Ghazal 16, Verse 6x


kis kaa ;xayaal aa))inah-e inti:zaar thaa
har barg-e gul ke parde me;N dil be-qaraar thaa

1) {whose thought / the thought of whom} was a mirror of waiting?
2) in the veil/pardah of every rose-leaf, a heart was restless


pardah : 'A curtain, screen, cover, veil, anything which acts as a screen, a wall, hangings, tapestry; ... secrecy, privacy, modesty; seclusion, concealment; secret, mystery, reticence, reserve; screen, shelter, pretext, pretence'. (Platts p.246)


For the rose, thought about whom had become a mirror of waiting-- such that in the veil of every rose-leaf there seemed to be a restless heart? The movement of the rose-leaves has been called a restless heart. It's an extremely subtle verse.

== Asi, p. 63


'Whose' is a rhetorical question-- that is, the beloved's. He says that 'Memory of the beloved was mirroring my restless heart, in the state of waiting, in such a way that it had made every rose-leaf into a mirror'. The point is that the thought of the beloved so dominated me that with the sight of every single rose-leaf her memory became fresh, and my heart became restless.

== Zamin, p. 57

Gyan Chand:

The petal/leaf of a flower is clear and pellucid like a mirror; for this reason, he has called it a mirror in which the reflection of waiting is clearly seen. A flower quivers with the breeze; for this reason, he has called its heart restless. He says that the flower seems to be a lover of some beautiful one. It is waiting for her to arrive in the garden. From looking at it, it is clearly apparent that it's standing there waiting for someone: every petal of the flower is a restless heart. The poet's opinion is that his beloved is very much more heart-attracting than a flower; thus the flower too writhes in its passion for her!

== Gyan Chand, pp. 92-93


MIRROR: {8,3}
VEIL: {6,1}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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 divan version of this ghazal has no opening-verse; when the ghazal was originally composed, the present verse was its opening-verse.

There's a kind of 'elegance in assigning a cause' at the heart of this verse. We had always thought that rose-leaves trembled because the breeze blew on them, but we were wrong. In fact, the rose-leaves tremble because each one is a 'mirror of waiting'. Each one reflects the behavior of someone who is anxiously waiting: it trembles and quivers in nervous distress, as if unable to endure the prolongued suspense. Behind or within the modest 'veil' of every leaf is thus a 'restless heart'.

But who is being waited for, and by whom? On the grammar of 'whose thought' vs. 'the thought of whom', see {41,6}. Either someone's own thoughts are a 'mirror of waiting' (and who might that someone be, whose thoughts are refracted through every single rose-leaf?), or else the very thought of someone-- some beloved, of course-- is a 'mirror of waiting' that evokes the kind of anxiety and impatience that the quivering rose-leaves reflect.

For structural parallels ( inshaa))iyah first line, similar second line), compare {16,7x}; {210,4}; {228,7}.