;Gunchah hu))aa hai ;xaar-e bayaabaa;N ba((d ziyaarat karne ke
paanii tabarruk karte hai;N sab paa))o;N ke mere chhaalo;N kaa

1) it has become a bud, the desert thorn-- after doing pilgrimage
2) they all take, as a blessing/'tabarruk', the water of the blisters on my feet



ziyaarat : 'Visiting (a shrine, &c.), pilgrimage'. (Platts p.619)


tabarruk : 'Blessing, benediction; congratulation; a portion of presents (or what is left of food presented to great men, &c.) given to their dependants; sacred relics'. (Platts p.308)

S. R. Faruqi:

When they read this verse, refined people of the new era will feel nauseated. And this is reasonable/suitable. The attempt to bring forth themes has from time to time taken our poets to places where uncourageous people don't go, and where courageous people have lost their sense of proportion. In Nasikh's poetry there are many such examples, and in Zauq's too there are plenty. But when we turn up our noses at such verses, we ought also to remember the incident involving Shah Nasir, narrated by Muhammad Husain Azad [with a literal translation substituted for SRF's casual retelling].

#390# ... He also recited one ghazal in his own choice of pattern, of which the refrain and rhyme were asal kii makkhii , ma;hal kii makkhii . Some persons spoke sarcastically of this [because makkhii means 'fly']. About one verse someone said, 'Praise be to God--how well the fly is seated there!' Someone else said, 'Your Excellency! This fly is not seated.' Someone else also said, 'Your Lordship! The ghazal is fine, but the refrain has begun to make me feel sick.' The Shah Sahib at once said, 'Whoever has a real taste for the relish of poetry will find only pleasure in it. But indeed, he who is in the grip of the bile of envy--he will begin to feel sick.'

In short, in the search for themes a greater or lesser degree of off-the-beaten-track-ness was common among the earlier generation.

Under ordinary circumstances I would have ignored this verse, but I wanted to fill out the three verses for my selection, and by means of this verse it was possible to allude to a discussion of principle, so along with the other two verses I added this one.

In any case, this theme pleased Mir, because he had already used it in the third divan; in the present verse he makes not only thorns but also people the beneficiaries of the water of the blisters, so that he has, so to speak, advanced the theme [{1235,4}]:

nah chashm-e kam se mujh darvesh kii aavaaragii dekho
tabarruk karte hai;N kaa;N;Te mire paa))o;N ke chhaalo;N ko

[don't look dismissively at the vagabondage of myself, the darvesh--
the thorns take the water from the blisters on my feet as benediction/tabarruk]

Now let's consider the meaning of the present verse. From the blisters on our feet water flowed to such an extent that even the thorns of the desert became moist and fresh and turned into buds.

Ghalib has taken this theme in Persian, and enhanced it very much in his composition:

'We moistened the tip of every thorn with the blood of the heart,
We wrote down the rules for gardening in the desert.'

The honor of primacy belongs to Mir, and the theme of water as tabarruk was not within Ghalib's power.

By ba((d ziyaarat karne ke two meanings are intended: the first with ziyaarat in the sense of 'travel, journey', and the second, that when people did the ziyaarat of that event, that the moisture from my blisters made the desert thorns into buds. Another reading can also be that now people come to us to make pilgrimage; tabarruk is the thing that people bring away from some holy place or some venerated gathering, for blessing and virtue. It's an interesting verse.



As SRF observes, the nature of the 'pilgrimage' is cleverly not made clear. Since the desert thorn turning into a bud is surely a kind of miracle, perhaps people make a pilgrimage to observe and honor that (divinely-inspired?) event; then when the pilgrims learn how the event has come about, they express their reverence by taking as 'tabarruk' the water that accomplished the event. Or perhaps they are returning from some other pilgrimage, such as the Haj, and notice a (related?) wonder on their way home. Or perhaps the speaker himself has done a pilgrimage, and along the route his blistered feet have transformed the thorns, so that his fellow pilgrims notice this wondrous event. Such 'tabarruk' in the form of water might well be reverently drunk by its recipients.

The question of who did the pilgrimage has been left ambiguous because 'after the doing of pilgrimage' is what I call a 'midpoint'-- an adverbial phrase that can be read with either the phrase before it (making the speaker the pilgrim) or the one after it (making 'the people' the pilgrims).

For that matter, it's only by 'implication' that we even realize that the lover's blistered feet have been the source of the (miraculous?) 'water' that has turned thorns into buds. The verse is careful not to tell us anything of the kind. This is an uncommonly clear case of implication, because the implied information is at the very center of the verse; without it the verse would make no sense. Some instances of implication involve only secondary or alternative readings; but this instance is primary and fundamental.

As SRF notes, the theme of 'water as tabarruk' is not one that Ghalib has used-- though I might disagree with him about whether it makes sense to say that such a theme 'was not within his power' [;Gaalib ke bas kaa nah thaa]. After all, Ghalib has plenty of what I call 'grotesquerie' verses of his own. Here's one in which he causes us all, willy-nilly, to drink the water from the blisters on the feet-- on the 'feet' of a cloud, too, so that the image is almost as weird as Mir's fertilized thorn-buds: