Ghazal 204, Verse 5


vuh aayaa bazm me;N dekho nah kahyo phir kih ;Gaafil the
shikeb-o-.sabr-e ahl-e anjuman kii aazmaa))ish hai

1) she has come into the gathering!-- look!-- don't say then/again that you were unaware/heedless!
2) it is a test of the endurance/patience and self-restraint of the people of the gathering


shikeb : 'Patience, long-suffering'. (Platts p.731)


.sabr : 'Patience, self-restraint, endurance, patient suffering, resignation'. (Platts p.743)


The kind of line that the author has created here-- in the view of a literary person, it's not less than giving life to the dead. The theme is in reality dead; only by 'joining lines' has he given life to it. This is the same theme that has been versified millions of times, that from seeing the beloved, endurance and self-restraint don't remain. The line that he has added-- divide it into three parts. 'She came into the gathering' is said in the way they say 'the moon has come out'. 'Look'-- that is, 'become alert, keep watch on your hearts'. 'Don't say then/again that you were heedless'-- this sentence too has the same meaning as is found in the word 'look'. That is, this sentence adds insistence to that one, and from this insistence the great beauty has been created in the verse, and also from the allusion to 'she' [vuh].

== Nazm page 230

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the self-restraint-and-endurance-looting beloved has come into the gathering before us. Look, be warned, don't then/later make the excuse, 'We were unaware, her snare caught us in the state of heedlessness'. And he also makes it manifest that she intends to test the self-restraint and fortitude of the people of the gathering, therefore she has set foot here. The beauty of expression and the construction of the words are beyond praise. (287)

Bekhud Mohani:

The theme of this verse has been taken from the famous story of Hazrat Joseph and Zulaikha. It is that when the women of Egypt taunted Zulaikha for dying of love for a slave, then Zulaikha invited them all as guests and gave them all lemons and peeling-knives, [saying] 'When Joseph comes before you, then peel them'. When he passed before them, they all, in their absorption, peeled their hands. (406)


TESTING: {4,4}
WARNINGS: {15,15}

What a good reading Nazm gives for this one! When he wants to, he can be excellent. As he observes, the colloquial liveliness and the tone of ominous warning in the first line are what really energize the verse. We can see with what relish the speaker is setting himself up to say later on, after the people of the gathering have all lost hold of themselves, 'See? Didn't I tell you so? Don't say I didn't warn you!' and so on. How annoying he plans to be, and how much he looks forward to it! As so often, the inshaa))iyah part of the verse is the key to its pleasure.

In the first line, the urgently colloquial dekho can mean either 'Look at her!', or else, more abstractly, 'Look here!' in the sense of 'Pay attention, heed my words!'. Similarly, the rest of the first line can offer an immediate kind of warning: 'Don't claim later on that you were taken by surprise!'. Or alternatively, it can offer another, more abstract kind: 'Don't claim later that you were unaware that such a deadly and dangerous test was in the offing; you can't use that as an excuse for your failing the test!'.