Ghazal 6, Verse 10x


kis qadar ;xaak hu))aa hai dil-e majnuu;N yaa rab
naqsh-e har ;zarrah suvaidaa-e bayaabaa;N niklaa

1a) to what an extent has the heart of Majnun become dust, oh Lord!
1b) to what extent has the heart of Majnun become dust, oh Lord?

2) the design/imprint/image of every sand-grain turned out to be the 'suvaida' of the desert


;xaak honaa : 'To become or be reduced to dust; to be ruined'. (Platts p.485)


naqsh : 'Painting; colouring; drawing; designing, &c.; --delineation; --embroidery; --a painting, a picture; portrait; drawing; a print; a carving, an engraving; a map, or plan (com. naqshah ); a design; --an impression; a stamp; a mark'. (Platts p.1145)

Gyan Chand:

;xaak honaa : in the idiom, this means 'to become weak/incapable'. But here the meaning of 'to turn into a dust-grain and mingle with the dust' has come in. To what an extent the heart of Majnun has mingled with the dust, such that it has become the suvaida of the heart of every sand-grain of the wilderness. A suvaida is black. Majnun's burnt heart too must be black. From the sand-grains' being the suvaida of the heart there is this interpretation too: that these sand-grains must be very dear to the desert. (71)


DESERT: {3,1}
ZARRAH: {15,12}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices.

Every sand-grain seems to be imprinted with, to be the very image of, the 'suvaida' of the desert-- the 'dark spot in the heart' of the desert. On the complexities of suvaidaa , see {3,2}.

What exactly is the connection with Majnun? Of course, Majnun lived in the desert; he in fact 'haunted' the desert, it was his 'haunt'. In a number of verses Ghalib plays with this relationship. In particular, consider {140,6}: every dwelling is honored according to the status of its dweller, and when Majnun dies the whole wilderness is left 'solitary, sad'. From here, it's not such a leap to imagine that when Majnun's heart breaks down into dust, every sand-grain with which this dust has mingled would reflect or mirror, or even itself contain, the 'dark spot in the heart' of Majnun-- and/or of the desert, since he is somehow the spirit, the 'heart', of the desert.

Or consider {214,2}, in which the whole world, 'from end to end', literally 'is' the dust of the desert/wildness/madness [va;hshat] of Majnun. If his madness can thus spread itself so powerfully and pervasively, why wouldn't every sand-grain in the desert resemble, or contain a fraction of, the 'dark spot in the heart' of someone like him, or of a desert like his?