Ghazal 232, Verse 7


hai qahr gar ab bhii nah bane baat kih un ko
inkaar nahii;N aur mujhe ibraam bahut hai

1) it's a torment/oppression/calamity if even/also now the conversation/idea/thing wouldn't happen, for she
2) has no denial/refusal/objection, and I have much pestering/urgency/importunity


qahr : 'Force, power, violence, vehemence, severity; excess; boundlessness; oppression; subjection; rage, fury, wrath, indignation; vengeance; torment, punishment, chastisement; a judgment; a calamity'. (Platts p.796)


baat : 'Speech, language, word, saying, conversation, talk, gossip, report, discourse, news, tale, story, account; thing, affair, matter, business, concern, fact, case, circumstance, occurrence, object, particular, article, proposal, aim, cause, question, subject'. (Platts p.117)


baat ban'naa : 'To be successful, prove a success, answer well; to gain credit or honour, to prosper, flourish'. (Platts p.117)


ibraam : 'Twisting tight; wearying, disgusting; urgency, importunity'. (Steingass p.6)


By baat ban'naa is meant 'union'. (263)

== Nazm page 263

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'If even now my wish would not be fulfilled, then it's cruelty. She doesn't refuse union, and I insist without limit.' (320)

Bekhud Mohani:

For a long time I've had the longing for union. An age passed in my pleasing and her saying 'no, no'. Now by hook or by crook that day has come that no refusal remains to her. The fragment ab bhii establishes this whole meaning....

From hai qahr the existence of powerful hope can be seen; and also the perplexity that has come about from the fear of lack of success. (492-3)



The commentators are sure that the baat desired by the speaker is 'union'. That's quite possible of course, but look at all the other possibilities as well, in the definition of baat given above. There's also the special idiom baat ban'naa (see the definition above), with a general sense of 'for there to be success, for something desirable to be accomplished'. The thing that might or might not now come about could be almost anything, but the domain of baat is especially that of speech; most of its secondary senses come from something like 'idea' or other notions framed in words.

And when we look at the second line, we find that it too is framed in terms of words and ideas. The beloved has no objection or makes no refusal-- which in any case is a negative kind of 'consent', and sounds as though it could be revoked the first time she opens her mouth. Meanwhile the lover is full of urgency, importunity, the ability to pester. Is this really a very hopeful scenario?

For among the meanings of ibraam is 'to disgust, weary' (see the definition above). It sounds all too possible that the speaker's very ardor, his ceaselessly pestering and importuning her, would end up irritating her and evoking exactly the 'refusal' that he now (desperately?) claims does not exist. Moreover, ibraam is placed in the crucial last-possible-moment position as the rhyme word, so it's the one that echoes in our minds at the end of the verse.

The use of 'even/also now' [ab bhii] also suggests, as Bekhud Mohani points out, a long history of such importunity and pestering. After so much time, so much energy-- if even now the thing doesn't happen, what a disaster! The range of qahr (see the definition above) includes the idea of an outpouring of violent wrath (on her part), the experiencing of an absolute disaster (on his part), as well as the ideas of 'punishment' and 'judgment'.

Yet still, there's nothing that particularly points us toward 'union'. That may not be the only thing he wants from her. Perhaps he craves a real 'conversation' (as in {36,5}), with the chance to pour out the secrets of his heart? Perhaps there's some other, more attainable project that he's been pursuing? (Will she invite him to her gathering?) No matter what his great desire, the verse makes it sound as though the odds are against its being achieved. Or maybe it's just that we know her all too well.