Ghazal 204, Verse 6


rahe dil hii me;N tiir achchhaa jigar ke paar ho bahtar
;Gara.z shast-e but-e naavak-figan kii aazmaa))ish hai

1) if the arrow would remain within only/emphatically the heart-- good; if it would be through/beyond the liver-- better/excellent!

2a) in short, it's a test of the aim of the arrow-shooting idol
2b) the purpose/desire/need is a test of the aim of the arrow-shooting idol


;Gara.z : 'An object of aim or pursuit, or of desire, or of want; aim, end, object, design, view, purpose, intention; business; meaning; a want, need, necessity, occasion; interest, concern; interestedness, interested motive;... --adv. In short, in a word, in fine'. (Platts p.770)


That is, it should definitely lodge in one or the other of those targets. (230)

== Nazm page 230

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Whether the arrow would remain in the heart, or whether it would pierce heart and lover and pass out beyond the bosom, in both cases the point is that the target of the arrow-shooting idol would be seen-- whether she is a capable archer or not, whether her arrow lodges in the intended target, or misses and emerges'. The excellence of the expression-- what can I say! (288)

Bekhud Mohani:

Janab [Nazm] Tabataba'i has not reflected that Mirza doesn't say that out of two targets, it should definitely lodge in one. For to test someone's archery in this way is to insult that person-- that there would be two targets, if the arrow would lodge in either one of them we'll consider you a capable archer. It's this: that part of accomplishment in archery is that when the archer would want, the arrow would 'kiss' a spot and remain there; when he would want, it would penetrate part-way (half-in, half-out); or it would pierce through the target and emerge. And the greatest thing is that there should be enough force in the arrow that it can penetrate several targets together. Mirza Sahib says, if the arrow would penetrate part-way, then that's good; and if it would pierce open the heart and emerge through the liver, then that's better. And if we take the meaning of arrow to be 'arrow of coquetry', then the meaning will be that if it would remain in the heart, then we will enjoy the pleasure of a 'half-drawn arrow': {20,4}. (407)


ARCHERY: {6,2}
IDOL: {8,1}
JIGAR: {2,1}
TESTING: {4,4}

The first line lays down the conditions for a test of archery: lodging the arrow in the heart would be good; sending it straight on through the liver would be better. But what is the larger context in which the archery-test is to take place? We have to wait for the second line to inform us.

Then the second line begins with the beautifully chosen word ;Gara.z . In such a position at the start of a sentence, it almost always works adverbially, meaning something like 'in short', 'in a word', 'to give you the gist'. That's how we initially read it, and that sense works perfectly for introducing the general purpose, neutrally stated, that the specific criteria in the first line are meant to serve.

But on closer inspection the literal meanings of ;Gara.z (see the definition above) also come to mind, since the grammar of the second line is perfectly framed to admit them. Thus the archery-test may also be seen as an 'object' or 'purpose', as a 'want' or 'need', as an 'interest' or 'concern'. Suddenly the lover's perspective looms large. On this reading, the first line looks not abstract, but urgent, as though the lover is urging the beloved to take aim more effectively, since his ;Gara.z is a matter of life and death. But then, of course, which does he want-- the swift death of an arrow right through the liver, or the frisson of an arrow lodged in the heart?

Alternatively, the ;Gara.z could be that of the beloved, who is so indifferent to the fate of her lover that she thinks of him entirely in terms of target practice.

On the positioning of the two organs-- apparently in a line, with the (less vital) heart in front-- see {20,4}, in which the same two possible arrow-targets appear.