Ghazal 33, Verse 4


taazah nahii;N hai nashshah-e fikr-e su;xan mujhe
tiryaakii-e qadiim huu;N duud-e chiraa;G kaa

1) it's not fresh/new, the intoxication of the thought/idea/imagination of poetry, to me
2) I'm a longtime opium-addict of the smoke of the lamp


fikr : 'Thought, consideration, reflection; deliberation, opinion, notion, idea, imagination, conceit; counsel, advice; care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, grief, sorrow'. (Platts p.783)


tiryaaq (of which tiryaak is a variant): 'Theriac (also called 'treacle'), an antidote (for poisons, snake-bites, &c.); Bezoar stone; a sovereign remedy; opium (because it is a remedy for anxiety, &c.)'. (Platts p.321)


Smoke means the thinking, and the lamp is a metaphor for radiant speech. (32)

== Nazm page 32


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {33}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that just as an opium user takes in the [specially prepared] opium [chan;Duu] by means of [lighting it with] a lamp and inhaling the smoke through a hollow reed in the style of a huqqah, in the same way I use the smoke of the lamp to attain the intoxication of thinking about poetry. The convention is that thinking about poetry, or work on poetry, is usually done at night. (63)

Bekhud Mohani:

The meaning is that night after night, all night long, I keep lighting the lamp, and spend the time in thinking about poetry. The madness of poetry didn't come over me just today. (79)



Bekhud Dihlavi's explanation works well. And the phrase tiryaakii-e qadiim is so expressive and elegant that it seems to carry the full weight of the verse. The fikr-e su;xan could refer to thinking about poetry in a general serious way, or of course to composing it. Fire is part of the essence of poetry, and the smoke of the oil lamp could well be the ultimate intoxicant.

There's also the related and enjoyable fact that 'India ink' was, and is, made from 'a variety of fine soot known as lampblack'.

For a verse about the smoke of the lamp as the dust of nighttime travel, see {54,5x}. For the smoke of the lamp as a chain/fetter silently holding the poet captive, see {361x,3}. And for thought about poetry as the 'flight of silence', while the smoke of the lamp is 'collyrium of the voice', see {435x,7}.

For another verse tiryaak verse, see {263x,3}.