Ghazal 11, Verse 2

{11,2}*

mu;habbat thii chaman se lekin ab yih be-dimaa;Gii hai
kih mauj-e buu-e gul se naak me;N aataa hai dam meraa

1) I loved the garden-- but now, there is this [much] irritation--
2) that from/with a wave of rose-scent, {I am harassed/distressed / 'the breath comes into my nose'}

Notes:

The idiomatic use of yih conveys a sense of emphasis (GRAMMAR).

 

be-dimaa;Gii : 'Bad-temper, irritability, impatience'. (Platts p.202)

 

dimaa;G : 'The brain; head, mind, intellect; spirit; fancy, desire; airs, conceit; pride, haughtiness, arrogance... ; --the organ of smell'. (Platts p.526)


naak me;N dam aanaa : 'To be greatly worried or harassed'. (Platts p.1116)

Nazm:

Since the scent of a rose comes into the nose when a breath is drawn, it's not inappropriate to say that with the scent of a rose the breath comes into the nose. And 'for the breath to come into the nose' means to be bezaar [displeased, vexed, disgusted]. Here, the second sense is intended, and he has made an iihaam toward the first sense. (13)

== Nazm page 13

Vajid:

Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {11}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is, formerly I loved the garden. Now such hatred has been born in me that the rose-scent, which formerly used to evoke joy and happiness-- now 'my breath is in my nose' from it. From the revolving of the times, love has taken on the form of hatred. (26)

Bekhud Mohani:

I had an ardor for strolling in the garden, but now, enduring so many difficulties and remaining so unsuccessful, my heart has become so disaffected from the garden that the scent of the flowers has begun to make my mind disturbed and my breath choked. (24)

Arshi:

Compare {27,4}. (166)

FWP:

SETS == IDIOMS; MULTIVALENT WORDS ( dimaa;G )

ABOUT dimaa;G : A secondary meaning of the word dimaa;G , which normally means 'brain, head, mind,' is of course 'nose' (see the definition above). In the present verse, this adds a further fillip to the wordplay involving naak . For other examples of such 'mind/nose' wordplay see {3,13x}; {21,7}*; {27,4}; {53,8}; {228,1}. And for muu-e dimaa;G as 'nose-hair', see {42,8x}. Just to show that Ghalib doesn't always 'activate' the potential wordplay, see the straightforward use of be-dimaa;Gii in {42,11x}. A Mirian example, partially 'activated': M{1213,1}.


Perhaps the lover is irritated because of the failure of love, perhaps because of its limits even when most successful. Does the garden now vex him by its seductiveness (when he wants to lead a life of undistracted austerity), or by its sheer physicality (when he wants to move into the realm of spirit)?

In either case, Nazm has pinpointed the chief source of enjoyment in the verse: its irresistibly clever exploitation of the idiom naak me;N dam aanaa (see the definition above): if we take the expression idiomatically, a wave of rose-scent (normally a wonderful pleasure) harasses and upsets the speaker. If we take the expression literally, 'the breath comes into my nose with/from/like a wave of rose-scent'; this might be taken to mean that the speaker is so obsessed with his anti-garden hostility that it's as if he's compelled to breathe in rose-scent every time he inhales. But this literal sense is really a rather tortured reading and has no clear 'connection' to the first line. Thus the literal meaning is perhaps best taken as excellent wordplay.

Compare Mir's treatment of the theme: M{693,1}.