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Mirza Ghalib

-By Rahul Negi

na tha kuch toh khuda tha, kuch na hota toh khuda hota duboyaa mujh ko hone ne, na hota main to kya hota hua jab gham se yuun behis to gham kya sar ke katne ka na hota gar judaa tan se to zaannon par dharaa hota hui muddat ke ghalib mar gayaa par yaad aataa hai woh har ek baat pe kahna ke yuun hota to kya hota Line 1/2 - When there was nothing, God was there.. If there had been nothing, there would have been God. In emptiness, God would still exist. In nothingness Only God would exist. In the beginning nothing was there, except God. If there would have been nothing, God would have still been there. My existence has let me down. Becoming (My being) has defeated me. If I did not exist, what would I be? If I did not existed, what harm would it be? An alternate meaning of these two lines could be If I were nothing, then I would be God. If I am nothing, I would have been God implying God is a personal experience. Now having become God, I have become alienated from my True Self by all the vices and corruption of the human existence. What good was my life? If I did not existed, would it have really mattered? Line 3/4 - When the mere existence has become a burden and a curse by the pain and suffering all around, then what is pain at the head being cut off? My loss of faith in God has made life such a misery that death looks to be the only solution and I have no qualms about it. If it would have not been cut off (for God is merciful, and He would spare my life from this violent death), it would always be bent to my knees in devotion to the God to make amends to my faithless and immoral existence. Line 5/6 - A long time has passed since Ghalib passed away, but he still comes back to the memory. Saying every-time that had it not been this way, then how it would have been? The contemplation that if I have lived my life differently [followed the correct way] what would have I been. Would it have mattered? Would it have amounted to anything other than death because eventually death is the final Truth? Meaning of some words: behis : shocked zaannon : knees

yeh hum jo hijr mai deewar-o-dar ko dekhte hain kabhi saaba ko kabhi namabar ko dekhte hain wo aaein ghar mai hamare khuda ki qudrat hai kabhi hum un ko kabhi apne ghar ko dekhte hain nazar lage na kahin us ke dast-o-bazaboo ko yeh log kiyu mere zakhm-e-jigar ko dekhte hain tere jawahir-e-taraf-e-kala ko kiya dekhen hum auj-e-talaa-e-laal-o-gohar ko dekhte hain

Line 1/2 - In the times of this separation from you, I keep looking absent minded at the doors and walls of my home. Sometimes I wait in anticipation of the messenger and sometimes for the wind coming from your direction for the winds coming may have some hint of you. Line 3/4 - My lover has come to my house; it's a miracle from the God. I sometimes look at her, and sometimes I look at the ruins that are my only abode. Such beauty amid the desolation and ruins! How do I get to deserve this luck? This has to be a miracle from God. Line 5/6 - May I not cast an evil eye looking at the lovely hand and shoulder of my beloved? Why do people look at my tortured heart (due to this unflinching love) and gossip about it? The poet says that he has been cautious to not stare at his beloved so as not to cast an evil eye and also catch the society's attention. Yet why do people not let me live peacefully? Line 7/8 - What to see/say about your jewellery and your golden belt and that crown of yours? The poet laments on the stark social differences between them and says that I see my luck and my position (and lowly existence) on one hand and your opulent string of pearls and diamonds on the other. Meaning of words :saaba : wind namabar : messenger hijr : separation dast-o-baazoo : hands and shoulders jawahir : jewellery taraf : golden belt kala : crown auj : position taala : luck laal-o-gohar : pearls and diamonds

koi umeed bar nahin aati koi soorat nazar nahin aati maut ka ek din mu'ayyan hai neend kyun raat bhar nahi aati aage aati thi haal-e-dil pe hasee aab kisi baat par nahi aati jaanta hoon sawaab-e-taa'at-o-zahad par tabiyat idhar nahin aati hai kuch aisee hi baat jo chup hoon warna kya baat kar nahin aati? kyon na cheekhon ki yaad karate hain mere awaaz gar nahin aati daag-e-dil gar nazar nahin aata boo bhi aye chaaraagar! nahin aati hum wahan hain jahaan se humko bhi kuch humari khabar nahin aati marte hain aarzoo mein marne ki maut aati hai par nahin aati kaaba'a kis munh se jaaoge 'ghalib' sharm tumko magar nahin aati Line 1/2 - I do not see any hope in living. There is no solution in sight. Ghalib in his works has frequently touched upon this theme, that life is a continuous meaningless struggle that will end only with only when life itself ends. The second line could also mean I recall no face in my thoughts. He could be referring to his Love or God as he was disillusioned in both. Line 3/4 - Death is definite one day. It has to come someday certainly to everyone. But why can't I sleep in the night. Why am I so restless when I know that the end will be same for all irrespective of wealth, luck or actions? Line 5/6 - Earlier I was able to laugh at the dilemma of my heart. But now I am unable to laugh at anything. Ghalib is saying that the optimism and cheerfulness of youth has given way to the anguish and the despair of old age. Line 7/8 - Though I know the benefits and rewards of devotion and

religious duty, but I am in no mood of it. Its not in my temperament these days. Ghalib taking aim at the religious clergy that constantly preaches of religious deeds/devotion so that they are rewarded of good life in the next life. In a way, Ghalib is saying live your life and do not worry too much about your afterlife. Your actions will define you and these religious deeds would be of no help in this life or the life thereafter. Line 9/10 - This is such a matter that it is better to be quiet. Otherwise there is no such thing which I can not speak of. Ghalib reckons that it is prudent for him to not talk of religious matters as he may offend people who may think what a non-practicing Muslim knows about religion. Line 11/12 - Why shouldn't I yell with joy at those old glorious days. But my voice fails to produce a sound. The overbearing state of mine has devoid me of any respite that I could get by recalling old fond memories. Line 13/14 - Though nobody can see the wound of my heart, but the wound is festering and yet the healer does not come. Ghalib again questions the faith and says that he is a tortured soul searching for answers, yet the higher powers have not provided him any comfort. Line 15/16 - I am in such a situation right now, from where even I am unable to get any news of myself. The sadness, the sorrow has covered his self to an extent that he is not able to hear his inner self. He bemoans the hopelessness of the existence where the sorrow and grief have overtaken the sense of being. Line 17/18 - I am dying of impatience in hope of death. Death arrives, but it does not. Ghalib depicts the human condition when faced with adversity or alienation that leads to a sense of despair. Line 19/20 -How will you go to Kaaba? O Ghalib! You do not have any shame left. How will you face the Mecca? Ghalib humbly accepts that he has not lived his life according to the faith. This is opposite to so many verses where he questions his faith and methods of the religion. In a way, he is probably mocking himself as to how he will go there and not necessarily regretting his ways. Meaning of some words: sawaab = reward of good deeds in next life taa'at = devotion zahad = religious deeds or duties mu'ayyan = definite chaaraagar = healer

