Ghazal 10, Verse 6


mirii ta((miir me;N mu.zmar hai ik .suurat ;xaraabii kii
hayuul;aa barq-e ;xirman kaa hai ;xuun-e garm dihqaa;N kaa

1) in my construction is concealed/conceived a single/particular/unique aspect of ruin

2a) the essence/origin of the lightning of the harvest is the hot blood of the farmer
2b) the hot blood of the farmer is the essence/origin of the lightning of the harvest


ta((miir : 'Building, constructing; construction, structure; rebuilding; repairing'. (Platts p.327)


mu.zmar : 'Concealed; --conceived (in the mind), imagined; understood'. (Platts p.1043)


ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)


.suurat : 'Form, fashion, figure, shape, semblance, guise; appearance, aspect; face, countenance; prospect, probability; sign, indication; external state (of a thing); state, condition (of a thing), case, predicament, circumstance; effigy, image, statue, picture, portrait; plan, sketch; mental image, idea; --species; specific character, essence; --means; mode, manner, way'. (Platts p.747)


;xaraabii : 'Ruin, destruction, desolation; badness, corruption, depravity; noxiousness, ill, evil, mischief, perdition; misery, trouble, affliction; difficulty, perplexity'. (Platts p.488)

hayuul;aa : 'Matter; first principle (of everything material); --first sketch (of a picture &c.); appearance.' (Platts1246)


;xirman : 'Harvest; heap, stack, or rick of unthreshed corn'. (Platts p.489)


That is, I'm the farmer whose enthusiasm itself works like lightning on his own harvest-- that is, it burns the harvest. (11)

== Nazm page 11


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {10}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that my body is mortal. That is, my existence is proof of my mortality.... The second line should be thought of as a commentary on the first line. (24)


[The commentator Sa'id says:] 'The farmer's hot blood is the cause of ruin. The growing of the harvest in fact is the essence of lightning-- that is, destiny itself is the cause of its oblivion. Because if the harvest had not grown, then lightning would not have fallen.' (34)


To the extent that the laborer's blood becomes warm during hard work, that very heat becomes the essence of the lightning that falls on the harvest. (62)


The phrase mirii ta((miir me;N , 'my construction,' is ambiguous. It can mean both 'formation of me' and 'formation by me.'...

The phrase barq-e ;xirman : 'the lightning that destroys the crop.' Also, perhaps, the lightning or the source of burning hidden within the crops themselves.

The blood of the farmer (hot from the labour in the fields) contains an inkling of the heat of the lightning that will eventually strike the heaped-up crops in the field and destroy the fruits of the farmer's labour. The general statement in the first line is supplied a proof in the second line. No moral judgement, however, is being made in this couplet. It is only a straightforward statement of a fact as seen by the poet. Compare the above with {120,7}, which also contains a reference to this anticipation of lightning striking gathered crops.

== Naim 1970, pp. 15-16


[See his commentary on Mir's M{39,3}.]

Owen Cornwall:

[A special commentary page on several verses.]



LIGHTNING verses: {10,6}, with a list of 'lightning on harvest' verses; {12,1}; {15,1}; {36,5}, bijlii ; {40,5x}; {60,11}; {64,7x}; {73,5x}; {81,1}; {87,5}; {108,3}; {120,7}; {123,12x}; {126,5}, bijlii ; {148,6}; {149,2}; {152,1}; {155,1}; {163,3}, .saa((iqah ; {214,7} // {258x,1}; {288x,1}, good destiny; {304x,3}

ABOUT 'lightning and harvest' verses: For more on the intimate relationship between lightning, harvest, and human desire, see {12,1}; {64,7x}; {73,5x}; {87,5}; {118,5x}; {120,7}; {155,1}, where Ghalib himself explains what 'the poet' means by the 'lightning of the harvest' // {258x,1}; {304x,3}.

In 'my construction' is 'concealed' or 'conceived', ik (a 'single', or 'only', or 'particular', or 'certain', or 'unique, singular', or even 'excellent, preeminent') .suurat -- an aspect, or shape, or form, or mode, or image (see the full definition above), of a specially predestined destruction. (Along these lines, compare the unpublished verse {1,6x}.)

Thus the hot blood of the farmer is somehow the source or essence of the lightning that strikes the harvest. Just look how the second line sets forth, with no evidence except our intuitive grasp, a vivid, intellectually alluring, somehow convincing proposition.

Anshul Ailawadi has proposed (Mar. 2013) a more particular reading: that if we take hayuulaa in the sense of 'first sketch' or 'appearance' (see the definition above), then the structure of the farmer's blood-veins, like the branching of a tree, can be taken as corresponding to the structure of the bolts of lightning.

Moreover, as Naim points out, thanks to the rich possibilities of the possessive, 'my construction' [mirii ta((miir] can mean both 'the construction of me' and 'the construction done by me', so new possibilities are opened up in this way also. (For discussion of this grammatical feature, see {41,6}.) With the first reading, the reference would be to the farmer's own hot blood; with the second reading, it would be to the fate of the harvest. Other examples of Ghalib's complex uses of ta((miir : {114,6}; {135,1} // {430x,6}.

And then, what is the relationship of the two lines? Are they parallel and mutually explanatory? Is the second a proof of the first, or a mere example used to illustrate it? And in the second line, what I call 'transitivity' also operates: is the line really talking about the lightning of the harvest, as in (2a), or about the hot blood of the farmer, as in (2b)? Ghalib has carefully arranged the verse in such a way that we are left to decide all this for ourselves.

Compare the similar view and equally complex ambiguities of {202,4}. For an even closer parallel, with comparative discussion of both verses, see especially {430x,6}. There's also a clear (if less effective) forerunner in {143,9x}.

News flash: 'Hidden in the brain-building process, some scientists now suspect, are the blueprints for the brain's demise. The way the brain is built, recent research suggests, informs how it will decline in old age.' -- Science News, July 23, 2016.