kyaa aa;Nkh band kar ke muraaqib hu))e ho tum
jaate hai;N kaise kaise samai;N chashm vaa karo

1) how, having closed your eyes, have you become an observer?!
2) what-all kinds of scenes/states go by?!-- open your eyes!



muraaqib : 'Observing; —s.m. Observer; looker after'. (Platts p.1019)


samai;N , same;N : = samay . (Platts p.678)


samay (of which samai;N is a variant): 'Concurrence of circumstances, fit or proper time, right moment, opportunity, occasion; emergency; time, season, period; leisure; plenty, abundance; general condition of things, state, condition'. (Platts p.678)

S. R. Faruqi:

samai;N = scenes, situations

The original meaning of muraaqibah is 'for someone to have hope of something, to fear something' ( munta;xab ul-lu;Gaat ). Since the direction from which we have hope or fear is one toward which we look again and again, the meaning became 'to pay attention, to keep watch, to look attentively'. From this the meaning became 'to meditate upon something, to concentrate upon something heart and soul'; this is the meaning it has among mystical knowers.

In the present verse, both kinds of meaning have been very well brought in. (1) You have closed your eyes and are expecting/envisioning something. (2) You have closed your eyes and are looking. In the light of the second meaning there's more sarcasm toward the doers of muraaqibah -- your eyes are closed, and you have the hope or illusion of seeing.

There's no direct relationship of samai;N with samay (meaning 'time'). The meaning that is most useful for us I have given in my remarks-- that in truth the world is like a set of passing scenes. (In our time, Bertrand Russell has expressed this idea with much power and evidence: that the world and all people and creatures are only a 'series of events'.) Each scene or situation is more interesting, attention-claiming, meaningful, astonishing than the next, as they are passing by us.

In the first divan:


And here we are who are observing/expecting, and we're under the illusion that in this way we'll see appearances and scenes. Although the real things that are to be seen are all around us. Now, in 'open your eyes' another meaning can be seen: that this is an admonitory utterance: 'Open your eyes, come to your senses! What kind of thoughts are you lost in?!'.

The novelty of the theme lies in this: that the outer has been given preference over the inner, and the manifest over the hidden. It's a particularly fine 'this-worldly' verse. The insha'iyah style of both lines is also quite superb. There are three utterances, and all three are insha'iyah. It should also be kept in mind that although this theme is 'this-worldly', it's not materialist. That is, things or substances have not been said to be everything.

What's been said is that the Creator of the world has made the world so that we would see the scenes of the world and remember, or recognize, the Creator of the world. Mystical knowledge will not be obtained by lying around in silence, far from the world, like a monk. Mystical knowledge is obtained through beholding and considering the world.

[See also {558,2}.]



As SRF observes, each of the three utterances is insha'iyah. Thanks to the 'kya effect', the first line can be read either as a genuine question ('Having closed your eyes, have you become an observer?'), or an exclamation of scorn ('As if having closed your eyes you've become an observer!'), or even a sarcastic compliment ('Having closed your eyes, what an observer you've become!').

Then, similarly, jaate hai;N kaise kaise samai;N can be read as a question ('What-all kinds of scenes go by?') or an exclamation of amazement ('What-all kinds of scenes go by!'). And of course chashm vaa karo , as an imperative, is insha'iyah as well.

That second line makes me think of a train trip, and the pleasure of watching countless different things pass by-- along with the frustration of feeling how quickly they pass, and how easy it is to miss so many of them entirely. But sometimes the viewer also sees terrible sights, that cannot then be un-seen. This ominous possibility too is implicit in the urgency and open-endedness of the command in the second line: it is our duty to keep our eyes open, no matter what.

Here, recognizing both beautiful and terrible possibilities, is Ghalib's own superb counterpart verse: