Ghazal 193, Verse 2


kare hai qatl lagaava;T me;N teraa ro denaa
tirii :tara;h ko))ii te;G-e nigah ko aab to de

1) in affection/intimacy, your weeping does murder--

2a) let a person give temper/sharpness/'water' to the sword of the gaze in your style!
2b) as if anyone [else] could give temper/sharpness/'water' to the sword of the gaze in your style!


kare hai is an archaic form of kartaa hai (GRAMMAR)


aab : 'Water; water or lustre (in gems); temper (of steel, &c.); edge or sharpness (of a sword, &c.); sparkle, lustre; splendour; elegance; dignity, honour, character, reputation'. (Platts p.1)


aab : 'Water; river; ... lustre, splendour; honour, degree, dignity; power, glory, prosperity; grace, elegance; mercy, pity; custom, habit, fashion, mode, rule; quicksilver; (met.) Pearl, jewel, gem; brilliant sword; bashful, abashed; fellow-traveller; perfect soul, universal intellect. This word is much used in forming compounds, and metaphorical expressions'. (Steingass p.3)


That is, the tears from your eyes create in the sword of the glance such aab-daarii that I am slain. In this verse the meaning of to is that no matter how much anyone else might produce attraction in a glance, to give aab to the sword like this is something that no one else knows. (216-17)

== Nazm page 216; Nazm page 217

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Here the word to creates the meaning that other tyrannical beloveds don't at all know how to give aab-daarii to the sword of the glance as you do. (276)

Bekhud Mohani:

lagaava;T : for there to be no love, and for the expression of love to be made.... When you, while expressing your false love, weep, then in your glance the effect further increases.... and the lovers fall into your net of deception. (381)


Compare {10,11}. (291)


[See his discussion of Mir's M{1719,1}.]


GAZE: {10,12}
SWORD: {1,3}

ABOUT aab : This verse makes excellent use of the protean aab (see the definition above): its sense of 'water' has an affinity with 'tears'; its sense of 'temper' (as in steel) and 'sharpness' have affinities with the 'sword' and the 'murder'; its sense of 'sparkle' and 'luster' go well with the 'glance' of the beloved's bright eyes. Other examples of conspicuous aab wordplay: {12,3x}, with similar use of paanii ; {75,1}; {109,7x}; {193,2}; {227,3}.

This is a classic mushairah-verse: the whole verse builds up, while remaining uninterpretable, to the final punch-word aab , which is of course withheld until the last possible moment. And it's also a verse based on what I call 'double activation', since aab in its various meanings (see the definition and discussion above) becomes the strong-- and the only-- focal point of the verse. Other meanings and affinities radiate out from it like spokes on a wheel.

As Nazm points out, this verse also features another-- and different-- use of the idiomatic to ; for more uses, see {193,1}. Here it is a kind of sarcastic vaah vaah sense-- 'Bravo! Everybody should do it the way you do it!' (2a)-- with also a strong suggestion of 'As if anybody else could! Let them just try!' (2b).

Note for grammar fans: The adverbial 'in affection/intimacy' [lagaava;T me;N] is a 'midpoint' phrase that could go two ways: it could describe the doing of murder ('when your lover is in that state']; or it could describe the weeping ('when you are in that state'). In this verse the distinction doesn't seem too significant either way.

Arshi's suggestion of {10,11} as a verse for comparison is an excellent choice.