, Verse 5


;xa:t:t-e ((aari.z se likhaa hai zulf ko ulfat ne ((ahd
yak-qalam man:zuur hai jo kuchh pareshaanii kare

1) with the writing/down of the cheek, love has written to the curls, a vow--
2) entirely/'one-pen' accepted, is whatever disorder/anxiety it might cause


;xa:t:t : 'A line, a streak, or stripe, a mark; lineament; --writing, character, handwriting, chirography; a letter, epistle; --down on the face, incipient beard, &c.; beard; moustaches'. (Platts p.490-91)


((aari.z : 'Appearing, showing or presenting itself, happening, befalling, occurring; ... --the side of the face, the cheek'. (Platts p.756)


((ahd : 'Injunction, charge, mandate; will, testament; --compact, contract, covenant, agreement, engagement, obligation, promise; bond, league, treaty; --a vow, an oath'. (Platts pp.766-67)


qalam : 'A reed; reed-pen, pen; a pencil; a painter's brush; --an engraving tool; --a mode of writing, character, hand- writing; ... a section, paragraph (of a chapter in a book); --the upper part of the beard tapering to a point'. (Platts p.794)


That is, on his cheeks this is not down [;xa:t:t], but rather my love has written a vow to the curl that whatever disorder/anxiety it would have in mind to do toward me, it should do; this is entirely acceptable to me. The author has in the word yak-qalam composed a second wordplay: first, there are the lines of the beard [qalame;N] on the cheeks; second, they write letters [;xa:t:t] too with pens. This verse too [like {192,4}] is not devoid of unpleasing embellishment [ta.sannu((]. (216)

== Nazm page 216

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'The down that appears on his cheeks is not really down, but rather my love has written a vow to his curls, that whatever disorder/anxiety it would have in mind to do with regard to me, it should do; it is completely [sar-taa-sar] acceptable to me'. (276)

Bekhud Mohani:

The word yak-qalam is extremely suitable because the curls are near the down/pen [qalam] and the letter/down [;xa:t:t] too is written with a pen.

[Disagreeing with Nazm:] God knows what embellishment [ta.sannu((] means! If 'theme-creation' and 'embellishment' are the same thing, then it's not necessary to say anything; otherwise, poetry considers it a theme. (380)


CURLS: {14,6}
VOWS: {20,2}
WRITING: {7,3}

This is one of the small group of verses in the divan in which the beloved is clearly marked as an adolescent boy; for the full set, see {9,2}.

On the Persianized construction yak- to express intensity and sweep, see {11,1}.

This verse, like the previous one {192,4}, is overgrown with tangled vines of wordplay; but perhaps because it's simpler and more concrete, it's less aggravating. (At least, Nazm seems to find it so, since his denunciation is less vehement, and I feel the same way.)

= ;xa:t:t as a line of writing
= likhnaa , to write
= ((ahd as a written document
= qalam as a pen

= ;xa:t:t as down on the cheek
= ((aari.z as the cheek
= qalam as a part of the beard
= zulf as a curl of hair
= pareshaanii as disorder, tangledness

We really have to salute, and savor, the density of these word-thickets! There's nothing much more to the verse-- but then, does there have to be? Within two short lines of poetry, such a network is, if nothing else, a tour de force of technique.