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مُڈھلا ورقہ >> شاہ مُکھی وچار >> کلاسک >> کافیاں شاہ حسین >> سنگت شاہ حسین >> Kaafi Shah Hussain: 8

Kaafi Shah Hussain: 8

Muzzafar A. Ghaffar
April 14th, 2008

کافی 8

١ سائیں جیہناندڑے وَل' تیہناں نوں غم کیں دا وے لوکا
 ہو میں واری' غم کیں دا وے لوکا
٢ سو ای بھلِیاں جو رب وَل آئیاں' جیہناں نوں عشق چروکاوے لوکا
٣ سائیں جیہناندڑے وَل' تیہناں نوں غم کیں دا وے لوکا
٤ عشقے دی سِر کھاری چائی آ' در در دینی آں ہوکا وے لوکا
 ٥ سائیں جیہناندڑے وَل' تیہناں نوں غم کیں دا وے لوکا
٦ کہے حُسین فقیر سائیں دا' لدھا ای پریم جھروکا وے لوکا
٧ سائیں جیہناندڑے وَل' تیہناں نوں غم کیں دا وے لوکا
ہو میں واری' غم کیں دا وے لوکا

ਕਾਫ਼ੀ 8

1 ਸਾਈਂ ਜੀਹਨਾਦੜੇ ਵੱਲ, ਤਿਹਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
1a ਹੋ ਮੈਂ ਵਾਰੀ, ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
2 ਸੋ ਈ ਭਲੀਆਂ ਜੋ ਰੱਬ ਵੱਲ ਆਈਆਂ, ਜਿਹਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਇਸ਼ਕ ਚਿਰੋਕਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
3 ਸਾਈਂ ਜੀਹਨਾਦੜੇ ਵੱਲ ਤਿਹਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
4 ਇਸ਼ਕੇ ਦੀ ਸਿਰ ਖਾਰੀ ਚਾਈ ਆ, ਦਰ ਦਰ ਦੇਨੀ ਆਂ ਹੋਕਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
5 ਸਾਈਂ ਜੀਹਨਾਦੜੇ ਵੱਲ, ਤਿਹਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
6 ਕਹੇ ਹੁਸੈਨ ਫ਼ਕੀਰ ਸਾਈਂ ਦਾ, ਲੱਧਾ ਈ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਝਰੋਕਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
7 ਸਾਈਂ ਜੀਹਨਾਦੜੇ ਵੱਲ, ਤਿਹਨਾ ਨੂੰ ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ
7a ਹੋ ਮੈਂ ਵਾਰੀ, ਗ਼ਮ ਕੈਂ ਦਾ ਵੇ ਲੋਕਾ

Kaafi 8

1saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen da vae loka

1a Ho maen vaari, gam kaen da vae loka

2 So ee bhaliaan jo Raab vall aiyyaan, jaehnaan nun ishq charoka vae loka

3 Saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen da vae loka

4 ishqae di sirr khaari khaaee aa, dar dar daeni aan hoka vae loka

5 Saain jaehnaandrae vall, tachnaan nun ham kaen da vae loka

6Kahae Husayn faqeer saain da, laddha ee praem jharoka vae loka

7a Ho maen vaari, gam kaen da vae loka

GLOSSARY:

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1, etc.):

Saain: s.m. Master, lord; husband, revered teacher; Lord, Master, God.

Jaehnaandrae: prom. Whose, whom

Vall: Towards, disposed towards, leans towards; - s.m. Way, method; mark sign, characteristic, conduct, behavior, style; grace; good, excellent, acceptable.

Gam: s.m. Grief, mourning, lamentation, sorrow, sadness, unhappiness, woe, solicitude, care, concern.

Keen:prom. What, whose, of whom, of what.

Vae: interj. A word for hailing, or for affection, used by women for men, often expressing some intimacy.

Loka: s.m. pl. The world, the universe, a world, the inhabitants of the world, mankind, people, folk, man, men; multitude.

Line 2:

Bhaliaan: (s.f. pl. for those who are bhali/bhala): adj. Good, better, excellent, virtuous, righteous; honest, respectable, benevolent, kind; healthy, well, sound; fortunate, prosperous, strange, wonderful, admirable.

