Ghazal 12, Verse 4x


nigaah-e chashm-e ;haasid vaam le ai ;zauq-e ;xvud-biinii
tamaashaa))ii huu;N va;hdat-;xaanah-e aa))iinah-e dil kaa

1a) borrow the gaze of the envier's/envious eye, oh Relish of/for self-regardingness!
1b) let the gaze of the envier's/envious eye take on debt, oh Relish of/for self-regardingness!

2) I am a spectator of the {oneness/solitariness}-chamber of the mirror of the heart


vaam : 'Debt; loan; —credit; —lending; —borrowing'. (Platts p.1177)


va;hdat : 'The being single, or alone, or solitary; --unity, oneness; --solitariness'. (Platts p.1183)


'Oh my relish for self-regardingness, borrow the eye of some envious person! Because an envious person can't even see anything except himself. In this way my relish for self-regardingness will become complete, because nowadays I am taking a stroll through the oneness-chamber of the mirror of the heart.'

== Asi, p. 64


Through self-regardingness, knowledge of the Lord is obtained; the heart is called the chamber of the Lord. That same chamber of the Lord, that same chamber of oneness-- but Ghalib feels envy/jealousy of his own regard for the Lord. In order to bring this envy/jealousy to the highest level, he demands the loan of an envier's gaze, so that the dominance of regard for the Lord would refrain from self-regard. He says that 'Where You are, how can there be another, so why would I be there?'. The result is that he would cause himself to forget his own existence, and attain 'oblivion in God'.

== Zamin, p. 59

Gyan Chand:

The eye of an envious person has two special qualities. The first is that it is very narrow. The second is that besides itself it doesn't want even to see anybody else. I have an ardor for self-regardingness, but not this limited kind of self-regardingness-- rather, I have to be a spectator of the oneness-chamber of my own heart.

For this, if the envious person's eye would be borrowed, then on the one hand it would become certain that instead of wandering outside this way and that way, it will remain fixed in the direction of my own essence. The second [advantage] is that because of its narrowness, in the heart it will be able to see only one thing; it won't become disturbed by multiplicity, or cast only one glance on each single point. Thus in the heart there will be power to see the glory/appearance of oneness alone! (96)

== Gyan Chand, p. 96


EYES {3,1}
MIRROR: {8,3}
TAMASHA: {8,1}

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}.

The commentators elaborate (1a), taking vaam le as a command given to the 'Relish of/for self-regardingness'. This works well, by invoking the laser-like focus of the 'envier's gaze'. The obsessive, fixed 'envier's gaze' should or would then be turned inward, toward the mysteries of the self.

I want to add to the repertoire of possibilities (1b), which takes vaam le as a future subjunctive. Let the envious person's eye be the one to 'borrow' from, or take on 'debt' to (see the definition above), external sights-- that's a kind of folly that you, oh Relish of/for self-regardingness, should reject. The envious gaze is always fixed outside itself, on something the gazer does not have but passionately desires. Thus the envious gaze is 'indebted' or 'beholden' to outside reality. Much superior is the inward gaze that is fixed on one's own 'mirror of the heart' (on the heart as mirror see {128,1}). This vision of radical independence is advocated by a whole series of Ghalib's verses that condemn all forms of borrowing or dependence, and urge the use of one's own resources, even if inferior; for more on such verses, see {9,1}.

On either reading, the speaker is a spectator of the 'oneness/solitariness'-chamber of the heart. He looks always inward, never outward. Perhaps he sees a mystical 'Oneness' like that of God. Perhaps he simply sees his own aloneness, his own uniqueness, or his own particular doom (remember {10,6}). But whatever he sees, it's all his, and his own self-regardingness is never to be jeopardized by even the smallest hint of attention to any other visual spectacle.

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