Ghazal 14, Verse 1


bazm-e shaahinshaah me;N ash((aar kaa daftar khulaa
rakhyo yaa rab yih dar-e ganjiinah-e gauhar khulaa

1) in the King's gathering a register/office of verses opened
2) please keep, oh Lord, this door of a treasury of pearls opened


daftar : 'A roll, scroll, list; an index; a bundle of papers or written documents tied together in a cloth; a record, register, journal, book, volume, account-book ... archives; a record-office; an office, counting-house, place of business:'. (Platts p.519)


rakhyo is a metrically compressed form of rakhiyo , the future imperative for tuu (GRAMMAR)


In this verse is the suggestion that if the king's gathering is a treasure of pearls, then only because my office of verses has opened there. And this prayer...means keep it flourishing and keep its generosity flowing. (14)

== Nazm page 14


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {14}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In the Exalted [Red] Fort on various occasions mushairahs often used to be held. They were especially common in the later days of the time of the Shadow of God, Bahadur Shah. In this connection, he says that in the Shahinshah's poetic gathering the sequence of mushairahs has started again. (28-29)

Bekhud Mohani:

If we keep in mind the fact that in Bahadur Shah's time the kingship was declining, it occurs to us that Mirza was seeing the signs that the kingship would be erased; for this reason, in those days, the King's being inclined toward poetry and his holding mushairahs in the Exalted [Red] Fort must have seemed very much worthy of respect. And this prayer must have come from the heart, because he saw all these things as vanishing with the kingship. (29)



The 'treasury of pearls' could be Ghalib's own poetic imagination, producing new gems for the King's gathering. It could also be the rewards that the king offers to poets. Or it could be the valuable verses contained in the King's 'registry' or 'office'. The use of 'this door' of course works well with any reading.

This opening-verse is followed by a second opening-verse, {14,2}, that seems to embed the royal gathering in a radiant, star-spangled evening.