Ghazal 5, Verse 4


((ar.z kiije jauhar-e andeshah kii garmii kahaa;N
kuchh ;xayaal aayaa thaa va;hshat kaa kih .sa;hraa jal gayaa

1a) how would the heat/fervor of the temper of thought/doubt be conveyed/expressed?
1b) where would the heat/fervor of the temper of thought/doubt be conveyed/displayed?
1c) as if the heat/fervor of the temper of thought/doubt would be conveyed/expressed!

2) somewhat of a thought of wildness had just come-- when the desert burned up


((ar.z : from an Arabic root meaning 'to show the breadth'. 'Presenting or representing'; also, 'breadth, width' (Platts p.760).


kiije is an archaic form of kiyaa jaa))e ; GRAMMAR.


jauhar : 'A gem, jewel; a pearl; essence, matter, substance, constituent, material part (opp. to accident), absolute or essential property; skill, knowledge, accomplishment, art; excellence, worth, merit, virtue; secret nature; defects, vices; --the diversified wavy marks, streaks, or grain of a well-tempered sword'. (Platts p.399)


andeshah : 'Thought, consideration, meditation, reflection; solicitude, anxiety, concern...; doubt, misgiving, suspicion; apprehension, dread, fear'. (Platts p.91)


garmii : 'Heat, warmth; ... fervour, fervency, ardour; activity ... fieriness, vehemence; passion, rage, anger, excitement; attachment, warm affection; sexual passion, lust'. (Platts p.905)


va;hshat : 'A desert, solitude, dreary place; --loneliness, solitariness, dreariness; ...wildness, fierceness, ferocity, savageness; ... distraction, madness' (Platts p.1183)


.sa;hraa : 'A desert, waste, wilderness; a jungle, forest; a plain' (Platts p.743)


jalnaa : 'To burn; to be burnt; to be on fire; to be kindled, be lighted; to be scorched, be singed; to be inflamed, to be consumed; to be touched, moved, or affected (with pity, &c.); to feel pain, sorrow, anguish, &c.; to burn or be consumed with love, or jealousy, or envy, &c.; to take amiss, be offended, be indignant; to get into a passion, be enraged, to rage'. (Platts p.387)


jal jaanaa : '(intens.) To be burnt up, be consumed (with, - se )'. (Platts p.387)


That is, how is it possible for me to manifest the heat of my temperament-- I just had a little thought of wandering in the desert, when the desert caught fire. And this exaggeration is contrary to custom-- that there should be such heat in the temperament that anything that is thought of would burn up. People consider ((ar.z to be a word for the .zil((a of jauhar , although in an affinity with jauhar , ((ar.z has 'movingness' [ta;hriik], not 'stillness' [sukuun]. (6)

== Nazm page 6

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, where might I go to utter the heat of my turbulent themes? I had thought that I could leave the city and utter it in the jungle. The moment a thought of madness occurred, fire burst out in the jungle. Mirza Sahib's goal in this utterance is: seeing the numerousness of those without understanding, it's as if my inner self wants to write melting verse, but cannot do so, and cannot see the fullest possible extent of the high-flyingnesses of its thought. That is, I hesitate to express accomplishment before those without understanding. (15)

Bekhud Mohani:

It is quite impossible that I would be able to express the heat of my temper of thought. Because I had hardly formed the thought of renouncing the world, when the heart-attraction of the world began to look contemptible. That is, renunciation of the world is no large matter; it's done in the time it takes to form the thought in the heart. (10)


DESERT: {3,1}

JAUHAR verses: The word jauhar is remarkably versatile; see the definition above. Ghalib most often-- though by no means always-- applies the term to the polish-marks on a metal mirror (think of its being scrubbed with steel wool). Some examples of Ghalibian usage: {1,7x}, eyelashes; {5,4}, thought; {6,13x}, down on the cheek; {16,4}, sword-blade; {16,7x}, mirror-chamber; {17,4}, eyelashes; {23,4x}, net; {29,2}, mirror; {34,2}, mirror, with Ghalib's own commentary; {42,9x}, mirror; {56,2}, mirror; {57,5}, cruelty; {73,1}, cheek; {88,6x}, showing them on sword-blade; {105,3x}, steel; {113,6}, dust-motes; {113,10x}*, ants; {120,6}, iron; {128,2x}, mirror; {166,6x}, mirror; {217,2} is particularly concerned with the tempering of a sword // {321x,7}, mirror; {408x,6}, mirror.

The pattern of mutual echoes and affinities among the four words defined above is simply astonishingly rich.

{How / where / as if!}
would be {spread out / presented}
the {heat / fervor / anger / lust} of
the {essence / accomplishment / well-temperedness}
of {reflection / thought / doubt}?!
At the merest thought of {madness / wildness / desert},
the {desert / wilderness}
became {burned / moved / anguished / envious, jealous / passionate / enraged}

A word like 'convey', which similarly evokes both heat and thought, is a small reminder of the complex, uncapturable wordplay-- and meaning-play-- of the original. Really, you can mix and match the possibilities until the verse is about either rationality and thought, or irrationality and emotion, or anything in between.

And what sort of 'thought' was it that happened to come to the speaker? Merely kuchh ;xayaal , just a bit of a thought. But it could have been: 1) a first step toward yielding to madness in his own mind; 2) a fearful thought of the danger that madness might overtake him; 3) a desire to express the heat of andeshah somewhere-- say, in the wilderness; 4) a concern about the fate of the wilderness, if anyone ever unleashed the power of andeshah in it. Any or all of these are possible, and so many others besides. This verse is a 'meaning machine' if there ever was one, though it is based partly on multivalent individual words, and not just on cleverness with the grammar.

This verse belongs to the 'snide remarks about the natural world' set; for others, see {4,8x}.

Compare {57,5}, which also uses both ((ar.z and jauhar . And there's {141,6}, which also complains of the limited space available to va;hshat in merely the whole world. Then, {214,15x} invokes both the ((ar.z of tears and the vulnerability of the desert. Compare also {241x,1}, in which the desert is threatened with 'compression'. And there's also {307x,6}, which meditates on both ((ar.z and jauhar-e andeshah .

Compare Mir's take on the natural world's vulnerability in the face of human passion-- he imagines it as accidentally drowned: M{100,1}. And on the world's inadequacy to the expansive scope of human needs, see M{1219,7}.