REDO koi din gar zindaganee aur hai apne jee mein hamne thaanee aur hai aatish-e-dozakh mein ye garmee kahaan soz-e-gham hai nihaanee aur hai baarha dekhee hain unki ranjishain par kuch ab ke sar-giraanee aur hai deke khat munh dekhta hai naamabar kuchch to paighaam-e-zabanee aur hai qaata-e-'amaar hai aksar nujoom woh balaa-e-aasmaanee aur hai ho chuki 'ghalib' balaayen sab tamaam ek marg-e-naagahaanee aur hai Line 1/2 - Ghalib says that only some years of his life are left now. He is in the last stage of his life. He is old now. He is dejected as well by all the sorrow and grief he has seen in his life. And yet, he has decided that he will do something with his remaining years. It could also mean that we may plan something different with our lives, but the life has its own plans. Lines 3/4 - The fires of hell are not as hot as the burning from the everlasting grief that is hidden and internal. Ghalib could be referring to the dejection and grief of seeing all his children die in infancy. The wound is there hidden, deep in his psyche that has him scarred all his life. Line 5/6 - Ghalib refers to his lover, and says that he has seen his lover angry so many times but all the times eventually they compromised and sorted their differences. But he laments that this time it will be difficult to compromise because this time around the differences have hit the ego and pride of his lover. Line 7/8 - The messenger came and gave a letter from his lover. He is looking at my face for my reactions on reading the letter. But the

message is different from what the messenger actually wanted to tell. His eyes are telling a different story from what is written in the letter, though he is not saying anything. Line 9/10 - Ghalib says that sometimes stars define the destiny and the future of man. Sometimes unfavourable stars can cut short the life of someone. But this lover of his (described here as beauty of such repute that she is a natural calamity where ever she goes) is something different. Ghalib also says for others stars could have a negative effect but for him his lover is the guiding star of faith. Line 11/12 - The poet says that whatever bad things had to happen to him have already happened. That string of misfortunes has now ended. But one thing is left and that is the uncertain but an unavoidable death. It could also mean that it would be a misfortune to die suddenly without finishing whatever he had thought he would accomplish before his dying. Meaning of some words dozakh = hell soz = passion/heat nihaanee=internal/hidden sar-giraanee=pride qaata-e-'amaar=killers nujoom=stars balaa-e-aasmaanee=natural calamity balaayen = calamities marg = death naagahaanee = sudden/accidental

aah ko chahiye ek umar asar hone tak kaun jeeta hai tere zulf ke sar hone tak? daam har mauj mein hai halqa-e-sad kaam-e-nahang dekhain kya guzre hai qatre pe guhar hone tak aashiqee sabr talab aur tamanna betaab dil ka kya rang karoon khoon-e-jigar hone tak? ham ne maana ke taghaful na karoge, lekin khaak ho jaayenge ham tumko khabar hone tak partav-e-khur se hai shabnam ko fana'a ki taaleem main bhi hoon ek inaayat ki nazar hone tak ek nazar besh naheen fursat-e-hastee ghaafil garmi-e-bazm hai ik raqs-e-sharar hone tak gham-e-hastee ka 'Asad' kis'se ho juz marg ilaaz shamma'a har rang mein jaltee hai sahar hone tak Line 1/2 - Ghalib laments that it would take a lifetime of sighs of the lover to have an influence (or affect) on the heart of the beloved. Who knows who will live so long so see this fructify. Who will live so long to see your hairs properly arranged and your small nuances (curls of your hairs could mean the tangled/mysterious ways of your life) to get resolved. The poet says these small niceties/concerns of yours may take forever and who knows if I am alive to see you finally free and giving me the full attention that I deserve. Line 3/4 - In a net of each ocean wave, lies a circle of devouring crocodiles with hundred jaws. See what struggle a grain of sand has to go through to become a magnificent pearl. The metaphor, the imagery in the lines is simply breathtaking. The poet says that life is full of endless churning (as waves in the vast ocean) and of dangerous obstacles (like the menacing crocodiles on this ocean)

and yet my deep love for you and my patience will ultimately make my love, the jewel of my life. This love will survive against all odds slowly growing on to be something really magnificent and worth cherishing. Line 5/6 - True love asks for patience but this desire and longing and search is making me restless. How should my heart remain, until I am consumed by this suffering? What color should I paint my heart with till it dies with in the agony of love? What should be the mood/temperament of my heart until you destroy it with your whims and indifference? What kind of emotion should it wear until it is killed? The poet says he know love demands patience but what should he tell his heart until it is ruthlessly broken by the beloved. Line 7/8 -I know you will not be indifferent to me, but I may have died and turned to dust when the news of my situation reaches you. The poet says that I know you will not be apathetic towards me forever, but it could be that by the time you care to inquire about my well being (or respond to my love); I may be dead and turned to dust. The poet reassuringly tells his beloved, that I understand you will not be indifferent towards me, but who knows I may be dust by the time you get some news of me. One could also interpret it as poet hinting that if his love is not requited he will kill himself for the sake of love and it will be the only news she will get. Line 9/10 - The morning drops of dew know of their imminent death by the morning sun's rays. The morning sun has taught them this lesson of mortality. I too, exist only till you grant me with a glance. The poet compares the radiant early sun with his beloveds face and said that dew knows of its transitory life, I too live till the time I catch your glance. Your one glimpse is enough to take my life away. Beautiful simile indeed! Line 11/12 - A single glance (from you) and no more is enough to fill the years (span) of my life and keep me lost in this world careless thinking of you only. That one glance is adequate to make me lose interest in the matters of living. Alternatively one can argue that it could mean the exact opposite where the poet says that - just your one glance is not enough for me and for my existence that is unaware/confused and looking for answers. The warmth of the meeting (between the lovers) is no longer than the dance of the flames burning in the night. The warmth (of the company) provides comfort as long as it burns (as long as we are together) but as soon as its burns out (i.e. we separate), the darkness (despair in our relationship) takes over. Line 13/14 - The endless suffering that we call as life, Asad has no cure for it other than death. Death eventually would heal all the

misery and struggle that existence carries. The candle burns all through the night to the very dawn, burning (suffering) through all the colors and then eventually die out. In the same way, existence would eventually fade out passing through all the shades of life. The candle is the metaphor for life that burns sometimes brightly sometimes flickering and ultimately gets extinguished. Meaning of some words: daam = net/trap mauj = wave halqa = ring/circle sad-kaam-e-nahang = crocodile with a hundred jaws guhar = pearl talab = search taghaful = neglect/ignore partav-e-khur = sun's reflection/light/image shabnam = dew fana'a = mortality inaayat = favour besh = too much/lots fursat-e-hastee = duration of life ghaafil = careless raqs = dance sharar = flash/fire bazm=meeting hastee = life/existence juz = other than marg = death sahar = morning

hazaaron khwahishain aisi ki har khwahish pe dam nikle bahut nikle mere armaan lekin fir bhi kam nikle daare kyun mera qaatil kya rahega uski gardan par woh khoon, jo chashm-e-tar se 'umr bhar yoon dam-ba-dam nikle nikalna khuld se aadam ka sunte aayain hain lekin bahut be-aabru hokar tere kooche se ham nikle bharam khul jaaye zaalim tere qaamat ki daraazee ka agar is turra-e-pur-pech-o-kham ka pech-o-kham nikle magar likhwaaye koi usko khat, to hamse likhawaaye hui subah aur ghar se kaan par rakhkar qalam nikle hui is daur mein mansoob mujhse baada_aashaamee fir aaya wo zamaana, jo jahaan se jaam-e-jam nikli hui jinse tavaqqo khastagee ki daad paane ki wo hamse bhi ziyaada khasta-e-tegh-e-sitam nikle mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jeene aur marne kaa usi ko dekh kar jeete hain jis kaafir pe dam nikle zara kar jor seene par ki teer-e-pursitam nikle jo wo nikle to dil nikle, jo dil nikle to dam nikle

khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uthaa zaalim kahin 'eisa na ho yaan bhi wohee kaafir sanam nikle kahaan maikhaane ka darwaaza 'ghalib' aur kahaan waaiz par itana jaante hain kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle Line 1/2 - Ghalib says that there are thousands of desires, each of these desires so splendid and beautiful that they are worth dying for. My heart literally dies longing for each of those desires to be fulfilled. Many of those desires have already been fulfilled yet I wish/yearn for more. Ghalib in these two lines have summed up the microcosm of human existence. This mortal life is full of desires and yet never satisfied with them. The list is so long that even in my entire lifetime though some were fulfilled yet many more remain. Ghalib does not take a moral highpoint by commenting against desires but instead just highlights the core of human psyche. Line 3/4 - Why should my killer be scared of the crime she committed by killing me. There will be no blood on her hands (her neck is not going to be on the sword for slaying me). All my blood has already flowed out from my eyes continuously shedding tears (of blood) all my life due to the grief that I have seen in my life (or maybe love). My lover should not feel guilty or fear for killing me for I am already dead with so my grief in my life. Ghalib at this wordily best says his lover Line 5/6 - We have heard from times immemorial about the expulsion of Adam from the garden of Eden (heaven) after the Fall Of Man, so was my humiliation(even more than what Adam faced) when I was leaving the streets on which my beloved lived. Ghalib laments what was his sin against what Adam did. Why is he being viewed more unfavourably than Adam? Line 7/8 - This couplet is tough. Ghalib says that his tormentor must not have any misgiving about the length of his stature or notions about the esteem that he seems to be held in. All that false belief about oneself will be cleared if the metallic pin in the turban that is holding the curls of the hairs gives way. Ghalib essentially says that these external finery should not allow one to create an false illusions of standing/respect. A smallest of slip will show your true colors to everyone. It could also mean that the false notion of height will give way if the clip falls that holds that tuft of hairs arranged over the head to look tall. Line 9/10 - Ghalib says that he is willing to write letters to her (his lover) if any one wants him to write a letter for them. Every morning he wanders leaving his home with a pen in his ear hoping someone will ask him to write their letters to her. It could mean that his lover

is not responding to his letters, he meanwhile is waiting expectantly for her reply. He does not want to approach her again directly, instead would help other write one so that he could hear some news from her.In this hope, he leaves home every day with a pen in his ear. Line 11/12 - Another tough one. Ghalib says in these times, wine drinking is being associated with me. My name has become synonymous with drinking. So the time is right for the cup of Jamshid to reappear in this world. The exact significance is open to many interpretations. The cup of Jamshid is said to be filled with elixir of immortality and can one see future/universe by looking into it. King Jamshid is said to have discovered wine. It could mean that a drunk like me, (of same levels as King Jamshid) needs the cup to see that elusive truth and conquer death. It could also mean that history has repeated itself, previously Jamshid had all the wine and knowledge of the universe and now Ghalib has both and he has become Jamshid of this age. Line 13/14 - Ghalib laments he expected some appreciation from them for his afflicted wounds and sufferings, but they turned out to be more wounded/weary by the cruel sword of the tyrant. Ghalib says that everyone hopes that someone else would understand their suffering/problems but everyone seems to be suffering under the crushing load of life and living. Some have troubles which are much larger than his but still the heart hopes that someone comes along and gives a compassionate shoulder. It could also mean that he was expecting sympathy from his beloved, but his lover seems to be more wounded by someone else. Line 15/16 - In real love, there is no difference between living and dying. Life and death is one and same when in true love. I live by looking at her, that infidel for whom I am willing to die. The use of infidel seems unusual and may mean that his lover is someone who does not conform to current social norms Or she could be a sinner for taking life of her lover in form of a ritualistic sacrifice. Line 17/18 - Ghalib says to put some pressure on your heart to remove that cruel arrow that pains the heart. For if the arrow comes out, so will the heart. And if the heart comes out so will your life. It means that even though this waiting in love is a suffering that constantly pains his heart, but if he removes the love of his life than he will lose the meaning for living and eventually lose his life. Line 19/20 - For God sake, don't lift the cover off Kaaba you tyrant. It might be that the infidel turns out to be our lover. So do not be so interested in uncovering deeper secrets about others, for you could be in for a surprise about yourselves someday. It could mean that don't lift the covers of Kaaba for you may find the same infidel

statues inside meaning if you uncover the secrets of each religion than you will find that God is everywhere. He is in the sacred Kaaba as well as in the unholy idols inside Kaaba. The same lines could also show Ghalib's overarching cynicism in faith as-in what if the same infidel cast in stone(that we so despise) is revealed here. Indeed highly interpretive. Line 21/22 - Ghalib says O Ghalib!, How can you compare where the door to the bar is and where the preacher is in the same breath. They are ways apart due to the preacher's piety and religious beliefs. But I can tell you this, that yesterday when I was leaving the bar, I saw him entering it. In such simple words he exposes the hypocrisy of the religious orthodoxy that preaches one thing and does exact opposite. Meaning of difficult words :khuld = heaven koocha = street chashm = eye tar = wet dam_ba_dam = continuously waaiz = preacher daraazee = length qaamat = stature turra = an ornamental tassel worn in the turban pech-o-kham = curls in the hair/complexity tavaqqo = expectation khastagee = weakness/weariness daad = appreciation khasta = broken/sick/injured tegh = sword sitam = cruelty mansoob = association baada_aashaamee = association with drinking jaam-e-jam = cup of Jamshid

woh firaaq aur woh wisaal kahaan ? woh shab-o-roz-o-maah-o-saal kahaan ? fursat-e-kaarobaar-e-shauq kise ? zauq-e-nazzaraa-e-jamaal kahaan ? dil to dil wo dimaagh bhee na rahaa

