Ghazal 4, Verse 4


saadagii-o-purkaarii be-;xvudii-o-hushyaarii
;husn ko ta;Gaaful me;N jur))at-aazmaa paayaa

1) artlessness and skilfulness, self-lessness and awareness
2) I found beauty, in negligence/heedlessness, [to be] courage-testing


saadagii : 'Plainness, absence of ornament; artlessness, simplicity, openness, frankness, sincerity, purity'. (Platts p.623)


purkaar : 'Skilful, efficient, full of workmanship, well-executed'. (Platts p.234)


be-;xvudii : 'The being beside one's self, alienation of mind, ecstasy, transport, rapture; senselessness, insensibility, stupefaction, delirium'. (Platts p.202)


hushyaarii : 'Intelligent, prudent; acquainted; well-informed; sensible; knowing; --mindful, cautious, alert, watchful, vigilant, on (one's) guard; awake; conscious; in (one's) senses'. (Platts p.1230)


ta;Gaaful : 'Unmindfulness, heedlessness, forgetfulness, neglect, negligence, inattention, inadvertence, indifference, listlessness'. (Platts p.328)


That is, the beautiful ones' ignoring the lover, and showing ignorance of his situation, is only in order to see the lover's heart and to test his courage. In reality, it's cleverness and awareness, and outwardly it's artlessness and ignorance.

== Nazm page 4


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {4}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that in order to see the lover's heart, the beloved feigns artlessness; and in reality this artlessness is special cleverness and even trickery. The placing of the words is beyond praise. (13)

Bekhud Mohani:

The negligence of the beautiful ones is in order to see the lovers' hearts. That is, they want to test whether the lovers consider them naive and simple, and gather their courage for insolence. When it's thus, then how is it artlessness? It's awareness! (8)


BEKHUDI: {21,6}

TESTING verses == {4,4}; {4,9x}; {4,16x}; {21,4}; {22,7}; {22,8}; {25,4}; {26,3}; {43,2}; {48,5}; {60,7}; {91,1}; {100,9}; {104,2}; {115,6}; {129,6x}; {175,1}; {204}, all verses; {234,5}

'LIST' verses: By giving us in the first line four abstract qualities, devoid of verbs, connected as simply as possible (A and B, C and D), Ghalib invites-- and by this indecideability also compels-- a multitude of readings. For after all, the 'and' can be a sign of genuine linking (A and B have common qualities); or of opposition and contrast (A-- and on the other hand, B); or of some kind of surprise or paradox (A-- and B!). Since none of the four qualities are specifically assigned to either the beloved or the lover, the possible mathematical permutations become remarkable, and make this one of the richest 'meaning-generators' in the whole divan. (The first line also provides a nice internal rhyme.) For other examples of such deceptively simple-looking, extremely versatile 'list' constructions, see {2,1}; {33,7}; {51,8x}; {53,5}; {68,6x}; {71,2}; {71,3}; {77,3}; {97,10}; {115,2}, a list of negated items; {206,4}; {228,10}; {230,7}. Some 'list' lines, however, are easier to decode; see for example {169,5} or {230,5}.  Yashowanto Ghosh points out (May 2014) that {49,5} has a list in the second line, and sure enough the effect is quite different. Compare also the group of 'I and' verses listed on the SETS page.

For the present verse, some of the possible readings of the first line have been spelled out below; there could perhaps be even more. I've rendered be-xvudii as 'self-lessness', as a reminder that it's not the same as the usual 'selflessness' in the sense of 'unselfishness', but is to be taken quite literally as a state of being outside oneself.

=artlessness and cleverness, self-lessness and awareness-- [all present at once!]
=[her] artlessness and cleverness, [her] self-lessness and awareness!
=[my] artlessness and [her] cleverness, [my] self-lessness and [her] awareness!
=[her] artlessness and [my] cleverness, [her] self-lessness and [my] awareness!
=[her] artlessness and cleverness, [my] self-lessness and awareness!
='artlessness'-- and cleverness! 'self-lessness'-- and awareness!

Is her show of 'negligence' just a clever tactical maneuver? Or does her beauty and 'negligence' itself test my courage, so that I have to be capable and alert to endure it? And aren't those particular four words excellently selected and placed to generate multivalent, and ambivalent, meanings?

For an instance in which beloveds are saadah purkaar , see {108,8}.

Note for meter fans: The word jur))at is pronounced, and scanned, as jur-))at, long-long (since the alif is really only a chair for the hamzah , which counts as a consonant. So remember, even if nowadays it sometimes gets only a tiny hamzah and thus looks like juraat (ju-raa-t, short-long-short), it's not. There ought in principle to be a hamzah there. More examples: {35,6}, {188,2}.

Another note for meter fans: The first line sounds much too 'thumping' and repetitive when recited. I think it's because of the way the word divisions follow and emphasize the foot divisions.

Compare Mir's equally clever juxtaposing of attributes in M{96,7}.