Ghazal 3, Verse 12x


gardish-mu;hii:t-e :zulm rahaa jis qadar falak
mai;N paa))e-maal-e ;Gamzah-e chashm-e kabuud thaa

1) to the extent that the sky/sphere remained a revolving embracer of cruelty/tyranny
2) I was trampled underfoot by the wink/glance/coquetry of an azure eye


gardish : 'Going round, turning round, revolution; circulation; roll; course; period; turn, change; vicissitude; reversion; --adverse fortune, adversity; --wandering about, vagrancy'. (Platts p.903)


mu;hii:t : 'Surrounding, encompassing, enclosing, encircling, circumambient; containing, embracing, comprehending; knowing, well acquainted (with); --that which (or he who) surrounds, or contains, &c.; periphery, circumference (of a circle); the ocean; --one who comprehends or knows'. (Platts p.1010)


paa))e-maal : 'Trodden under foot, crushed, ruined, destroyed'. (Platts p.213)


;Gamzah : 'A sign with the eye, a wink; an amorous glance, ogling; coquetry, affectation'. (Platts p.773)


That is, as long as the sky kept encircling the revolving of cruelty/tyranny, so long did I remain constantly trampled by the wink of an azure eye. He has said 'trampled' with regard to the revolving of the sky.

== Asi, p. 52


He says that to the measure of the cruelty/tyranny of the sky, to that same measure the cruelty/tyranny of the wink of the blue eye of the beloved tormented me.... He has brought in 'azure eye' in order to create the same color as the sky. Otherwise, an 'azure eye' is not part of the Eastern vision of beauty.

== Zamin, p. 30

Gyan Chand:

gardish-mu;hii:t-e :zulm = 'revolving with cruelty/tyranny'. chashm-e kabuud = a blue eye. No matter how many rotations the sky kept making in order to inflict cruelty upon me, I kept being anxious because of the side-glances of blue eyes. The sky itself is an azure eye, and a number of especially beautiful Westerners are azure-eyed. Both are intended. It seems that in the verse to some extent there is mischievousness: the sky is always showing cruelty toward me; according to me, a blue-eyed beautiful one is absorbed in kindness to me.

== Gyan Chand, p. 66


EYES {3,1}
GAZE: {10,12}
SKY {15,7}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Are we to consider the sphere of the sky itself in the first line-- with its highlighted qualities of revolving and 'going around', and surrounding or 'embracing'-- to be the same as the round eyeball of the 'azure eye' in the second line? It's of course an attractive idea. Alternatively, we can consider the flirtatious beloved in the second line to be a separate presence; though indeed, as Zamin and Gyan Chand observe, a blue-eyed beloved is not part of the ghazal tradition (any more than a woman with straight or blonde hair, or one with a non-microscopic mouth or waist).

Above all, however, it's the paa))e-maal that fascinates me. In the first line we have the set of round and circling entities gardish , mu;hii:t , falak ; in the second line we have ;Gamzah , chashm . All the imagery is related to round, rolling, enclosing things. Then suddenly one of these round, rolling things is made to destroy the lover-- but not by rolling over him, or by shooting into him the eyelash-'arrow' of a glance.

Rather, he is 'trampled underfoot' by a 'wink, amorous glance'. Eyes are round and rolling, and have winks and amorous glances-- but since when do they have legs and feet, for 'trampling underfoot'? The poet has thrown a spanner into the works of his own imagery here; and since he's the kind of poet he is, it can hardly have been accidental. Another classic case of this kind of disruption is {116,9}, which jarringly equips the rippling waves of the ocean [mu;hii:t] with the 'arms and legs' of a human swimmer.

Compare {400x,6}, another verse that juxtaposes a powerful eyeball and the heavenly sphere.