Ghazal 4, Verse 12x


fikr-e naalah me;N goyaa ;halqah huu;N z sar taa paa
((u.zv ((u.zv juu;N zanjiir yak-dil-e .sadaa paayaa

1) In the thought/anxiety of lamentation, I am, {speaking / 'so to speak'}, a circle/link from head to foot
2) every limb, like a chain/fetter, I found [to be] {unanimous / 'single-hearted'} of voice/sound


z is short for az , to accommodate the meter.


((u.zv : 'A limb, member, joint, organ (of the body)'. (Platts p.762)


.sadaa : 'Echo; sound, noise; voice, tone, cry, call'. (Platts p.743)


In the thought/anxiety of lamentation I have become, so to speak, a circle from head to foot. And like a chain/fetter, every one of my limbs is single-hearted and single-tongued to give voice. (54)


He says that in order to draw forth laments, all my limbs have become single-hearted and single-tongued like the links of chains/fetters, and in this thought/anxiety my head has met my feet so that I have become a circle. The rule is that in a state of thought/anxiety, the head is placed on the knees. (33)

Gyan Chand:

To be yak-dil is to be agreed. All the links of a chain come together and make noise. All the limbs of my body too become 'single-hearted' and make a voice/sound [aavaaz]. As if [goyaa] I am, in the thought/anxiety of lamentation, from my head to my feet a link of a chain.

== Gyan Chand, p. 69


BONDAGE: {1,5}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

This is consummately a verse of wordplay. There are body parts: 'head to foot', 'limb', 'limb', 'heart'; the final paayaa also contains another 'foot' [paa]. There's also the expressive interplay of 'thought', 'lamentation' (which involves both thought and speaking), 'speaking', and 'voice'. On the subtleties of goyaa , see {5,1}. On the possibilities of yak expressions, see {11,1}.

The speaker is 'bent out of shape' (sorry, sorry) by melancholy; he is contorted, 'from head to foot' into a 'circle' or 'link'. In addition, each limb is like a link (of a chain or fetter). Thus his limbs clank and clash together, making a sound of lamentation. They are all unanimous in making the sound, and/or they all make exactly the same sound. Is it a 'voice', as if they were expressing a human lament, or is it just a 'sound', like a groan? The verse leaves it up to us to decide.