Ghazal 6, Verse 13x


jauhar-iijaad-e ;xa:t-e sabz hai ;xvud-biinii-e ;husn
jo nah dekhaa thaa so aa))iine me;N pinhaa;N niklaa

1) {polish-line}-invention of the line of green [down], is the self-regarding of beauty
2) what [we/he/it] had not seen, that {turned out to be / emerged from being} hidden in the mirror


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; --adj. Bright, shining, glittering'. (Platts p.399)


iijaad : 'Creation, production; invention, contrivance'. (Platts p.112)


That is, the beauty of the lines/down has become greenness and has vanished from the cheeks; he has presented this theme in such a way that the self-regard of beauty (the taste for self-display) has invented the polish-lines of the green down (thus he has called beauty a mirror).

== Zamin, p. 36

Gyan Chand:

Those lines and marks that become apparent from the scraping/polishing of a steel mirror are called the 'polish-lines' [jauhar] of the mirror. Because in the rainy season the mirror is affected by something like a greenish film, the 'polish-lines' too will become green, and in this way, willy-nilly, the reflection of greenery will begin to show in the mirror.

Since in Iran a black color is considered inauspicious, the black hairs of the beard are called 'greenery' [sabzah]. The beloved's beard has not yet emerged, but the self-regardingness of beauty is on the verge of becoming captivating through the adornments of every kind of greennesses. If beauty doesn't have its down, then so what? It has invented the down from the polish-lines in the mirror. If [someone] hadn't seen down on the face of the beloved, it turned out to be hidden in the mirror.

== Gyan Chand, p. 72


GAZE: {10,12}
JAUHAR: {5,4}
MIRROR: {8,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Here the beloved is an adolescent boy; for discussion of such verses, see {9,2}. The 'line of green' is the light dusting of the first down that is just appearing (or perhaps hasn't yet appeared) on the beloved boy's cheeks, as he reaches puberty.

Apparently the 'self-regarding of beauty' is staring obsessively at itself in the mirror, alert for the first appearance of this down. In the process, it is jauhar-iijaad of this line of green down. What exactly does this unusual compound mean? Is the 'self-regarding of beauty' inventing the line of down in some way that creates for itself an 'essence', or 'virtue', or 'defects'? (See the definition of jauhar above for these and more possibilities.) Or is it, more directly, inventing the lines of down through the 'polish-lines' in the very mirror into which it raptly gazes?

As usual in Ghalib, any of these readings could work excellently with the second line. Whatever metaphorical or literal qualities are involved in the invention of the line of down, they can all be imagined as hidden in the mirror. Beauty is so obsessively self-regarding that it wouldn't be surprising if things that it couldn't see in itself, would then be visible in its mirror. Such things could be in the mirror instead of being in the beautiful one (since the two are such close companions, as in {42,5}). Or they could be in the mirror in addition to being in the beautiful one (since the mirror itself dotes on the beautiful one, and rushes forward to embrace him/her, as in {230,4}, or opens like a giant eyeball to absorb the vision of him/her, as in {17,4}).

It's also possible to read jo nah dekhaa thaa as meaning something that someone, or people in general, 'had never before seen'-- that is, a marvel or wonder. This idiomatic usage would be comparable to kih dekhaa hii nahii;N in {14,6}.

The verse doesn't specify the importance of the line of down. We know that in the ghazal world it often signals the beginning of the end for the beautiful youth's status as a beloved: see for example {53,1}. But the present verse is so cryptically abstract that we really have no way of knowing.

For other verses about 'self-regarding', see {22,2}.