Ghazal 205, Verse 2


;xudaa yaa ja;zbah-e dil kii magar taa;siir ul;Tii hai
kih jitnaa khai;Nchtaa huu;N aur khi;Nchtaa jaa))e hai mujh se

1) oh Lord, perhaps/but the effect of the passion/attraction of the heart is reversed!
2) for, as much as I pull/draw/attract, she goes on being [by that much] more pulled/drawn [away] from me


ja;zb : 'Drawing, attraction; allurement; absorption'. (Platts p.378)


ja;zbah : 'Passion, rage, fury; violent desire'. (Platts p.378)


khai;Nchnaa : 'To draw, drag, pull; to attract, to draw in, suck in, absorb... ; --to draw away or aside (from), to hold aloof...; to withdraw, withhold'. (Platts p.887)


khichnaa (of which khi;Nchnaa is a variant): 'To be drawn, dragged, or pulled, &c.; to be attracted; to be absorbed, be sucked in; to be drawn out, be extended, be stretched; to stretch; to be extracted; to be drawn tight, be tightened;—to draw aside or away (from), to hold or keep aloof (from), to fight shy (of)'. (Platts p.872)


jaa))e hai is an archaic form ofjaataa hai (GRAMMAR)


The meaning of khai;Nchnaa is vexation and irritation-- that is as much as with the passion of the heart I draw/attract her, exactly that much she is vexed. (231)

== Nazm page 231

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, oh God, have you created in the drawing/attraction [ja;zb] of my heart a reverse effect? --such that to whatever extent I draw/pull her with the attraction of my heart, to exactly that extent she becomes vexed at heart with me, and keeps becoming angry. (289)

Bekhud Mohani:

In a tone of astonishment he says, what is this? Is the effect of my attraction [kashish] of heart reversed? As much as I desire that she would be kind, by that much she keeps becoming angry. (409)



Here we have some lovely wordplay with khai;Nchnaa in its double sense of either pulling toward, drawing, attracting; or else of pulling (oneself) away, withdrawing. Because khi;Nchnaa is the intransitive form of khai;Nchnaa , we have two readings available. On one reading, the more I try to draw her toward me, the more she is (passively) drawn away from me, by the force of my own attracting-power [mujh se]-- an 'attracting' power which unfortunately seems to be working in reverse, as a kind of repelling-power (like similar magnetic poles). On the other reading, the more I try to draw her toward me, the more she draws herself (intransitively but deliberately) away from me, in a willed response to my attempts to attract her.

There's an undecideable, and very enjoyable, back-and-forth play between the literal meaning of 'attract' (like magnetic force) and the metaphorical meaning (like coquetry). Along similar lines, the word ja;zbah appears here to be deliberately conflated with ja;zb , which isn't surprising since they're both closely related derivatives from the same Arabic root; the merging of 'passion' and 'attraction' contributes to the same literal/metaphorical interplay.

This verse is also a perfect example of the less common meaning of magar as 'perhaps' rather than 'but'. Though both are possible here, the former is surely the reading of choice: it makes the first line into a speculation about the cause of her unfortunate behavior. (The reading as 'but' becomes part of an exclamation of surprise and protest addressed to the Lord.)