Ghazal 207, Verse 2


kyaa ta((ajjub hai jo us ko dekh kar aa jaa))e ra;hm
vaa;N talak ko))ii kisii ;hiile se pahu;Nchaa de mujhe

1) what [cause for] surprise is there, if, having seen, compassion would come to her?
2) let somebody, through some trick/deceit, convey me to there!


rahm : 'Mercy, pity, compassion, tenderness, kindness'. (Platts p.589)


;hiilah : 'Evasion, shift, wile, artifice, artful contrivance or device, machination, trick, plot, stratagem, expedient; pretence, colour; deceit, deception, fraud'. (Platts p.483)


From this verse the meaning also emerges that his state is now altered, and extremely much so. To arrive there is difficult, and the meaning of 'having seen, she would feel compassion' is that 'having seen me, she would feel compassion'. (233)

== Nazm page 233

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'My condition has become so dire that if anyone would help me to reach her street and bring me before her, then it's not strange that the moment she set eyes on me even/also she would feel pity for me'. (291)

Bekhud Mohani:

With 'through some trick' he has also told us that nobody has the courage to convey him there. And we also learn that this is the last longing and last scheme of the lover. And it's also clear that now his state is so dire that even the strength to move has already bid him farewell. (414)



Some manuscripts, and some modern editions, have kih instead of jo in the first line. As always, I follow Arshi. See his discussion in his introduction, p. 123.

The first line expresses, both defiantly and uncertainly, the lover's desperate hope: 'it wouldn't be surprising if' she would pity him. For that result, simply her 'having seen' him would be enough: the verse, like the previous one, {207,1}, uses dekh kar to evoke, through implication, the extreme debility and wretchedness of the lover. We have to imagine for ourselves what state he must be in-- a state such that to see him is to pity him, a state such as might move even the stony heart of the beloved herself.

But then the second line goes on to suggest several reasons that his hope might not be realized. Since he's apparently too weak and frail to travel, he needs somebody to convey him into the beloved's presence; and it's not clear that there's anybody around who's willing to take that much trouble and/or risk. And most ominous of all, he acknowledges that for him to be admitted into her presence will require some ;hiilah , some 'trick' or 'deception' or 'fraud'. That sounds grim, and doesn't bode well for the beloved's generosity or compassion once she discovers how she's been deceived.

The contrasting implications of the desperately hopeful first line ('the moment she sees me she'll surely feel pity') and the grimly pragmatic second line ('only some kind of trick or fraud might get her to see me, and only with somebody's help can I be conveyed there') illustrate the flexibility of Ghalib's modes of inshaa))iyah speech.