shor-e-sauda-e-khatt-o-khaal kahaan ? thee woh ik shakhs ke tasavvur se ab woh raanaai-e-khayaal kahaan ? 'eisa aasaan naheen lahoo rona dil mein taaqat jigar mein haal kahaan ? hamse choota qamaar_khaana-e-ishq waan jo jawain, girah mein maal kahaan ? fikr-e-duniyaan mein sar khapaata hoon main kahaan aur ye wabaal kahaan ? muzmahil ho gaye quwa'a 'ghalib' wo anaasir mein 'eitdaal kahaan ? Line 1/2 - Ghalib laments that gone are those days of meetings and separation, those are no more. The joy of meetings and torment of separation are moments of the past. Also gone are those nights of our union, those days and months and years. Where are those moments of warmth (of our encounters) and the anguish of your going away. Where are those days and months and years of our love now. The poet could be pondering over the loss of his beloved or maybe apathy of his lover now (for her love towards him is no more what it used to be). Line 3/4 - The poet says who has the time to pursue hobbies. He is not in the business of following leisurely pursuits these days. All he does is to think about his love and his beloved. Now, where is the enjoyment in the sight of beauty. There is no pleasure in it (now). This couplet can be interpreted in many ways. It could also mean who has time for leisure when being in love itself is so engaging, but I am being denied the delight of appreciating the beauty of my beloved. Line 5/6 - Ghalib says that not only his heart, I have lost my mind as well earlier for love (or fleeting thoughts of love). Where is now that tumultuous madness for that mole and beard. Where are those infatuations, those tenderly feelings that earlier used to make him mad and seemed so real. But now those seemingly genuine feelings fade away, the person doubts what was those prior thoughts that seemed so wonderful at that time. Again, highly interpretive. Line 7/8 - Asad says her mere existence was a result of somebody's thought. She existed only in fancy thoughts of an individual. Now those affectionate thoughts are no more. He fantasies about (not his) the beloved, he constantly dreams about her from whatever little he has heard about her from an acquaintance. But he has lost

that fantasy now, not because he has lost her, but because she was never his to begin with. It could mean that those fantasies were result of someone (the poet referring himself) thought, and those imaginations (whatever it maybe, not necessarily of beloved) are no more. Line 9/10 - Ghalib laments it is not easy to cry your heart out. Where is the strength left in the heart and where is the condition of the liver. Weeping tears of blood leaves him so drained, that there is no physical and emotional strength left in him. This couplet though easy to understand does not fit into the usual train of rueful thought as in like comparing old (and better) times with now that other couplet in this gazal have meant. Line 11/12 - I have lost my love for the gambling houses, where is the money in my purse that I would go there now. The poet fond of visiting the gambling houses, misses that he is not able to go there now due to lack of money. Line 13/14 - I bang my head trying to figure out a solution to the problems of this world. The troubles of the world are keeping me agitated and engaged. I forget to tell myself that these problems are not of my doing or my tastes (not that it would have mattered.) The problems are much bigger than me. Where am I and What could I have done of those. Those worries of the world transcends my abilities and my senses. It could also mean that Ghalib is very capable of pondering over worldly miseries but he does not, instead being absorbed in the pursuit of love for lover is what he is. Line 15/16 - The poet says that he is physically exhausted. All is limbs and physical power has been depleted now. Where is the moderation in the elements now. Where is the balance in my fate now. Why does not good times (or fortune) arrives now to soothe his wearied and tired spirit. Meaning of the difficult words :firaaq = separation wisaal = meeting shab = night maah = month zauq = delight/joy jamaal = beauty tasavvur = imagination raanaai-e-khayaal = tender thoughts haal = spiritual ecstasy qamaar_khaana = casino girah = knot/joint wabaal = calamity muzmahil = exhausted/idle

quwa'a = limbs anaasir = elements 'eitdaal = moderation bus ki dushwaar hai har kaam ka aasaan hona aadmi ko bhi muyassar nahin insaan hona giriya chaahe hai kharaabee mere kaashaane ki dar-o-deevaar se tapke hai bayaabaan hona waa-e-deewaangee-e-shauq, ke har dam mujhko aap jaana udhar aur aap hee hairaan hona jalva az_bas ki taqaaza-e-nigah karta hai jauhar-e-aaina bhi chaahe hai mizhgaan hona ishrat-e-qatl_gah-e-'ehl-e-tamanna mat pooch id-e-nazzaara hai shamsheer ka uriyaan hona le gaye khaak mein ham daagh-e-tamanna-e-nishaat tu ho aur aap ba_sad_rang-e-gulistaan hona ishrat-e-paara-e-dil, zakhm-e-tamanna_khaana lazzat-e-reesh-e-jigar gharq-e-namakdaan hona kee mere qatl ke baad usne jafa se tauba haay us zood_pashemaan ka pashemaan hona haif us chaar girah kapde ki qismat 'ghalib' jis ki qismat mein ho aashiq ka girebaan hona Line 1/2 - The poet says that it is just too difficult to ask (it is nearly impossible a wish) that every work be easy. Even, men do not succeed always (not always possible) in becoming human. They may be flesh and blood and guts, but they lack the spirit and emotion and empathy that makes them human. It is those difficult tasks/situations that separate the real from the ordinary. Line 3/4 - My tears wishes the dilapidation of my home. The dripping from the walls and doors is turning this house of mine into wilderness. This dripping water is surrendering my home to a state of desolateness. The metaphor could be that just as leaking water is delivering my home to ruins, in the same way my tears has destroyed my home for i am always pondering (and so peroccupied) over my condition that i leave the house to decay. Line 5/6 - The poet says my madness(obsession) for her love is so much that every time I go to see her, I return surprised and disappointed (by her indifference). He is surprised because he knows beforehand that her glimpse would not be possible, yet he

finds somehow again and again at her door. Line 7/8 - Her radiance and beauty is of such magnitude that it demands an observation (a sighting). Even the streaks on the mirror wishes to become eyelashes. The mirror is already fulfilling the demand to look at her. In watching her, even the old mirror comes to life and streaks become the eye lashes of her. Even the scratches are embellished at the sight of her radiance. Line 9/10 - Ask not of the celebration that pervades over the butcher-houses of the ones with desires of love. The raising of the sword (unsheathing it bare) is like sighting of the Eid's moon. The hopeless lovers when brought forward to be slaughtered, and when the sword is raised to decapitate them, seeing their eventual release from the pain and suffering, the sight of the blade of the sword seems to them as the sighting of the Eid's moon(an event that is long awaited and after which festivities can begin). Line 11/12 - I will be turned to dust (died and buried long ago) and take along with me the wound of my desire and yearning for happiness. May you remain and you become a garden of hundred colors. His death would provide her the grounds on which his beloved will bloom in hundred colors. Even though his love was unrequited, he wishes that her fame and glory spreads further and he will be comforted by this. Line 13/14 - This one is obtuse. The poet says that the celebration and the joy of winning the piece of the heart of his beloved is in the infliction of the wound of desire onto himself. Like the enjoyment for the piece of liver is to drown itself in the container of salt. It could also mean just as the liver becomes more tasteful when dropped in the salt (even though it sounds hurtful) , the lover's heart celebrates the the infliction of the wound of desire Line 15/16 - After my killing (murder), she renounced all oppression & cruelty. Oh how the shame of one that gets easily ashamed (embarrassed). The beloved was so indifferent and apathetic to him, that after his death, she realised her mistake. And this is when she used to get embarrassed easily (atleast so the people say) but it took my murder to actually melt her so called soft heart. Line 17/18 - Ghalib laments that Alas!, the fate of that quarter yard of cloth, Ghalib!. Whose fate is to become the collar of the lover. That collar which will always be soaked in tears of the lover and one day ultimately the lover will tear it off to bare his wounded hurt out. Meaning of the difficult words :dushwaar = difficult muyassar = possible

