Ghazal 12, Verse 1


saraapaa rahn-e ((ishq-o-naa-guziir-e ulfat-e hastii
((ibaadat barq kii kartaa huu;N aur afsos ;haa.sil kaa

1) entirely pledged/mortgaged to passion-- and helpless against the intimacy/affection of life
2) I worship lightning-- and regret/lament the harvest/result


rahn : 'Pledging, pawning; a thing deposited as a pledge, a pledge, a pawn; a mortgage, a sum lent on mortgage'. (Platts p.610)


naa-guziir : 'Remediless, helpless; irremediable, unavoidable'. (Platts p.910)


ulfat : 'Familiarity, intimacy; attachment, affection, friendship'. (Platts p.76)


afsos karnaa : 'To feel regret, sorrow, &c., to regret; to grieve, sorrow, or sigh (for, or because of), to lament, bemoan; to take to heart; to express sorrow or regret (for); to feel or to express pity (for)'. (Platts p.62)


;haa.sil : 'Product, produce, outcome, what is cleared, what remains (of anything), result, issue, ultimate consequence; inference, deduction, corollary; produce or net produce (of land, or of anything that is a source of revenue), revenue; —acquiring, acquisition, advantage, profit, gain, good; sum, sum and substance, substance, purport, import, object'. (Platts p.473)


In this verse he has given for passion the simile of lightning, and for existence the simile of the harvest. He says, I am pledged to passion, and also my life is dear to me. My duality is as if some fire-worshiper would worship lightning, and also regret the burning of the harvest. In the first line the verb, 'am' [huu;N], is omitted. (13)

== Nazm page 13


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {12}

Bekhud Mohani:

The loftiness of my nature has inclined me toward passion, which claims to provide the oblivion of existence. But love of life too is a part of human nature. My case is that of someone who would consider lightning to be an object of worship, and would also wring his hands at the burning of the harvest. That is, my nature permits me neither to renounce passion, nor to renounce the love of life. Alas, that the Maker made me a union of opposites, and thus placed me in such a difficulty! (24-25)


And this is the form that I want [to clarify the second line]: ta((alluq barq se ho aur ho afsos ;haa.sil kaa [there would be a relationship with lightning, and there would be regret for the harvest]. I haven't been able to understand the word 'worship' [((ibaadat]. (125)



The first line describes the speaker's helplessly paradoxical double allegiance: he feels two entirely incompatible loyalties.

Then in the second line, the nature of his dilemma is explained, or at least illustrated. The speaker either worships lightning, but still grieves for the 'harvest, produce' that is destroyed by its fire; or else he worships lightning, and yet regrets the (more general) 'outcome, result' of his worship. The word ;haa.sil has both generalized positive meanings ('profit, gain'), and abstract and neutral ones ('outcome, corollary, result'); it also specifically refers to the 'produce of land' (see the wide-ranging definition above) in a way most convenient for the present verse, with its evocation of crop-destroying lightning.

For the classic verse about the intimate relationship among lightning, harvest, and human desire, see {10,6}. And in {155,1}, Ghalib himself explains the 'lightning of the harvest'.

For another, more complex, exploration of the vocabulary of 'pledging', see {228,10}.