Raab:s.m. Lord, possessor, owner, master; governor, regulator, disposer, orderer; preserver; server of the world; God.

Ishq:s.m. Love, excessive love, passion, ardor, adulation.

Charoka: adj. Old, ancient (including primeval), of an olden time, of a former age; long standing; - ‘from forever’.

Line 4:

Ishqae: Of ishq. See above.

Sirr: s.m. Head, (on the) head.

Khaari: s.f. A smallish basket, flat at the bottom (also used as a stool, and as such for pre-martial ceremonies for the bride and groom, in their as such for pre-martial ceremonies for the bride and groom, in their respective homes (therefore a basket with marriage linked to it).

Hoka: s.m. Proclamation; announcement, public cry for selling things; publication.

Line 6:

Laddha ee: Has been found; from labbha: v.n. Found, have found, secured.

Praem: s.m. Love affection, kindness, tender regard, kindliness, friendship.

Jharoka: s.m. Loophole, eyelet-hole, lattice, (a round) window; balcony, a place for perambulation; a place affording a good view or prospect.

Line 7a:

Vaari: Offering; offered, etc.; from vaarna: v.t. To wave (anything) round or over (one) as a means of averting (evil, etc.), or as a votive offering; to offer (in sacrifice, &c.); - to devote oneself (for, or to).

1 Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

1a Oh I’m a votive offering, then what sorrow O folks

2 Only they’re noble who come to the Lord, whose love’s from long ago O folks

3 Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

4 The love-basket’s on my head, door to door I bellow O folks

5 Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

6 Says Husayn, the Lord’s devotee, found is love’s latticed window O folks

7 Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

7a Oh I’m a votive offering, then what sorrow O folks

NOTES:

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1):

Saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen da vae loka

Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

The first reading of this line is as presented in the translation; if the master leans towards us, what sorrow can we have folks? Shaah Husayn usually has an addressee in his kaafis. Often he also interjects himself into them. Here the addressees are people. The last words (radeef: hypermeter) of each line are the same (vae loka) and the qaafia (rhyming words) are placed before these words. Thus these words tend to present themselves as a folksy way of ending a song. Repetition also brings forward an insistence which gives the words focus. This is a song of a woman (the poet’s, or our yin, etc.). she hails people with a word (vae) which often shows some affection for a man.1

The line is structured with plural words. People, or more accurately, people who are viewed with affection are being addressed. The affection of the poet for people is underscored by the word jaehnaandrae, (the suffix rae usually denotes affection). The word loka has a larger meaning than ‘people’. It means specific people and generally all people – mankind. (It also means the world and the universe, etc,; see Glossary).

A slightly varied reading is available if we apply another meaning of the word vall to the line. This is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. The line then is more straight-forward. If we have an excellent master, what sorrow can we have? The word vall also means ‘well’. This adds another dimension to the line. If we look at the second part of the line we see a question which focuses on gam (sorrow, etc.). Sorrow can be a manifestation of not being well.

We can now return to the first part of the line. The saain (master) is ‘well’. This implies that he has gone through a process, perhaps of self-correction, certainly of losing gam. This reading humanizes the saain and even offers the possibility that the saain is the ‘inner man’. The experiential aspect of ‘wellness’ is brought forward. This reading also creates a chain of saains, each making the successive one well.

The structure of the line also allows the reading that the people are going vall (towards) the master. In such a situation, for whom can there be sorrow? The line tells us that gam is not the right situation to be in. All the meanings of gam including concern and grief come to mind.

Returning to the first reading, where the master is well disposed towards the people, we see the Beloved accepting the love of the people. There is spiritual consummation here. Or at least that possibility is veiled in the line.

There is another meaning available to the reader. The word jaehnaandrae (whom, said with affection) makes the line conditional. The word taehnaan (them) underscores this interpretation. We read that the master leans towards some and not others. We are led to consider who are they towards whom the master is inclined, and why. We also recognize that the word loka applies to some people as well as to all of mankind. As we see prospects of some losing their grief, we also ponder on those who may not. But the poet does not pursue the latter in this kaafi. He is in love, and almost in a trance, as we shall see later in the kaafi.