giriyaan = weeping kaashaana = house bayaabaan = wilderness az = from/then/by jauhar = skill/knowledge taqaaza = demand mizhgaan = eyelid ishrat = joy/delight shamsheer = sword uriyaan = naked/bare nishaat = enthusiasm/happiness sad_rang = hundred colors ishrat = joy/delight paara = fragment/piece lazzat = taste reesh = wound gharq = drown/sink namakdaan = container to keep salt jafa = oppression zood = quickly pashemaan = ashamed/embarrassed haif = alas! girah = one sixteenth of a yard girebaan = collar

ghar hamara, jo na rote bhi, to wiran hota bahr gar bahr na hota to bayaban hota tangi-e-dil ka gila kya, ye wo kafir dil hai ki agar tang na hota, to pareshan hota bad-e-yak umr-e-wara, baar to deta bare kash rizwan hi dar-e-yar ka darban hota Line 1/2 - The poet laments that my home would have still been desolate (deserted), even if i did not cry. If the ocean was not an ocean, it would have been a desert. If i had no worries, no regrets, no unfulfilled desires even then I would have been lonely (all his life Ghalib was a prisoner of the misery of human existence). If the ocean was not an ocean (and i lost and hopeless in the middle of it), then it would have been a desert and i would still be a bewildered and despondent lost in its endless sands dunes. Line 3/4 - Why should i bemoan and complain about my tormented and tortured heart. This heart of mine is such an infidel heart. That if it was not in torment and pain(of longings of love), then it would have been anxious(about human existence). Ghalib laments that even if rigors of love were not there, his heart would have still be restless and uneasy. Line 5/6 - I have not been able to find the meaning of words used in Line 5. So this interpretation is based on what i read on the internet. The poet says that after a life time of piousness and piety(where he abhors from alcohol and other vices) they would have finally granted him entry into heaven. I wish if the guards to heaven were the doorkeeper of my beloved's door. Ghalib says that entry to heaven was much easier (compared to what he is facing in meeting his lover) , and had the same guards had been at his beloved's door, he would have succeeded in having a glance of his lover. Meaning of difficult words :wiran = deserted bahr = sea

bayaban = desert rizwan = doorkeeper of paradise darban = doorkeeper

ya mujhe afsar-e-shahana banaya hota, ya mera taj gadayana banaya hota khaksaari ke liye garche banaya tha mujhe, kaaash sang-e-dar-e-jaanana banaya hota nasha-e-ishq ka gar zarf diya tha mujh ko, umr ka tang na paimana banaya hota dil-e-sid chaak banaya to bala se lekin, zulf-e-maskeen ka teri shaanah banaya hota sufion ke jo na tha laeq-e-sohbat to mujhe, qaabil-e-jalsa-e-rindaana banaya hota tha jalana hii agar douri-e-saqi se mujhe, to chiraag-e-dar-e-mai khana banaya hota apna deewana banaya mujhe hota tune kyun khiradmand banaya na banaya hota sholaa-e-husn chaman mein na dikhaaya us ne varanaa bulbul ko bhii parwana banayaa hota roz maamura-e-duniya mein kharabi hain "zafar", aisi basti ko to veerana banaya hota! Line 1/2 - You should have made me the chief of the kings or instead you should have given me a crown that a beggar may wear. The exact interpretations could be many, but the one that seems most convincing to me is that Zafar knowing that his crown is just a namesake for British rule the whole of India, he laments what use this titular crown of his is. A crown that beggars wear would have been better then this name-piece. I am a chief of nobody. No brave kings follow me. No empires bow before me.

Line 3/4 - The poet says if I was meant to be humbled to the insignificant dust (and covered with dust), then I wish I am turned to dust and strewn over the stepping stone at my beloved's door. The first line (khaksaari = service) could also mean that if was made only for service, then my only wish is to be strewn over my beloved's door stone. Line 5/6 - The poet says, that I have been given such temperament to tolerate/accept the severe intoxication of love. T have endless limits to bear that. I wish the cup (measure) of my life was not this limited. The poet wishes for a long life, a life not bounded by limits. Line 7/8 - I have not been able to interpret these two lines, So i will just hazard a guess. The poet says I do not care if my heart is being split apart by this love of yours, for i wish i become the comb on the lock of hairs on your head (the lover referred here as maskeen someone who is humble). This explanation of mine is highly interpretive and could be wrong. Line 9/10 - The poet says that if I am not worthy of the company of the sufi saints, then make me capable of leading a throng/crowd of base revelers. The poet says if i was not suitable to be someone supernal, then at least make me someone earthly and carnal who knows how to enjoy his life (a vague reference to maybe liquor & women). Line 11/12 - If i am to burn alone, in isolation, without the benefit of the grace/company of the bartender. Then instead make me a tavern lamp that is burning outside at the tavern door. Line 13/14 - The poet laments that you should have made me your lover (admirer), instead you made me a wise and intelligent person which you shouldn't have made me. The poet again ponders over what-if scenarios.. which is the recurring theme in this ghazal. All along the weight of a king's demeanor and desires of living free unfettered comes across again and again. Line 15/16 - The poet says that the fiery beauty did not showed herself in the garden, otherwise it would have turned the nightingale into a impassioned moth enamored by her radiance. Line 17/18 - O! Zafar, there is something always wrong in this hustle bustle of daily life of this mundane world. O! you should have made it a barren and desolate place instead of this inhabited place. The poet laments that everyday living will always have never-ending problems, i wish it was a barren place devoid of habitation. Meaning of difficult words :afsar-e-shahana = chief of kings

taj gadayana = hermit like crown khaksari = covered with dust, service garche = if sang-e-dar-e-janana = stepping stone at the beloved's door zurf = capacity to bear or tolerate chaak = split, torn maskeen = humble,downtrodden shaanah = comb laeq = worth rindaana = revelers khiradmand = wise, intelligent maamura = routine

har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ke tu kya hai? tumheen kaho ke yeh andaaz-e-guftgoo kya hai ? na shole mein yeh karishma na barq mein yeh ada koi batao ki woh shokh-e-tund khoo kya hai? yeh rashk hai ki wo hota hai ham-sukhan tumse wagarna khauf-e-bad_aamozi-e-adoo kya hai? chipak raha hai badan par lahoo se pairaahan hamaaree jeb ko ab haajat-e-rafoo kya hai ? jalaa hai jism jahaan dil bhee jal gaya hoga kuredate ho jo ab raakh, justjoo kya hai? ragon mein daudte firne ke ham naheen qaayal jab aankh hee se na tapka to fir lahoo kya hai? woh cheez jiske liye hamko ho bahisht azeez siwaay baada-e-gul_faam-e-mushkaboo kya hai? piyoon sharaab agar khum bhee dekh loon do chaar yeh sheesha-o-qadah-o-kooza-o-suboo kya hai ? rahee na taaqat-e-guftaar, aur agar ho bhee to kis ummeed pe kahiye ke aarzoo kya hai? hua hai shaah ka musaahib, fir hai itaraata wagarna shehar mein 'ghalib' kee aabroo kya hai? Line 1/2 - On every conversation/utterance of mine, you say "what

