Skip to main content

Surrendering to Love- Ghalib



Couplet-1

दोस्त ग़मख़्वारी  में मेरी, 'अइ फरमाएंगे क्या
ज़ख़्म के भरने तलक, नाख़ून बढ़ जाएंगे क्या।

(ग़मख़्वारी- Nursing, 'अइ- Efforts, नाख़ून- nails)

Translation

O dearest, your best efforts to nurse my soul,
To my searing sadness, is no match;
While my wounds heal, unknownst to thou,
I grow cruel nails anew,Once again, ready to scratch.

Interpretation:
The solaces of companionship, of fleeting friendships are not sufficient enough to ease the haunting emptiness left by loss of love. There is some inherent pleasure in self-inflicted pain, embedded in love. While friends try to protect me, rescue me, my soul remains beyond repair, as I keep on going back into my melancholic, sad solitude, as if I derive some pleasure in this self-inflicted pain. 

 ***************
Couplet-2

बेनियाज़ी हद से गुज़री, बंदापरवर कब तलक
हम कहेंगे हाल- -दिल और आप फरमाएंगे क्या।

(बेनियाज़ी- Disinterest)
Translation:-

Your cruel apathy towards me, my beloved ladyship
Has gone beyond the limits of my fragile forbearance;
For how long shall I send the pathetic pleas of my heart?
For how long should thou hide behind this cold, feigned ignorance?

Interpretation:-
Ghalib complains about some kind of aristocratic apathy with which beloved treats him. It takes a rare communion of souls for one heart to connect to another. Unless the connection is made, the utterances of a heart means nothing to another. Language rides on the bridge that connects two souls and when hearts do not connect, the language fails. Ghalib was one of the most spiritual, mystical poet of all times. Truth and love are interchangeable and it would be unfair to use the term love in conventional terms when we look at Ghalib's poetry.

Couplet-3

हज़रत-ए-नासेह ग़र आएँ, दीदा-ओ-दिल फ़र्श-ऐ-राह
कोई मुझको ये तो समझा दो कि समझायेंगे क्या।

(हज़रत- Gentleman नासेह- Preacher दीदा-ओ-दिल- Eyes and Heart फ़र्श-ऐ-राह- Spread in your way)

Translation:

O learned preacher, to my abode, with my heart and soul
I should welcome thee;
Pray tell, what wisdom the enlightened one, can bring
For an incurable soul as me.

Interpretation:-
The affairs of love is way beyond the understanding of religious scholars and hearts in love are beyond repair. These are affairs of heart, much elevated beyond the religious philosophy. Logic of life fails in the interpretation of logic of love. Loftiest of the religious wisdom will fall short as far as comforting a heart in love goes. In the next couplet, Ghalib further elaborates the failure of structured religion to define the religion of hearts.  

Couplet-4

ग़र किया नासेह ने हमको क़ैद, अच्छा यूँ सही
ये जुनूने - इश्क़ के अंदाज़ छूट जाएंगे क्या।

जुनूने - इश्क़- Passions of Love)

Translation:

The preacher recommends keeping me
in custody, 
to tame my rebellious soul, I agree;
Do tell me, this emancipated soul of reason, this passionate love, which simmers in my heart, 
Incarcerated in darkness, will it ever abandon me?

Interpretation:-
The structured religion is now a captive of written diktats. Some prophets, some books, in one religion and other, initially written as a reportage of their own spiritual pursuit in search of truth, are now prisoner of their own rigidity. What was meant to be free-flowing brook is now stale, muddied pond-water, in which Nietzsche said, one would hear frogs croak. We try to find truth in interpretations, molding them to suit our sensibilities, never ever finding courage to reject them and search truth afresh. The courage to explore our souls to find our own truth, our own wisdom is in captivity of conventions. But Ghalib, ever a rebel, questions if these established wisdom, this steel-framed knowledge- unalterable, unquestionable, refuses to surrender his voice of new-age reason. One can feel a strange breeze of freshness, a rare manliness reflecting in this couplet. 

Couplet-5

खानाज़ाद--ज़ुल्फ़ हैं, ज़ंजीर से भागेंगे क्यों
हैं गिरफ़्तार- -वफ़ा, ज़िंदाँ से घबराएंगे क्या।

(खानाज़ाद--ज़ुल्फ़- Prisoner of the locks of your hair; ज़ंजीर- Chains; गिरफ़्तार -वफ़ा- Imprisoned by faith; ज़िंदाँ - Prison)

Translation:

I have long been a captive of your blessed locks,
Why should I try escaping these chains?
So long has my soul been a prisoner of your love
No fear of a prison, in me, any longer remains.

Interpretation:-

What makes Ghalib stand apart is his unorthodox views, his courage, his intrepid interpretations of tradition and pronounced intent to break free of the past. He throws challenge to established wisdom, his unafraid, untamed, unyielding soul stands erect, refusing to bend. He celebrates his surrender of his self to a spiritual love, which rises above the squalor of tame wisdom, hands-me-down knowledge across the ages. He contradicts convention and embraces emancipation, and is not worried about what might come out of it. He says that he has now resigned to his fate, the hardships which comes with his emancipation. He has lived such for so long that he is unafraid. It in a sense, also reflects the loneliness of less understood and a surrender to a lonely journey for his mind scaling above mediocrity, his enlightened (therefore least understood)  soul which belonged to an age beyond its own. It has surrendered to the feeling, that haunting feeling that it has to pass through this world rarely understood. He resigns to his fate- the fate of every solitary genius.

Couplet-6

है अब इस मा'मूरे में केहत - -ग़म- 'असद'
हमने माना की दिल्ली में रहें, खावेंगे क्या।     

(मा'मूरे - City/ civilization, केहत - -ग़म-  A famine of emotions, a dearth of feelings)

Translation:
In this heartless city of yours, 'Assad' 
There is a famine of feelings,
Which urges me to beat a hasty retreat;
I shall still, if you insist, stay put in this soulless Dilli,
Do tell, my friend, without love to feed on,

In this heartless city, what shall I offer my soul to eat? 

Assad - Ghalib's Nom de Plume (Pen name)

Interpretation:-

The world around him is soulless. No one has time for softer emotions of a sensitive poet. Feelings are frowned over, love is outdated, emotions are rarely found appreciated. The abrasive society has killed all the nourishment for the soul. A kind of famine has befallen on the world and the soul passes through the world hungry for human touch. That is Delhi for Ghalib, that is every unfeeling large city for every modern man and woman. How is one to survive such a city, laments Ghalib.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Well done. Thank you for sharing this.

Popular posts from this blog

दो जोड़ी नन्ही आँखें

अनदेखे ख़्वाबों की दो जोड़ी नन्हीआँखें, जिन्होंने स्वप्न देखने की आयु से पूर्व दु:स्वप्न देख आँखें मूँद लीं। जो क़दम अभी चलना ही सीखे थे, लड़खड़ा कर थम गए। बचपन के घुटने पर लगी हर खरोंच, व्यस्कों के गाल पर एक तमाचा है। धर्म के आडंबरों से अछूता बाल मन जो मंदिरों और मस्जिदों को अपनी आत्मा में रखता था, धर्म की दरारों पर अपना नन्हा शव छोड़ निकल पड़ा। कहीं दूर,दग्ध शरीर के ताप से दूर, जब यह अकलुषित हृदय पहुँचा तो एक और निष्पाप दूधिया आत्मा दिखी, जिसकी पलकों के कोरों में उसकी आँखों के जैसे ही अविश्वास से सहमा हुआ अश्रु रूका था। एक दूसरे के गले लग कर दोनों बाल मन दरिया के टूटे बाँध की तरह बह निकले। घाव बाँटे, एक दूसरे के हृदय में चुभी धरती की किरचें निकाली और न देखे हुए स्वप्नों का श्राद्ध रचा। उसने थमती हिचकियों में अपना नाम बताया - ‘आसिफा’। और दुख के साथी की ठोड़ी थाम कर कहा - ‘मत रो, न्याय होगा।’ धरती की तरफ़ नन्ही गुलाबी उँगली दिखा कर कहा- “देख, भले लोग लड़ रहे है मेरे लिए, न्याय होगा। तेरे लिये भी लड़ रहे होंगे। तू मत रो” फिर बोली, “मैं पश्चिम से हूँ, तू पूरब से, पर हैं

Analyzing the Analysts- Failed Attempts to Understanding the Modi Magic

  " When a writer tries to explain too much, he is out of time before he begins. " wrote Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1978 Nobel Winning writer. As year wraps to an end and Bengal Elections are around the corner, Analysts are jumping over one another to analyze the way politics panned out over this Pandemic-ridden unfortunate and sad year.  When you go through most of the analysis, you find them dipping into the froth floating at the top. They often develop the hypothesis first then try to fit the data. This gap between interpretation and data leads to their conclusions mostly turning way off the mark. The most common and prevalent hypothesis that is being currently floated is that those who support Narendra Modi are some sort of fanatic army, which has no reason to support him and which are loyal to him in the most retrograde terms. For that very reason, Narendra Modi, in return, cares only about those who voted for him and no one else. While there is no proof of Narendra Modi app

That Evil Ignorance- Rahul Gandhi and his Everyday Questions

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt, American President 1901-1909 Rahul Gandhi  has again asked as question as to why the Soldiers martyred in the cowardly attack of the Chinese in the Galwan Valley did not carry weapons (ignoring that the treaty si