The poet has presented the second part of the line as a question. It leans towards the prospect of having concerns and sorrow about certain (kaen) people. However, the ethos of the line seems to tell us that the addresses have lost their sorrows and concerns.

There is structural movement in this line. For example, the first part can be read as ‘the master is excellent’, or, ‘he is well and people are going towards (vall) the master’. Or ‘he is now moving towards us’.

In Baaba Naanak, an immediate predecessor of Shaah Husayn, we meet two types of people. One is mann-mukh [self-facing or egotist, etc. ] and the other is gur-mukh (guru-facing or receptive to the guru’s teachings, ‘facing’ God, etc.). Here Shaah Husayn takes us to the step after gur-mukh, or focuses on the obverse of the concept of gur-mukh. This he does through his message that the saain is vall, i.e.., well-disposed towards someone. Man is no longer the only on active. The master has responded. He leans towards loka (the people).

Finally, the poet may be placing another layer, a veil, as the line is turned on its head. Sorrow and concerns are man’s legacy. We are told that the Master is inclined towards us. Thus all must be well. But is it? The interrogative second part of the line leaves this as a question. And the poet formulates another question for us. Is this all a deception, a fraud? Is this all a seduction?

Line 2:

So ee bhaliaan jo Rabb vall aiyyaan, jaehnaan nun ishq caroka vae loka

Only they’re noble who come to the Lord, whose love’s from long ago O folks

They have become well who have come towards God. Or only they are excellent who come towards the Lord. They are in sukh (tranquility, joy), says the poet.

Being well seems to be a state when sorrows and concerns (of the first line) are absent. But being bhala is more than ‘having gotten well’. It also means being excellent. These meanings add further complexity to the reading of the kaafi. The alleviation of sorrow happens when the master is inclined towards us. But we become excellent when we move towards the master. Excellence is not presented as a gift but has to be earned. It involves not only an attitude but demands action.

Then the line does another sharp turn. The second part of the line tells us that those who come towards the Beloved are the ones with a primordial love. Is this the reference to love of unity, where relationships are not expedient but sincere, impelling us towards Unity?

The ancient or age-old (charoka) love also tells us that this is no passing fad or fancy, no sudden ‘enlightenment’. It is something innate or at least long – considered, felt, or experienced. As we go along in the kaafi we ‘see’ the experience of the pet graphically portrayed. But in this line we are already shown the ‘wellness’ of the long-standing lover-now-beloved. This is probably a technique to show the end result before showing the experience, to pre-motivate us. This line also tells us that salvation’ is not for all. It is only for some. Who these people are is defined further in the next line.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 3):

Saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen davae loka

Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

The refrain comes back almost like a line that dances. The feeling that the Master is now leaning towards us is reinforced. What sorrow can touch us?

Line 4:

Ishqae di sirr khaari caaee aa, dar dar daeni aan hoka vae loka

The love-basket’s on my head, door to door I bellow O folks

This seems to be an autobiographical line. This is how Shaah Husayn lived his life. He carried the basket of love and went door-to-door announcing his wares and inviting people to the ‘way of love’. The image of a woman carrying a basket full of love, walking through the narrow streets of old Lahore and offering a way to Love, is quite inviting. The basket she is carrying has a dual purpose. Since it is flat-bottomed (as a khaari is), it allows easy balancing on the head and also as a stool to sit on in modest homes. Women of such families sell produce and wares in baskets carried on the head. This stool has a purpose which perhaps led the poet to mention this type of basket in then line. Khaaris are used to seat the bride (in her parents’ home) and the groom (in his parents’ home). Maternal aunts and uncles perform ceremonies around them praying for a good life together. And for the fertility of the couple. All this baggage is carried by the khaari. However, some wistfulness and complaint can be detected in the line. The poet is going door to door with love, inviting people to partake of it. But is anyone listening? Would it be that all took the message? If yes, then the loka would be Man/Woman and not just a few people. We also notice persistence in the line. She is continuing with her work without concern if people listen to her or not. We can her and hear her in the streets of old Lahore (or any town) even today, telling us that the recipe of losing sorrows and concerns lies in love. In Love.

