Ghazal 320x, Verse 2


nay kuuchah-e rusvaa))ii-o-zanjiir pareshaa;N
kis parde me;N faryaad kii aahang nikaaluu;N

1) the flute, a lane/strait of disgrace; and the chain, disordered/agitated
2) in what tone/guise/'veil' would/should I bring out the melody/purpose of complaint?


naay (of which nay is a variant):  'A reed, pipe; a flute, flageolet, fife'. (Platts p.1120)


kuuchah : 'A narrow street, a lane, a narrow passage, an alley'. (Platts p.860)


pareshaan : 'Dispersed, scattered; disordered, confused; dishevelled, tossed (as hair); amazed, distracted, perplexed, bewildered, deranged; troubled, distressed, wretched'. (Platts p.259)


faryaad : 'Exclamation; lamentation; cry for help, or redress; complaint; charge; suit'. (Platts p.780)


pardah : 'A curtain, screen, cover, veil, ... drum (of the ear); ... secrecy, privacy, modesty; seclusion, concealment; secret, mystery, reticence, reserve; screen, shelter, pretext, pretence; a musical tone or mode; a note of the gamut; the frets of a guitar, &c.'. (Platts p.247)


aahang : 'Design, purpose, intention; method, manner; sound, concord, melody; one of the Persian tunes or modulations in music'. (Platts p.111)


The reed-flute is a lane of disgrace, and the chain is an agitated thing. Finally, oh lament of grief, you yourself tell me in what tone/veil I would/should bring out my voice. In the former there is ruination, and in the clanking of chains there is agitation/anxiety.

== Asi, p. 171

Gyan Chand:

For the second line, there are the same meanings that have been expressed in connection with the second line of the closing-verse in the previous ghazal [{319,7}].

kuuchah-e rusvaa))ii = The beloved's lane; for example, the lane of some dancing girl, which it is a disgrace to go into. zanjiir-e pareshaa;N = The chain that, because of our wildness, would be agitated. Neither am I in the beloved's lane, nor have I been made to wear a chain. Now, on what pretext would I raise a complaint?

Asi has read zanjiir without an i.zaafat , and the meaning of nai he has taken as 'reed-flute'..... I do not agree with this interpretation. In my view, nai is not in the meaning of 'reed-flute', it has come with the meaning of negation.

== Gyan Chand, p. 277


MUSIC: {10,3}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. See also the overview index.

The first line is a small 'list' of two items-- verb-free, of course, so that the line remains uninterpretable until we're able to hear the second line. But even without any larger context, the line offers its own internal pleasures. For the reed-flute is indeed long and narrow like a 'lane', and a chain shaken by the wild movements of the wearer could indeed be said to be 'disordered' or 'agitated'. Our attention has been enjoyably focused on the unfortunate qualities of both the flute and the chain, even though we can't as yet tell why.

In the second line we find out why those qualities are germane. The speaker is searching for the most suitable way to express his 'complaint'. But the flute is a source or mark of 'disgrace', while the clanking of chains is a 'disorderly' sound. He doesn't seem to have any other ideas on how to go about it; apparently he can't simply use his own voice. He needs that wonderfully chosen pardah in many senses (see the definition above)-- from the sneaky ('pretext, pretense'), through the prudent ('screen, shelter'), to the musical ('musical tone, note').

Gyan Chand thinks that Asi is wrong, and that nay is really ne , a special spelling of nah that enables it to form a metrically long syllable. I think that Asi is right, both on literary grounds (the nay plays a valuable role in the verse) and on grammatical grounds (that special ne spelling appears in the divan only as part of a 'neither-nor' construction, as for example in {98,4}).

Compare the prior use of the second line, word for word, in {319x,7}. To see the young poet experimenting is a treat.