Ghazal 29, Verse 10x


mu:trib-e dil ne mire taar-e nafas se ;Gaalib
saaz par rishtah pa))e na;Gmah-e bedil

1) the musician of the heart, with the thread/cord of my breath, Ghalib
2) on the instrument, bound a string by way of the melody/song of Bedil


taar : 'Thread, string; the warp or threads extended lengthwise in a loom; wire, cord, string of a musical instrument; uninterrupted series, line, continuation, succession'. (Platts p.304)


saaz : 'Apparatus; instrument, implement; harness; furniture; ornament; concord, harmony; a musical instrument'. (Platts p.625)


rishtah : 'Thread, string, line; series; connexion, relationship, kin; relation by blood or marriage; alliance, affinity'. (Platts p.593)


na;Gmah : 'A soft, sweet voice; --a musical sound or tone; --melody; song; modulation; trill, shake'. (Platts p.1144)


Oh Ghalib, the musician of my heart has, by means of the thread/string of my breath, bound a string for the melody of Bedil. That is, my heart began to sing/recite melodies in the style of Bedil. (57)


He had made a metaphor for the heart of a 'musician'; and for thought, a 'musical instrument'. That is, when I began to think about poetry, then the heart said, 'Sing a raga of Bedil's'-- that is, follow him. (40)

Gyan Chand:

Ghalib likes Bedil's style. He says, the musician of my heart prepared to sing Bedil. For this purpose, he fixed up the instrument. That is, he strung a string on the instrument. What string? My breath, which with the instrument is singing the melody of Bedil.

== Gyan Chand, p. 76


MUSIC: {10,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of SRF's choices, but I'm including it anyway because of the literary interest of its contents. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. This verse is from a different, unpublished, formally identical ghazal, {259x}, and is included for comparison. On the presentation of verses from unpublished ghazals like this one along with formally identical divan ghazals, see {145,5x}.

The verse makes use of enjambment-- that is, the grammatical structure unifies both lines into a single utterance. While the majority of ghazal verses have end-stopped lines, enjambment is found in a significant minority.

On the subtleties of nafas , see {15,6}. The wordplay of musical terms is obvious. For the 'musician of the heart' to make from Ghalib's breath a string for a 'heart-less' [bedil] melody is also enjoyable, though undoubtedly the primary reference is to the poet Bedil, whom the young Ghalib greatly admired. ('Heart-less' is hyphenated to remind us that it's not the usual English 'heartless' meaning cruel, but 'heart-less' the way a lover is when he has given away his heart to the beloved.)