are you". You tell me what kind of conversation interchange is this? The most obvious interpretation is the poet addressing his beloved, who has an air of indifference towards her lover and arrogantly dismisses him as "what are you. What do you think of yourself?" (maybe due to social status gap). The poet complains that how can any meaningful conversation happen if this is the way she continues to behave. Line 3/4 - The balls of burning fire does not have such miracle, nor the sudden bolt of lightning has such a style. Some one tell me what that mischievous and sharp-tongued mood/behavior is. This one is fairly straightforward, where the poet describes his beloved's sharp nature and temper as something that can outdo the searing coals and sudden lightning bolt. Line 5/6 - The poet says that I am only jealous because of the fact that he gets to talk to you. Otherwise what fear do I have of the teaching/misguiding that his wicked enemy of mine is giving to you. He is envious that this enemy of his gets the comfort of his beloved's company, but he is not worried about the lessons that he is telling her, for he knows she is mine (or in other way he knows that she will ditch new lover like the way she has done to him earlier) Line 7/8 - This gown of mine is sticking to my body, with blood. Why does this gown's collar need any darning (now). To explain this, the poet says his gown is all bloodied due to his heart bursting out from the grief/pressure of love. So what use will be the mending of the gown, since it will be torn again by his heart bursting out again (due to the rigors of the love). Some ghoulish imagery by Ghalib indeed! Line 9/10 - The poet says that where the body has been totally burnt, the heart must also have been totally burnt. What are you searching now in the ashes now, what is your intention/desire? This is an obvious taunt to his beloved, what is she searching now in the ashes of his burnt out body. What is her desire? Is she searching for his heart, for if she is, that would have also been burnt with the rest of the body. Why is she being so considerate now (for she herself caused his death by her rebuke/indifference). Totally awesome! Line 11/12 - The poet says I am not impressed by it running about in the veins. If it does not drip from the eyes, what kind of blood is this. What good is the lover's blood whose sole purpose is to run around in the veins and it can't drip from the eyes of the lover. What good will that blood (running on veins) be if it continues to make him live and suffer (the agony of love). It should instead drip out endlessly through his eyes, and end this misery(life) of his. Line 13/14 - The things for which we cherish the heaven, what is it

other than wine flavored with the fragrance of delicate flowers and smelling like musk. Ghalib professes his love for wine and takes the aim at the religious clergy for misguiding people about after-life when the best thing there would still be the earthly wine. It could also mean Ghalib questioning what would be in out there in heaven (even more fabulous than wine)? Line 15/16 - The poet says that I can see (and take care) of 2-4 barrels of wine. So what use is talking about these glasses, pitchers and chalice. The poet again tells about his prowess in wine-drinking. Line 17/18 - The poet says that he has no power left for a speech, and even if the power was there then with what hope should I say what's that I desire. The despondency, the misery has sucked all the life out of him, so much so that he does not even have the will to make a speech and even if he were to, what good would that be. His desires would still be unanswered (by God or maybe his beloved). What's the point hoping for those expectation that would never be fulfilled. Line 19/20 - The poet says having been the associate of the king, he can swagger around the town boastfully now. Otherwise, what is Ghalib's place/status in the city? This can be interpreted as a compliment to the emperor on whose monthly pension the poet is maintained or it can also be a lament that even a poet of no less repute than Ghalib needs to have a patron so that he is assured of a regular income. Meaning of difficult words guftgoo = conversation barq = lightning tund = sharp/angry khoo = behavior musaahib = comrade/associate justjoo = desire pairaahan = shirt/robe/cloth rashk = jealousy rafoo = mending/darning haajat = need/necessity adoo = enemy bad = bad/wicked aamozee = education/teaching khauf = fear ham_sukhan = to speak together/to agree mushkaboo = like the smell of musk gul_faam = delicate and fragrant like flowers bahisht = heaven baada = wine khum = wine barrel qadah = goblet

kooza/suboo = wine pitcher guftaar = speech/discourse

ghair lein mehfil mein bose jaam ke ham rahain yoon tishna_lab paighaam ke khastagee ka tumse kya shikwa ki ye hathkande hain charkh-e-neelee_faam ke khat likhenge garche matlab kuchch na ho ham to aashiq hain tumhaare naam ke raat pee zamzam pe mai aur subh_dam dhoye dhab'be jaam-e-'eharaam ke dil ko aankhon ne fasaaya kya magar ye bhee halqe hain tumhaare daam ke shaah ke hain ghusl-e-sehat ko khabar dekhiye kab din firein hammaam ke ishq ne 'ghalib' nikamma kar diya warna ham bhee aadmee thae kaam ke Line 1/2 - The others in the gathering are all enjoying the company of wine. They are kissing glasses of wine as if it was their beloved.

While my lips are thirsty even in this frolic, for i am thirsty of a message of my beloved and not of wine. In a higher realm, this can be interpreted as all others are kissing the book(Koran) and the religion, but i am thirsty of the message that the religion means. Line 3/4 - What/Why should I complain of the bodily injury that I am afflicted with, these sky-blue coloured marks on my body are just my tactics to get some attention from the beloved. Again one can argue that the lines mean, that why should i complain of the sickness, these are just the ways of the One (the blue-sky colour and omnipotent God) Line 5/6 - I am such a mad and crazy lover of you that I would write a letter to you, even though the contents of the letter does not make sense. The poet in so deep in love that all he can think of his beloved and fascinates about these small nuances with his beloved. Line 7/8 - The poet says that at night, we drank wine at the zam zam well (Zam Zam well is located at Mecca and its water is considered holy) and in the morning I rubbed and washed of the stains of the wine on the special haj gown that is to be worn during pilgrimage to Kabba. Ghalib takes a aim at the religious orthodoxy that has masked the minds of the classes by rigid rules that they themselves do not follow. Line 9/10 - This heart of mine has been betrayed by my eyes to be your devotee, but then even these rings/circle (meaning eyes) are just one of your many traps. Every bit, every part of my body is your, they all rise(conspire) to become one in your devotion. Line 11/ 12 - I have not really been able to decipher this so will state literally what the translation means. The health bath club (it is usually the king's inner circle) of the king is aware of his affliction, lets see when the days of the hot bath turn around and he gets to enjoy the hot bath and massage. Line 13/14 - The poet laments that this love has made 'Ghalib' him useless and lazy, otherwise he was also a very capable man. pretty simple and neat!. This can go very well with a beloved as well as devotion to the God. Meaning of difficult words bosa = kiss tishna = thirsty khastagee = injury/sickness shikawa = complaint hathkande = tactics charkh = sky neelee_faam = blue colour/complexion

zamzam = a well in Kaba whose water is considered holy mai = wine subh_dam = at dawn 'eharaam = dress for 'haj' halqa = ring/circle daam = net/trap ghusl = bath sehat = health hammaam = a hot bath where a masseur gives massage and bath

dil-e-naadaan tujhe huaa kya hai ? aakhir iss dard kee dawa kya hai ? hum hain mushtaaq aur woh bezaar ya ilaahee! yeh maajra kya hai ? main bhi munh mein zabaan rakhta hoon kaash! poocho ki "muddaa kya hai" ? jab ki tujh bin naheen koee maujood fir ye hangaama, 'ei khuda! kya hai ye paree chehara log kaise hain? ghamza-o-ishwa-o-'adaa kya hai ? shikan-e-zulf-e-ambaree kyon hai ? nigah-e-chashm-e-soorma sa kya hai ?

