Ghazal 205, Verse 1

{205,1}*

kabhii nekii bhii us ke jii me;N gar aa jaa))e hai mujh se
jafaa))e;N kar ke apnii yaad sharmaa jaa))e hai mujh se

1) if sometime even/also goodness/benevolence comes into her inner-self toward me
2) having remembered her own cruelties/oppressions, she feels ashamed before me

Notes:

jaa))e hai is an archaic form of jaatii hai in the first line, and jaataa hai in the second line (GRAMMAR)

Hali:

That is, the thought 'He's spent his whole life in this oppression, now what good can it do him to show him a small bit of kindness?' makes her unable to show goodness.
==Urdu text: p. 162 in Hali, Yadgar-e Ghalib

Nazm:

That is, for me in that case too is wretchedness, for now out of shame she doesn't show her face. (231)

== Nazm page 231

Bekhud Mohani:

First of all, she is never kind to me at all; and if in some way she even is, then having remembered her cruelty, she becomes ashamed. That is, we are very unfortunate: if no mercy comes, then we writhe with longing to see her face. And if mercy comes, then in shame she hides her face. In one more place he says, {46,1}. (409)

Arshi:

Compare {46,1}. (188, 293)

FWP:

SETS == CATCH-22

This ghazal has a remarkably long and complex refrain. It might be the longest in the divan, but I've never gone through and systematically checked.

The beloved almost always feels hostile and disdainful toward the lover; as a matter of course, therefore, she refuses to see him. But if by some chance she has a momentary fit of compassion, she recollects her own cruelties toward him, and feels too ashamed to look him in the eye-- and thus she refuses to see him. He's in a damned if you do, damned if you don't quandary-- a classic 'catch-22' situation.

The piquant {46,1} is, as Arshi proposes, an ideal verse for comparison. That verse is so much more mischievous, multivalent, and complex, however, that the present verse suffers a bit through the contrast: it looks prosy, over-explanatory, and one-dimensional. Other than setting up a 'catch-22' situation, does it have any other delights to offer us?