The vendor thus is one of the bhaliaan of the second line. She is the one whose sorrow and concerns have gone. She is the excellent one. The next step on the way of love is to actively share love, says the poet. For it gives us ‘wellness’.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 5):

Saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen da vae loka

Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

Those who give out the message of love, who actively distribute love, have the Lord on their side. The rahaao seems to repeat this message.

Line 6:

Kahae Husayn faqeer saain da, laddha ee praem jharoka vae loka

Says Husayn, the Lord’s devotee, found is love’s latticed window O folks

The poet has found the latticed balcony. Several images and thought come to mind with the mention of a love-balcony. If we have read Shakespeare, the balcony scene in which Juliet is being wooed by Romeo can be visualized. But here the stakes seem to be higher or more diverse. They may not even be the same. Here the Master is making himself visible. He is giving Darshan (a Vision).

The word jharoka also has royal connotations. The temporal masters in the past also gave darshan from latticed balconies. But this is expressly not a royal jharoka. The poet qualifies it. This is love’s latticed balcony. And it has been found. (The image of a latticed balcony of love decorates the idea of love).

The seeker went with the love basket from door to door. We are not told if the basket was empty and the poet was seeking out love from wherever it may be available. Or if it was full of love, available to anyone who cares to partake of it. The act of seeking has resulted in a miraculous consummation. Now the love-balcony has been found.

The poet presents a very delicate matter in a most poetic way. Go door-to-door seeking/ offering love. Only then will love also be found in a latticed window. It is a place of perambulation, a balcony where love makes an appearance. The balcony is above us. We are there but cannot grasp love. That is indeed the extent of man’s reaching’ love. This is clearly not the love which seems to be consummated when Romeo and Juliet embrace each other. This is love in the abstract – elusive and available. This is love that tethers Juliet to Romeo, and vice versa, and outlasts their physical presence.

The jhroka is a place which allows traffic. The latticed love-balcony is a point of convergence and it affords up-down, down-up, out-in-out traffic. It is a vantage point. Sometimes like T.S Eliot’s ‘objective correlative’, and sometime the place where the lover and beloved are entwined. This place is ‘found’ when we go around, door to door, with a love-basket. This is clearly a stage after seeking. Or is it the seeking of love which itself is the love-balcony?

This line can also be read like a question. It can have royal-jharoka implications. People feel that the darshan of a king will be a gift of great value. The poet asks people (loka) if they have found the love-window and been rewarded with darshan? The love-window may be the relationship with love. Is the poet telling us then that love is in the structure of man and that if is only a matter of recognizing its presence, becoming, aware of its possibilities in cementing relationships and of experiencing union? He has said that Love has been in us chroka (age old). Love is a priori in the human condition.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 7):

Saain jaehnaandrae vall, taehnaan nun gam kaen davae loka

Towards whom the Master leans, for them what sorrow O folks

Now the latticed balcony has been found. And the Lord also inclined towards us. No sorrows now!

Rahaao/refrain (Line 7):

Ho maen vaari, gam kaen da vae loka

Oh I’m a votive offering, then what sorrow O folks

Either the last half line is a part of the rahaao (refrain) or added only at the end by some singer. This is not antra (verse). Its metre is not in consonance with other verses of this kaafi. But it can be an add-on, something structurally new; Perhaps Shaah Husayn has done some experimentation and added to the traditional kaafi form.

Though this line sounds just like a repetition, it adds feeling to the kaafi. It underscores the poet’s affirmation that if the Master is on our side there can be no sorrow. And he is willing to offer his life as a votive offering for this affirmation. Votive offerings had circular motions, quite like so many folk dances. The poet and the line dance. Perhaps we too can dance, and reach the latticed balcony of love. But to get there, we will have to carry around a basket full of love. Are we ready? If yes, let us be on our way. Or at least dance with the line.

NOTE:

One composition for singing the rahaao is as follows:

Taehnaan nun gam kaen da

Vae loka

Saain jaehnaandrae vall

The vae loka then connects with each antra, and the rest of the rahaao follows.

________________________

1 Vae is only used by a woman hailing or addressing a man


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