sabja-o-gul kahaan se aaye hain ? abr kya cheez hai, hawa kya hai ? hamko unse wafa ki hai ummeed jo naheen jaante wafa kya hai "haan bhala kar tera bhala hoga" aur darvesh kee sada kya hai ? jaan tum par nisaar karta hoon main naheen jaanata duaa kya hai maine maana ki kuchch naheen 'ghalib' muft haath aaye to bura kya hai? Line 1/2 - O! my childish and naive heart, what has happened to you? What is the medicine for this pain after all? The poet says what has happened to his heart?, what is the remedy for this state? Line 3/4 - I am longing for you, but you seem so disinterested. Dear God, what is this problem? My fondness for you knows no bounds and yet you are indifferent. Line 5/6 - I too have a tongue in my mouth. I wish if you had asked what is the intent or issue? Line 7/8 - When nobody else but you only exist, why God! what is the clamor all about? The poet says that if only God is present in its grandeur (and the rest are temporal and material), then what are these other views that captivate us? Line 9/10 - How are these angel faced people? those amorous glance, that flirting behavior.. what is all this? The poet says that these beauties if you are saying are transitory, but they are still so bewitching. Line 11/12 - Why are there curls of those fragrant tresses of yours? What are these glances from those kajal lined eyes of yours? Line 13/14 - Where has this greenery and flowers have come from? What kind of thing is clouds.. What is that blowing wind? The poet says these sights and sounds are so charming that they rival the beauty of God's existence. Line 15/16 - I live in the hope of faithfulness from those, who does not even know what is the meaning of faithfulness. Line 17/18 - Do good to others and good things would happen to you. What else does the holy man preach? Ghalib seems to be

telling his beloved that do good deeds (like returning his love) and she would be favorably placed to receive God's grace. Line 19/20 - I offer my life to you as a sacrifice. I do not know what praying is? Line 21/22 - I agree that Ghalib is worth nothing. But if you are getting him free, then what is the harm in it? The poet showing modesty (self-abasement), despite knowing his true value and says to his beloved that there is no harm in associating with him and if he is not found helpful, then there would be still no loss as he comes free. Meaning of difficult words :mushtaaq = interested bezaar = displeased/sick of paree chehara = angel faced ghamza = amorous glance ishwa = coquetry shikan = wrinkle/fold ambaree = fragrance chashm = eye abr = clouds darvesh = beggar sada = voice

ishq mujhko nahin, wehshat hi sahi meri wehshat, teri shohrat hi sahi qata`a keeje na ta`alluq ham se kuch nahin hai to `adaavat hi sahi mere hone mein hai kya ruswaaee? 'ei woh majlis nahin khalwat hi sahi ham bhi dushman to ninahee hain apne ghair ko tujh se mohabbat hi sahi

apni hastee hee se ho, jo kuch ho! aagahee gar nahin ghaflat hi sahi 'umr harchand ke hai barq-e-khiraam dil ke khoon karne ki fursat hi sahi ham koi tarq-e-wafa karte hain na sahi ishq, museebat hi sahi kuchch to de 'ei falak-e-na_insaaf aah-o-fariyaad ki rukhasat hi sahi ham bhee tasleem kee khoo daalenge be_niyaazee teree `aadat hi sahi yaar se cheda chalee jaay, 'Asad' gar nahu wasl to hasrat hi sahi Meaning of difficult words: wehshat = madness/horror shohrat = fame qata'a = break/intercept ta'alluq = relation/connection 'adaavat = hatred/animosity majlis = assembly khalwat = isolation hastee = existence aagahee = knowledge/information ghaflat = negligence harchand = every moment barq = lightning khiraam = manner of walking tarq = relinquishment falak = sky tasleem = greeting/saluting khoo = habit be_niyaazee = independence wasl = meeting hasrat = desire Line 1/2 - The beloved addressing the lover says there is no love between us and your feelings towards me are not love. The poet replies let it be madness then and let my madness be the cause of your fame. The lover is willing to go mad in quest for his love even though the love is unrequited. Even his madness, he wishes would bring more fame to his beloved. He wants the best for his lover irrespective of his love is returned or not. Line 3/4 - Don't break of the relationship/ties between you and me.

Even if nothing remain between us, then let the enmity remain. The poet is not willing to let go of his beloved. He laments that don't sever the ties, but if you do then let us be enemies. In that way, you will not wither away from my mind but will be a strong feeling in my thoughts even if those thoughts are of enmity. Line 5/6 - What is this displeasure that you are showing in my presence? If you don't like it here (in the public assembly place), then meet me alone someplace isolated. The poet aware that his beloved my not be keen on exposing our relationship to public sphere, pleads that she can meet him alone, away from the prying eyes. Line 7/8 - The poet says that I am also not enemy of my own self. So what if a total stranger is in love with you. This seems to be a simpler couplet, yet thinking it multiple times one can argue that the poet says that he is not enemy with his inner self (his alter-ego), so what if the alter-ego is in love with you. He has nothing to worry about. The physical self is satisfied with his metaphysical self being in love with his beloved. Line 9/10 - This is the jewel of this ghazal. The poet says that whatever you are, it is because of your being/self. If one is not aware of this eternal truth, then let there be ignorance. In an existentialist streak, Ghalib says that being/self defines the essence of life. It precedes it. Your life, your actions will define what and how you will be known. If this fact is not being realized and understood by people, then let ignorance reign over the masses. Line 11/12 - Life is passing by (moving forward) every moment like a lightning flash. Despite this, there is lot of time to engage in the rigors of love. The poet says that even in this short-lived life, its not small to be in love and occasionally sometimes to fail in love. Line 13/14 - I am not the one who has given up on this relationship of ours. I still believe in it. If not love, then it be another torment/trouble. Ghalib says I am not questioning this relationship, but if there is no love left between us then let the torment remain. Let the misery and uncertainty continue to inflict my soul. Line 15/16 - Give me at least something, O you unjust One (referring to God as Keeper of the unfair blue sky). Give me at least the right/permission to plead and appeal. Ghalib using simple imagery (like blue sky), in a cynical tone mocks to God to give him some hint of his impartiality or else give him the sanction to plea. Line 17/18 - I will accept this habit. Even if this indifference of yours is a habit of yours. Ghalib says i will start accepting and continue bearing this habit/conduct without complaining. It's okay if this

apathy towards me is your usual demeanor. Line 19/20 - The poet says that this teasing and sweet-talking the beloved by Asad will finally end. Even if union is not possible, then let the desire remain at least. Ghalib says that this playfulness eventually will be no more, and if union is not there then let the unfulfilled desire remain.

dil hi to hai na sang-o-khisht dard se bhar na aaye kyon? royenge ham hazaar baar, koi hamein sataaye kyon?

