Ghazal 202, Verse 3


kyuu;N nah ho be-iltifaatii us kii ;xaa:tir jam((a hai
jaantaa hai ma;hv-e pursish'haa-e pinhaanii mujhe

1a) why would there not be unkindness by her? my temperament is calm/collected
1b) why would there not be unkindness? her temperament is calm/collected

2) she considers me [to be] absorbed in inquiries of concealment/secrecy


;xaa:tir jam((a : 'Collected, composed, comforted, assured, contented, confident, tranquil, at ease; satisfactory; --collectedness or peace of mind, composure, content, satisfaction, confidence, assurance, encouragement'. (Platts p.484)


By 'inquiries of concealment' the author's meaning is that the visions that come sometimes in the imagination, and sometimes in dreams, or through her unkindness the state I'm coming to be in-- that's what I'm absorbed in. And due to this she's calm/collected, if she doesn't show kindness. If you want to know the truth, then from the words 'inquiries of concealment' the author's intended meaning doesn't emerge. (227)

== Nazm page 227

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'From her side, how would there not be a manifestation of unkindness? That cruel one is calm/collected. That is, she considers that I am always conversing with a vision of her, and am becoming intoxicated with mental 'inquiries of concealment'.' (284)

Bekhud Mohani:

The beloved is confident, considering that I am becoming absorbed in the pleasure of 'inquiries of concealment' of signs and thoughts and visions and dreams. Thus if she doesn't show kindness toward me, it's fitting...

[Disagreeing with Nazm's criticism:] If in {91,2} [and in another by 'Urfi] there's no defect in the meaning, then Mirza's present verse too is presenting its meaning. (398-99)



What's really enjoyable about the verse is the elegantly ambiguous placement of us kii , right in the middle of the first line between two appropriate feminine nouns, so that it can with equal ease apply backward to create 'her unkindness', or forward to create 'her temperament'. Who is calm/collected, and why? Here are some possibilities:

=Why wouldn't the beloved be unkind? The speaker is quite calm/collected about her unkindness, since he knows she is simply sulking because she thinks he is lost in another world and is thus guilty of failing to pay sufficient attention to her.

=Why wouldn't the beloved be unkind? She sees that the speaker is quite calm/collected, and considers that he's so lost in another world that he won't even notice her unkindness.

=Why wouldn't there be unkindness? The beloved is quite calm/collected about showing it, since she thinks the speaker is lost in another world and is not paying any attention to her.

Moreover, since jaantaa hai means that she 'considers', there are additional ambiguities. She might be wrong in her view: she thinks he's off in another world, but he's actually observing her closely. On the complexities of jaan'naa , see {16,5}.

And finally, of course, what are the 'inquiries of concealment/secrecy'? The abstractness of the nouns, and the flexibility of the i.zaafat that links them, together open an extraordinarily wide field. Are they inquiries that are conducted in secret? Inquiries that are about particular concealed things? Inquiries that are about the nature of secrecy itself? Inquiries that pertain to concealment in some other, unspecified way? The verse carefully makes sure that we have absolutely no way to tell.