Ghazal 4, Verse 9x


be-dimaa;G-e ;xajlat huu;N rashk-e imti;haa;N taa ke
ek be-kasii tujh ko ((aalam-aashnaa paayaa

1) I am impatient with/from shame; for how long an envy of testing?!
2) a single/particular/unique forlornness-- I found you world-{familiar/acquainted}!


be-dimaa;G : 'Ill-tempered, irritable, impatient, easily provoked'. (Platts p.202)


rashk : 'Envy, emulation, jealousy, grudge, spite, malice'. (Platts p.594)


taa kih : 'So that, in order that, to the end that; as long as, until, so long; --whither?'. (Platts p.303)


be-kasii : 'Forlorn state, friendlessness, destitution'. (Platts p.203)


((aalam : 'The world, the universe; men, people, creatures; regions; ... —age, period, time, season; state, condition, case, circumstances'. (Platts p.757)


Shame and embarrassment have made me impatient-- for how long will I be pleased with an envy of testing? Oh Forlornness, I have tested/experimented many times. And yourself alone I have found to be familiar/acquainted with the world.

== Asi, p. 53


That is, I have no mind to endure shame. For how long, the envy of testing?! Oh Forlornness, only/emphatically you are the kind of creature who is familiar/acquainted with the whole world-- enough, you're the one I turn to for help! Since in testing and competition envy is necessarily created, and in the case of failure it's also necessary that shame and embarrassment would be endured, the poet addresses Forlornness and says that rather than setting foot in cities and entering the field of competition and becoming prey to shame and embarrassment, it's better to dwell in the world of forlornness and solitude: {127,1}.

Another aspect of the verse is that the beloved tests the love of the Rival, causing envy to be created in the lover. But he knows that his arguing or quarreling or displeasure will have no effect on the stubborn beloved; rather, in order to make him jealous she will be even more determined in her behavior; as a result of which, he will have to endure shame. Thus he takes refuge with Forlornness, and wants to go and tell her that in the world she alone is his friend and sympathizer.

== Zamin, p. 32

Gyan Chand:

'You' refers not to the 'friendlessness', but rather to the beloved. The state [((aalam] of friendlessness is upon me, because I found you to be 'world-familiar'-- that is, you mix with everyone, you consider everyone to be a lover of the same rank, you test everyone. How long will I envy/covet this test? I am ashamed that you are free and easy [harjaa))ii] to this extent, and this shame has made me temperamental and vexed/sullen.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 67-68


TESTING: {4,4}

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}.

The first line of this verse is a tribute to the versatility of the i.zaafat construction. It is about both shame, and envy/jealousy; on the nature of rashk , see {53,4}. Here are some of the ways in which the first half of the line can be read:

=I am irritated by the shame I feel when I see such easy, widely available 'testing'
=I am irritated by the shame I feel at your all-too-promiscuous behavior
=I am irritated at the prospect of having to endure (any further) shame

And the second half of the line:

=how long will I go on seeking to be tested?
=why would I feel envy/jealousy of those who are being tested?
=why would anyone feel any desire to be tested?

Then the grammar of the second line is left a bit rough, which gives it an exclamatory feeling. A contrast is being made between ek be-kasii and the rest of the line, but what kind of contrast is it exactly? Here are some possibilities:

=it's a great friendlessness, that you have so appallingly many friends
=it's one great sense of helplessness, that you are so terribly available to a whole world of people
=it's a great forlornness, that you are so appallingly sociable and un-forlorn

There's also the possibility of making a personified 'Forlornness' into the addressee, as Asi and Zamin have outlined. Although in that case, why does the speaker make a point of describing her as ((aalam-aashnaa , and why focus on the problems of 'testing'? On this reading the 'connection' seems to become rather weak.

In any case, the mix-and-match possibilities are abundant. But the general tone seems to be grouchy and cross; perhaps the lover is muttering under his breath. Certainly he'd greatly prefer that the beloved be extremely inaccessible-- to him as well as to others-- rather than so readily accessible. Compare {112,3}, another meditation on this 'difficult' situation of 'easy' access to her.

Note for meter fans: taa ke is a special spelling of taa kih that's designed to permit the final syllable to be long, to accommodate the meter.