Ghazal 27, Verse 7


nah kah kih giryah bah miqdaar-e ;hasrat-e dil hai
mirii nigaah me;N hai jam((-o-;xarj daryaa kaa

1) don't say that weeping is in proportion to the longing of the heart!
2) in my gaze is the collecting/inflow and expenditure/outflow of the sea


miqdaar : 'Measure; quantity, quantum; magnitude, size, bulk, dimension; proportion, extent; space; amount, sum'. (Platts p.1055)


;xarj :'What goes out or is expended (of a man's property, &c.), outgoings, &c.; see ;xarch , the com. form'. (Platts p.488)


That is, I myself know very well how extensive is the gathering together of the sea, that is, the longing of the heart. And how extensive its outflow, that is, tears. In short, longing is something huge, its nature can't be estimated from weeping. (29)

== Nazm page 29


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {27}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

That is, compared to the extent that I've shed tears, in my heart the longing to weep is very much greater. In comparison to the longing, so far I haven't wept at all. (57)

Bekhud Mohani:

Compare {58,6}. (128)
Compare {62,6}. (142)


Here this device is extremely captivating, because it has two meanings: (1) I understand the inflow and outflow of the sea; (2) a treasury of tears is in my gaze. And who does not know that tears are in the gaze itself? (343)


GAZE: {10,12}

The first line has the structure 'don't say that A is B to the C of D' can be read as negating several different statements. And even more cleverly and subtly, each one can be suitably read with the second line (which is so similar to the second line of {27,1}). For example:

Negating A: Don't say that it's weeping that is proportional to the longing of the heart! On the contrary-- only the lover's gaze itself is proportional to it. His gaze, full of passion and unshed tears, is as expansive and turbulent as the sea.

Negating B: Don't say that weeping is proportional to the longing of the heart! On the contrary-- the amount of weeping is much less than the amount of longing. Because of physical limitations the lover is only able to weep a certain amount, but the tears he hasn't (yet) managed to shed are so abundant that they're like the ebb and surge of the whole sea as they hover in his eyes and await their opportunity to fall.

Negating C of D: Don't say that weeping is proportional to the longing of the heart! On the contrary-- by comparison to the heart's longing, weeping is nothing at all. Why, the lover's whole supply of tears, including the unshed ones hovering in his gaze, is a mere trifle-- it's proportional only to the amount of water in the sea! And nobody could think such a puny amount of tear-water as that could possibly be proportional to the heart's longing.

This process could be continued into realms of hairsplitting subtlety, or modified in small ways, but these examples suffice to give the main idea. Where both statements are highly abstract and full of abstraction-prone nouns (weeping, longing, heart, inflow, outflow, sea), and where almost no indication is given of how to put them all together, the resulting possibilities can only be multivalent and (in the hands of a great poet) fascinating. Are the shed tears like the unshed tears in the gaze, or unlike them? Is comparison with the sea to be taken as a compliment, or an insult? As he does so often, Ghalib here too turns our minds on and doesn't give us any indication how to turn them off.

Compare {229,5}, in which the whole sea crams itself into the space of a wet eye.