Ghazal 231, Verse 8


garmii sahii kalaam me;N lekin nah is qadar
kii jis se baat us ne shikaayat .zaruur kii

1) there's heat, no doubt, in speech/argument-- but not to this extent!

2a) whomever she spoke with, she certainly/necessarily made a complaint
2b) the one with whom she spoke-- that one certainly/necessarily made a complaint


kalaam : 'Word, speech, discourse; a complete sentence or proposition; composition, work; --disputation; anything said (or to be said) against, objection, question'. (Platts p.841)


That is, without abuse, without sarcasm, without jesting-- there's just no conversation. (262)

== Nazm page 262

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, mischief-tonguedness and quickness in repartee are no bad thing, if they would not be extended beyond the limit of equability. There, the situation is that with whomever she speaks, that one definitely complains about her mischief-tonguedness. He's composed an extraordinarily 'hot' [garm] verse. (319)

Bekhud Mohani:

In speech, for coldness to exist is a flaw, and there's relish in warmth; but if there's so much heat that to whomever she speaks, the listeners complained of ill-temper and brutal candor and crudeness, then what's it good for? That is, is this any way to speak-- not a word that doesn't pierce like a lancet, not a word without abuse, not a word without jesting?

It's possible that the addressee of this verse would be every such person, and its goal would be moral education; and it's also possible that it would be being said to the beloved. (489)


SPEAKING: {14,4}

For a discussion, with examples, of the idiomatic complexities of sahii , see {9,4}.

Here's one of those verses about speech in which it's almost impossible to tell who's saying what to whom. Even in the first line, when we can't tell where the verse is going, it's hard to tell what kind of general observation is being made. Here are some possibilities:

=there's more heat in the as-yet-unrevealed X than in normal speech/argument (Is X some special form of speech/agrument, or something else? Is the greater heat in X good, or bad?)
=there ought to be heat in speech/argument, but not 'to this extent' (To what extent? Is the greater heat from a mutual quarrel, or a one-sided fit of anger?)

Then when we look for clarification to the second line, it's clear at once that there's none to be had. On the contrary, in fact-- the possible readings multiply. The cleverly arranged grammar of the second line means that we can read either 'whomever X spoke to, X complained' or 'whomever X spoke to, that person complained'; and we can also take X to be either the beloved, or one of her longsuffering, much-abused lovers. We can also take the 'complaint' to be either part of the speaking, or a later result of the speaking (involving perhaps a follow-up conversation with the same person or someone else unspecified).

If we assume that the subject is the beloved, then we have an illustration of her sense of aggrievedness: 'Whomever she spoke with, she definitely made a complaint'. Was the excessive 'heat' something manifested in the style of her complaint itself (or perhaps the frequency of her complaints), or was it something she complained about (perhaps as showing a lack of respect to her dignity)?

If we assume that the subject is someone else, we have a victim, most probably the hapless lover: 'The one with whom she spoke, that one definitely made a complaint'. Did the victim complain to her while speaking, perhaps about the abusive way she treated him? Or did he complain later to his friends about his ordeal? And was the excessive 'heat' what he complained about, or did it linger on even in his own speech, as he described what he had endured?

Either way, it's an amusing little verse: it gives us an all-too-realistic vision of somebody who can't even open his/her mouth without releasing a 'hot' torrent of grievances and complaints-- his/her own, and/or those of others about him/her. Since the beloved is so hot-tempered and impatient, and since the lover is so desperate and passionately determined, the excessive 'heat' of the constant 'complaint' can readily be imagined as coming from either one.

This is certainly a verse in which the beloved seems not to be God; for others, see {20,3}.

Note for grammar fans: Normally, in a statement like the one in the first line we'd expect to see nahii;N instead of nah . It suggests that the missing verb might be ho instead of hai , making for a subjunctive sense in at least the second clause. To omit ho is unusual; but then, so is nah for nahii;N in the present tense.