Ghazal 15, Verse 5


yaa;N sar-e pur-shor be-;xvaabii se thaa diivaar-juu
vaa;N vuh farq-e naaz ma;hv-e baalish-e kam;xvaab thaa

1) here, the tumult-filled head, out of sleeplessness, was seeking a wall
2) there, that summit of coquetry was absorbed in a brocaded-silk pillow


shor : 'Din, clamour, uproar, tumult, disturbance... very bitter; --unlucky'. (Platts p.736)


farq : 'Separation, intervening space, interval; distance; division, partition; interruption; disperson; distinction, difference; ...the head; top, summit'. (Platts p.779)


kam-;xvaab : 'Silk or satin worked with gold or silver flowers, brocade'. (Platts p.848)


That is, because sleep didn't come, my head was searching for a wall, and I wanted to beat my head against it. (16)

== Nazm page 16


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {15}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Mirza Sahib prefers smashing his head against a wall and dying, compared to waking up in his condition of separation [farqat]. (32)


For 'the sleep of peace' [;xvaab-e raa;hat] he searched out a good rhyme-word as well, ;xvaab. For the expression of comparison, in every verse to juxtapose the equipment for grief and repose is also worthy of praise. Then, there's the pleasure that in this comparison the similes too are very appropriate. (69)



This verse is another part of a sort of quasi-'verse-set' that begins with {15,2}.

The wordplay with farq is cleverly left implicit: the word here refers to the beloved (or more literally perhaps to her head) as the 'summit' of coquetry, but its far more common meaning is the 'separation' that drives the lover toward suicide (see the definition above).

In addition, the lover's be-;xvaabii or sleeplessness is juxtaposed to the beloved's pillow of kam;xvaab ('kincob', thoroughly explained in Hobson-Jobson), an elegant fabric made of silk brocaded with flowers in gold or silver. As a fringe benefit (like the fringe on a fancy pillow, of course), the literal meaning of kam-;xvaab (though not the etymological source of the name) is 'little-sleep,' which resonates beautifully with the 'sleeplessness' of the lover.

It's the sleepless lover's head that's in search of a wall; he longs to smash his head against a wall and thus attain at least unconsciousness, if not death. And the literal 'summit of coquetry,' the beloved's own head, lies unconscious, deeply asleep, having sunk itself luxuriously into its brocaded ('little-sleep') pillow. This is a verse of gorgeously interlocked wordplay.