Ghazal 16, Verse 3


galyo;N me;N merii na((sh ko khe;Nche phiro kih mai;N
jaa;N-daadah-e havaa-e sar-e rah-guzaar thaa

1) wander along through the lanes, carrying my bier, for I
2) was one who had given his life for the desire/air of the roadside


havaa : 'Air, wind, gentle gale; ... affection, favor, love, mind, desire, passionate fondness'. (Platts p.1239)


havaa means 'longing', and 'street' refers to the street of the beloved. (17)

== Nazm page 17


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {16}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

I gave up my life in the longing for the beloved's street. Now I ought to be rewarded for this unique outcome by having people wander through the streets carrying my bier. The subtlety and refinement of meaning has been created in this verse because the address of the beloved's street has not been given. [Sooner or later the bier will pass through the beloved's street, and the desire of the lover's heart will be fulfilled.] This supreme height of meaning occurs only in the poetry of Ghalib. (35)

Bekhud Mohani:

I used to die [of longing] to stroll in the street of beautiful idols. So carry my corpse through the streets. Leaving the world, I would stroll one more time through those captivating places, because now I'm going to a place from which no one returns. (39)


ROAD: {10,12}

Nazm wants to restrict the meaning of havaa to desire alone, but I don't see why. Others may seek the air of the garden, but the lover, a natural contrarian who never likes what normal people like, also devotedly seeks the air of the roadside, the urban landscape of passion, marginality, and desire. It's the city's version of the desert. Madmen and lovers wander restlessly through the streets, and drunkards often collapse by the side of the road. The notion of aavaarah phirnaa , to wander like a vagabond, is deeply embedded in the ghazal world. Here the bier-carriers are told to take the bier and wander [phirnaa] with it, letting the lover enjoy the atmosphere [aab-o-havaa] of the streets for the last time. On havaa see also {8,3}.

And, of course, one of those streets is the beloved's, so that the lover could well be said to give up his life for the air/desire of that street. Bekhud Dihlavi offers a clever idea-- that this is the lover's way of getting his bier carried through the beloved's street, while discreetly (and jealously) not telling anyone which street it is.

This is one of the 'dead lover speaks' verses; for others, see {57,1}.

Note for meter fans: In the first line, the oblique plural galiyo;N (ga-li-yo;N) is required to become galyo;N (gal-yo;N) to accommodate the meter.