qalb-o-dimaa;G-o-jigar ke ga))e par .zu((f hai jii kii ;Gaarat me;N
kyaa jaane yih qalaqchii in ne kis sardaar ko dekhaa hai

1) on the departure/going of heart and mind and liver, there's weakness, in the destruction/destroyers of the inner-self
2) who knows about these servants-- what chieftain/commander have they seen?!



ga))e par is an archaic form of jaane par .


;Gaarat : ''A raid, foray'; plunder, pillage, rapine, havoc, devastation'. (Platts p.768)


;Gaarat : 'Making a hostile incursion into an enemy's country; a raid; plunder, pillage; havoc, devastation; a predatory troop of horse'. (Steingass p.877)

S. R. Faruqi:

qalaqchii = someone who is a servant, but not the King's servant

About this verse I have made a few comments in the introduction to SSA, volume 1, p. 133. [These are reproduced here:]

A qalaqchii is a soldier who would not be directly in the service of the king, but would be in the service of some lord. The situation of heart and mind and liver is like that of a qalaqchii , because they are the servants of the lover ('Mir'). When they saw the commander/chieftain, they at once went over to him and abandoned their own lord. That is, at the moment of confronting the beloved, heart and mind and liver all abandoned him.

Of the things not mentioned there, the first point is the rareness of the theme. Heart and mind and liver have been assumed to be servants of the inner-self (life), or pillars of its destruction. That is, they are servants, but servants of some lord or rich person, as if their rank is of the second class. Then, to confront her, heart and mind and liver were like most soldiers of that time-- that is, they were 'soldiers of fortune' or 'mercenaries' who served for pay; for a better master, they could abandon a previous master. Thus as soon as they saw the beloved they abandoned the speaker and took service with the beloved (the king); or else they took to flight. In such a situation the inner-self (the life) necessarily feels weakness.

The word qalaqchii is an extremely fresh one. It doesn't appear in any dictionary except the aanand raaj and the ;Giyaa;s ul-lu;Gaat . There, the meaning of simply 'servant' is also given. Barkati gives this same meaning. But my brother Na'im ul-Rahman Faruqi, who is a master of Mughal and Ottoman history, has told me that in Kamvar Khan's book taari;x-e salaa:tiin-e cha;Gtaa the word is used in the same sense as is the first meaning in the ;Giyaa;s ul-lu;Gaat . That is, a person who would be a servant of some noble or lord, and not directly in the king's service. This word has not only made the theme of the verse extremely rare, but has also created 'dramaticness' in it, and a given it a slight air of historicity.

The word ;Gaarat too is very interesting, because its well-known meaning is 'destruction, ruin'. So in the destruction and devastation of the inner-self, what is the meaning of 'weakness'? It's possible that this might originally have been jii kii ((imaarat ; now the meaning becomes satisfactory. But jii kii ;Gaarat appears in all the manuscripts; thus it's hard to ignore them. In the burhaan the word is also said to refer to a detachment of horsemen that creates ruin and despoliation; that is, the effect (destruction) is used as a name for the agents who create that effect (destroyers). Steingass too has given this meaning.

If this meaning in the burhaan and Steingass is accepted as correct, then the verse becomes even more interesting. Heart, mind, and liver are now members of a single destructive troop, and it's possible that they set out to lay waste the land of beauty, but when beauty came before them, then they all instantly fled-- or, again, became servants/slaves of the king of beauty. In such a situation 'weakness' will indeed come upon the ;Gaarat (destructive troop), because their commanders/chieftains have abandoned the field and fled.

The unrestrained movement of the imagination too is powerful, and the insha'iyah style of the second line has further increased the 'dramaticness'.

Bahadur Shah Zafar has expressed this theme in a tone of uncommon beauty, appropriateness, and slight melancholy and grief, but with an extraordinary darvesh-like sorrow:

i((tibaar-e .sabr-o-:taaqat ;xaak me;N rakkhuu;N :zafar
fauj-e hinduustaan ne kab saath ;Tiipuu kaa diyaa

[the regard for endurance and strength-- I would place it in the dust, Zafar
the army of Hindustan-- when did it give its company to Tipu?!]

Here the closing-verse has also come to bear a special importance, since its poet is the king, and he is mourning the defeat of the most heroic, most life-sacrificing, most gallant ruler of his time. He feels that Tipu's defeat was not caused by any lack of resourcefulness or military skill on his part-- Tipu lost because the army of Hindustan abandoned him.

It's surprising that despite the presence of such a verse, and such a poet, the late Khvajah Manzur Husain Sahib felt obliged to call our ghazal a set of commonplace romantic verses with far-fetched political meanings. For further discussion of this subject, see


If Mir's second line is scanned, then the second foot becomes fa((lun scanned as fa-((i-lun . If the meter of this ghazal is considered to be a form of mutaqaarib (which I call ba;hr-e miir , 'Mir's meter')-- as many people consider it to be, then in it to use fa((lun scanned as fa-((i-lun becomes an error. (It's obvious that I don't consider it to be an error.) In this connection, for further discussion see the the introduction to SSA, volume 1, pp. 177-182; and {1624,1}.



When 'heart and mind and liver' have gone, the result is a 'weakness'-- not of the inner-self, but of the 'destruction' of the inner-self. The implication is that those three agents were previously active in this destruction; perhaps they even constituted a marauding band of 'destroyers', as SRF suggests. This idea is conceivable, but perverse, because the general, plausible assumption in the ghazal world is that when the lover's 'heart and mind and liver' are gone, the lover is dying, if not already dead. It's a pity that SRF's conjecture of ((imaarat instead of ;Gaarat finds no textual support, because it could remove this awkwardness and implausibility.

And if the first line became less problematical, then the second line with its superb word qalaqchii would have a better chance to shine. The fascination of the line is enhanced by the double presence of the 'kya effect'-- both kyaa jaane and kis sardaar invite the usual kinds of unpacking (straightforward questions? exclamations of wonder? exclamations of scornful denial?). The result is to call into question the identity, nature, and even existence of the mysterious 'chieftain' to whom these mercenery soldiers have so readily transferred their allegiance. Or perhaps they recognize no 'chieftain' at all?