jaa))e hai jii nijaat ke ;Gam me;N
aisii jannat ga))ii jahannam me;N

1) the inner-self goes/departs, in the grief about/'of' deliverance/salvation
2) such a Paradise-- may it go into Hell!



nijaat : 'Escape, liberation, deliverance, freedom; salvation, pardon, absolution; —flight'. (Platts p.1124)

S. R. Faruqi:

Ghalib has presented this theme like this:


Ghalib's verse reminds us of this saying of Hazrat Ali's: that the person who worships out of fear, offers a worship like that of slaves; to worship out of greed for Paradise is the worship of merchants; and to worship only out of love for God is the worship of free people.

In Ghalib's verse too, everyday speech has been versified, but his tone is not on the level of everyday relationships and affairs; rather, it's on an imperious and mystically-knowledgeable level. In contrast to this, Mir's tone is based on the situation of human affairs and everyday life. In Mir's verse, the everyday speech is also more informal.

With regard to style, it's difficult to give either verse preference over the other. But Mir holds the honor of primacy, and in his verse there's also more intensity of meaning. Ghalib has spoken his idea clearly, while in Mir's verse there's also a subtle ambiguity. The grief is over this question: after dying, will there be deliverance/salvation or not?

It's clear that here nijaat has several meanings: (1) deliverance from grief; (2) deliverance from punishment, and entry into Paradise; (3) deliverance from the round of life and death. Another point is that deliverance can be attained only after dying-- but grief (perplexity, uncertainty, anxiety) over whether deliverance will be attained or not, causes life to depart. That is, death comes before death.

In Mir's second line too, along with everyday language there's also an abundance of meaning. To use the past tense for the future is, among Hindustani languages, a special feature of Urdu. Janab Shah Husain Nahri says that this principle is abundantly present in the noble Qur'an. But in my view, this is a grammatical feature of the Arabic language, and in Urdu it's a matter of everyday usage. In this everyday usage ([as in the saying] jannat ga))ii , jahannam bhii ), in addition to the future there are elements of the imperative and of a blessing/curse.

The point in fact is that if such a Paradise didn't exist, then it would be better. That is, what benefit do we get from such a Paradise? But there are also these meanings: (1) Oh, if only such a Paradise would be placed in Hell! (2) Such a Paradise ought to be placed in Hell. (3) Such a Paradise will go into Hell; etc. If we read verses like this attentively, we'll find proof that Mir made everyday language into the language of poetry.

[See also {293,8}.]



The sound effects are remarkable-- jaa))e , jii , nijaat , jannat , jahannam . And there's the conspicuous use of jaanaa -- the inner-self 'goes' (by dying of anxiety), so may such a Paradise 'go' into Hell.

To my mind, Ghalib's verse is much more compelling and enjoyable than Mir's. Mir's first line invites us to contemplate the unattractive, unedifying spectacle of one or more-- and possibly very many-- people who literally die with anxiety over whether they'll get into Paradise or not. (Of course it may be only a so-called 'Paradise', but still the distasteful spectacle is there.) By contrast, Ghalib's verse is lordly and thrilling, and much richer in meanings as well.

Note for grammar fans: The second line provides a really conspicuous case in which the perfect is colloquially used instead of the future subjunctive; there are of course plenty of other such examples (see the 'Grammar' page under 'Perfect'. In the present case the usage is specifically discussed by SRF.