dair nahin, haram nahin, dar nahin, aastaan nahin baithe hain rehguzar pe ham, ghair hamein uthaaye kyon? jab woh jamaal-e-dil_faroz, soorat-e-meher-e-neem_roz aap hee ho nazzaara_soz, parde mein munh chupaaye kyon? dashna-e-ghamza jaan_sitaan, naawak-e-naaz be_panaah tera hee aks-e-rukh sahee, saamne tere aaye kyon? qaid-e-hayaat-o-band-e-gham asl mein dono ek hain maut se pehle aadmee gham se nijaat paaye kyon? husn aur uspe husn_zan rah gayee bulhawas ki sharm apne pe 'eitmaad hai, ghair ko aazmaaye kyon? wahan wo ghuroor-e-iz'z-o-naaz yaan yeh hijaab-e-paas-e-waz'a raah mein ham mile kahaan, bazm mein wo bulaaye kyon? haan wo naheen khuda_parast, jaao wo be_wafa sahi jisko ho deen-o-dil 'azeez, uskee galee mein jaaye kyon? 'ghalib'-e-khasta ke baghair kaun se kaam band hain? roiye zaar-zaar kya, keejiye haay-haay kyon? Line 1/2 - The poet says it is only a heart and not some stone and bricks. Why will it not fill up with pain? With a sense of aggravated injury/anguish, the poet aggrieve that I am not made of stone and bricks that I don't feel pain. Even my cup of pain brims. I will cry a thousand times. Why does someone want to keep tormenting me? The second line echoes the first line provoked sense of injustice in saying that I am crying endlessly for I am being subjected to torment. The couplet as with Ghalib most works can be directed at the beloved or at the rigors of the existence where each passing day brings new misery. Line 3/4 - The poet says it is not a temple, nor a mosque. It is neither a door, nor a home. It is a pathway (public road) that I am sitting on, why are the others making me get up? This couplet though simple can take multiple connotation, each elegant in it own way. Ghalib says that he is not in the temple, nor inside the mosque thus independent of any religious affiliations. Also he is not inside a household or a door thus free from the drudgery of married life and household and social mores. No one can accuse him of religious impropriety or trespassing, instead he is deliberately sitting on the public road and no one can remove him from here now. In just two lines, he has aimed at religious as well as social tie-ups and asked to be left alone in the middle of the street, with no faith and no relations or love. Why can't I live like this? Why do you not let me live, out here.. alone.. unloved? Simply brilliant!

Line 5/6 - The poet says when that beauty of yours is so brilliant that it shins up the admirer's heart. Your face is like the mid-day sun, radiant and beaming and eye-blinding You are the one who is worth seeing, so why do you hide your face in the veil? Again multiple interpretations can be put forth. The poet says that your beauty is such a treat to watch but why do cover it with a veil? It can also be argued that poet is saying that your beauty is so brilliant and radiant that any unworthy person seeing you will be blinded by it and hence you actually don't need to cover your face to protect your modesty for no unworthy can eye you directly. Ghalib being ghalib, one can also interpret that these lines are complaints to the Omnipotent one. Why does God need to hide his true self. Your one sight/miracle would be enough to make people go blind in devotion. Line 7/8 - This is an absolute play on words. The poet says that with those dagger pointed amorous glances that literally take one's life away, those senses-pleasing grace, those haughty demeanor, those amorous behavior of yours is like rain of arrows from which there is no relief. The beloved with her subtle though flirty (not in a crude but as an artistic charm) and yet a bit overbearing manners evokes a deadly potency that there is no escaping them. The second line states that with such deadly charm, even the reflection of your beautiful face can not can not afford to come before you for it will be waylaid by its bewitching glance. Why do you risk yourself coming before the mirror and come face to face with it? Line 9/10 - After couple of heavy worded sher, this is simple on words but meaty on meaning. The poet laments that prison of life and the chains of sorrow are both in fact essentially the same thing. Why would man be released from pain before death? Ghalib in its brutal nakedness of human existence says that prison of human existence, the endless misery of being is fundamentally same (derive from same source) as continuous pain that afflicts the mortal soul. It is not possible to not have sorrow/pain in this existence of ours. Both go hand in hand. So why would a person be freed from this drudgery before death? Why would one expect so? There is no escaping this pain in our lives and the only escape is the eventual death. Line 11/12 - The poet says that beauty and on the top of it the smartness and intelligence that his beloved displays. The lusty stranger was able to keep his honour and not be ashamed. There is calm confidence on oneself, but why do you want to test the other? Ghalib says that his beloved is someone who is extremely beautiful not only physically but from the heart as well, and the intelligence and confidence she oozes that she does not get intimated by other watching her or be conscious of her mannerisms. Her supreme confidence (due to her personality) makes her indifferent to the

surrounding so that the lusty admirer is able to ogle at her without the risk of being caught by her eyes and hence be ashamed. You have confidence in yourself, but why do you test the strangers/others? Line 13/14 - The poet says over there, there is pride and vanity over the splendor and manners/grace. While over here there is modesty made possible due the respect and upright behavior. Where would we meet on the road? Why would she call me to the social gathering that she is having. Ghalib aware of the stark social differences between him and his beloved comments that while there self-esteem prevails due to their mannerisms and splendor, over here its humble rectitude and self respect. The difference is so bare, that why would he be invited to the social meeting happening at her place and there is no place where they can meet on the road away from the prying eyes so as not to risk public embarrassment. Line 15/16 - The poet says that yes she is not God-worshiper, she is unfaithful, agreed! One who loves his faith and his heart, why would they go to her street? Ghalib in conversation with some one (presumably the so called keepers of the faith/society). They warn the poet about his beloved's Godless ways and lack of devotion, besides doubting her faithfulness to him as well. The poet with a hint of irritation says that "agreed, she is not god-fearing and its fine if she is unfaithful as well. Why (those who so call love their heart and faith) why do they frequent her street?" Ghalib in other ways hinting that he does not care about his heart and his faith, for he will continue to go after his beloved but those so called moral custodians themselves are aware and maybe frequenting her street and yet preach the exact opposite to him. Line 17/18 - Since the wretched Ghalib is not more, what worldly activities have come to stop? Why weep bitterly? Why wail about it now? Ghalib (now dead) says that the normal activities of the world are going on as before, despite the end of this miserable existence. So why do you weep and moan and make a big matter about. The pleasures and the sorrows and the daily grind and the hustle bustle of life is still there. Why do you unnecessarily lament my departure? Meaning of difficult words sang = stone khisht = brick dair = temple haram = mosque dar = gate aastaan = abode rehguzar = pathway jamaal = beauty faroz = shining/luminous

meher = sun neem_roz = mid day nazzaara_soz = beautiful/worth seeing dashna = dagger ghamza = amorous glance jaan_sitaan = destroying life naawak = a kind of arrow aks = image hayaat = life band-e-gham = chains of sorrow nijaat = release/liberation husn_zan = good opinion of a person bulhawas = slave of passions/very greedy 'eitmaad = reliance/dependance ghuroor = pride iz'z-o-naaz = respect and beauty hijaab = veil/modesty paas = regard waz'a = behavior bazm = social gathering parast = worshiper deen = religion/faith khasta = sick/injured zaar-zaar = bitterly

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