Ghazal 1, Verse 7x


va;hshat-e ;xvaab-e ((adam shor-e tamaashaa hai asad
juz mizhah jauhar nahii;N aa))iinah-e ta((biir kaa

1) the wildness of the dream/sleep of nonexistence is the tumult of a spectacle, Asad
2) apart from eyelashes, there are no polish-lines on the mirror of (dream-)interpretation


va;hshat : 'A desert, solitude, dreary place; — loneliness, solitariness, dreariness; — sadness, grief, care; — wildness, fierceness, ferocity, savageness; barbarity, barbarism; — timidity, fear, fright, dread, terror, horror; — distraction, madness'. (Platts p.1183)


shor : 'Cry, noise, outcry, exclamation, din, clamour, uproar, tumult, disturbance'. (Platts p.736)


ta((biir : 'Interpretation, explanation (particularly of dreams); — attribute, quality'. (Platts p.326)


Every eyelash on the eye ought to be a polish-line on the mirror of interpretation. The eyelash that does not have this quality, is not an eyelash-- rather, it is wildness for the dream of nonexistence, and tumult for a spectacle.

Or else this: that the tumult of the spectacle has become wildness for the dream of nonexistence. This is the reason that the eyelash is not the polish-line of the mirror of interpretation.

== Asi, p. 50


By 'mirror of interpretation' is meant the eyes; and by the eyelashes not being interpreted as polish-lines on the mirror is meant the eyelashes not closing; by 'tumult of the spectacle' is meant the tumult of the spectacle-place of existence.

He says that the reason for the dream/sleep of nonexistence being disturbed-- that is, after death, for sleep not to come or for bad dreams to come-- is that the commotion of the spectacle-place of existence is still wandering before the eyes.

== Zamin, p. 25

Gyan Chand:

When a metal mirror is polished, then the lines that appear are its jauhar . An eyelash has a similitude with them. For the mirror of interpretation to have polish-lines-- that is, to have skill in making interpretations. The prose is like this: jo mizhah aa))iinah-e ta((biir kaa jauhar nahii;N ( us mizhah kaa ) shor-e tamaashaa-o-va;hshat-e ;xvaab-e ((adam hai . A frightening dream, and that too a frightening dream of nonexistence-- how agitated it will be!

The meaning of the verse is that if a person's eyes are not acute/penetrating, then his claim that he is seeing the scenes of the world is false. These 'scenes' are agitated dreams that have been seen in nonexistence.

== Gyan Chand, p. 61


DREAMS: {3,3}
JAUHAR: {5,4}
MIRROR: {8,3}
TAMASHA: {8,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting in its own cosmic way, and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Just notice how the wild and crazy young Ghalib could fling around abstractions-- shooting them off one after another in any and all directions, aiming to stay barely inside the lines of comprehensibility (and not always succeeding). This verse brings together a vintage collection of much of his favorite imagery.

We have three commentators, and four different readings. Just this once, I will take the liberty of saluting my fellow commentators in a friendly way, and not adding my own two cents. But I do enjoy the extravagance of that second line, even if I can't be sure I really understand it.