Ghazal 33, Verse 5

{33,5}*

sau baar band-e ((ishq se aazaad ham hu))e
par kyaa kare;N kih dil hii ((aduu hai faraa;G kaa

1) a hundred times, from the bondage of passion we became free
2) but what can/would we do? for only/emphatically the heart is an enemy of freedom/disengagement

Notes:

Nazm:

That is, when we are free, the heart again gets itself captured. (32)

== Nazm page 32

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In this verse Mirza Sahib has made emotions wear the garb of an allegory. Here by passion is meant love of the world, and by the bonds of passion is meant entrapment in that love.... That is, while living in the world a man can never be without involvement and care. (63-64)

Bekhud Mohani:

Our heart itself doesn't like to be at rest. Here we escaped from the prison of passion, and there it entrapped us again. That is, we are compelled by our temperament. This wretched temperament won't listen. (79)

FWP:

SETS == HI
BONDAGE: {1,5}

This one reminds me of the famous {233}, muddat hu))ii hai , 'it's been a while', in which the lover looks back nostalgically on old passions and prepares to plunge into the cauldron once again. This view is unusual, since normally the lover depicts himself as utterly trapped, unable to escape from his passion, like someone with his 'hand under a stone' {230,7}.

Here, the lover depicts himself as free-- and yet not free. In fact he's really kind of a 'lifer'. After all, if you're such a recidivist that you've voluntarily returned to bondage 'a hundred times', how voluntary is your choice? If your heart itself refuses to be at peace outside the 'bondage of passion', how real is your chance to escape? In this seemingly simple verse, with no obvious pyrotechnics, Ghalib nevertheless makes us wonder about the nature of 'freedom'.

Compare {42,4}.