Ghazal 205, Verse 5

{205,5}*

sa;Nbhalne de mujhe ay naa-umiidii kyaa qiyaamat hai
kih daamaan-e ;xayaal-e yaar chhuu;Taa jaa))e hai mujh se

1a) let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness-- what a disaster/Doomsday it is!
1b) let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness-- do you think it's Doomsday?!
1c) let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness-- is it Doomsday?

2) that the garment-hem of the thought of the beloved is released by me

Notes:

sa;Nbhalnaa : 'To be supported or sustained, to be propped to be firm; to stand, to stop; to recover oneself (from a stumble or fall, &c.)'. (Platts p.673)

 

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

Nazm:

The garment-hem of the thought of the beloved was in the hand of my heart. Hopelessness threw me down in such a way that that garment-hem is released from the hand. That is, because of hopelessness the thought of her gradually leaves the heart. (232)

== Nazm page 232

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'oh Hopelessness, why do you throw me down? Please just let me get hold of myself! Look-- the garment-hem of the thought of the beloved will now be released from my hand.' The meaning is that because of hopelessness the thought of her gradually leaves the heart. (289)

Bekhud Mohani:

In this verse Mirza has created a picture of an extraordinary state. When a person becomes absolutely hopeless about something, then the thought of that thing begins to leave his heart. But the lover doesn't want this thing to leave his heart, because from this thought he gets a kind of pleasure. In addition, he considers it a kind of unfaithfulness. (410)

FWP:

SETS == KYA
DOOMSDAY: {10,11}

Here in the first line is a classic setup of all three possible readings of kyaa -- and by no coincidence, they all work superbly both with the earlier part of the first line, and with the second line:

= Let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness-- what are you trying to do to me? What a Doomsday, what an ultimate disaster it is that I'm losing my grip on the garment-hem of the thought of the beloved! I can't bear that, it can't possibly be allowed to happen, so stop tormenting me and give me a break!

= Let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness! You're overreaching yourself-- you're tormenting me so much that I'm actually losing my grip on the garment-hem of the thought of the beloved, and don't you know that only Doomsday is the destined time for that?

= Let me recover myself, oh Hopelessness, I need a minute to think. I'm so confused! What's going on? Have I been unconscious in a stupor of despair, have I lost track of time? Is it Doomsday? Surely it must be, since only Doomsday itself could cause me to lose my grip on the garment-hem of the thought-of the beloved!

The urge to translate sa;Nbhalne de as 'let me get hold of myself' or even 'let me get a grip' was horribly strong! What a beautiful level of (English-only) wordplay it would have added to the verse, when juxtaposed to the idea of 'releasing' or 'letting go of' the garment-hem! But I got hold of myself, I maintained my grip on the garment-hem of the excellent practice adopted by Nabokov in his 'Onegin' translation: to get rid of all 'verbal velvet' in pursuit of a translation that would be 'ideally interlinear'.

Here as so often, the verse pushes the actual beloved away by several i.zaafat -based layers of abstraction. It's not the actual beloved that I won't let go of; it's not even the 'thought' of the beloved that I won't let go of-- it's the 'garment-hem' of the thought. And the garment-hem is the trailing, unimportant, peripheral border of someone's attire; its main poetic use is to be clutched at by supplicants who are prostrate on the ground in utter humility, begging for some attention or some favor. It suggests that the lover is a humble supplicant, imploring Thought not to leave him. Between being harassed by Hopelessness, and begging for mercy from Thought, does he really have anything much of the beloved at all?

For another abstractly-distanced 'thought of the beloved', see {10,9}.