Ghazal 40, Verse 3x


.zu((f-e junuu;N ko vaqt-e tapish dar bhii duur thaa
ik ghar me;N mu;xta.sar-saa bayaabaa;N .zaruur thaa

1) to the weakness of madness, in the time of agitation/distress/'heat', even/also the door was far away

2a) in the house, there was certainly a single/particular/unique compressed-ish desert
2b) in the house, a single/particular/unique compressed-ish desert was necessary


tapish : 'Heat, warmth; distress (esp. that caused by heat); affliction; agitation; palpitation'. (Platts p.309)


ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)


mu;xta.sar : 'Abridged, curtailed, abbreviated, contracted; concise; small'. (Platts p.1011)


.zaruur : 'Necessary, needful, requisite, expedient; urgent; unavoidable, indispensable, essential, imperative, &c.; --urgently; certainly, assuredly, of course; without fail; absolutely; peremptorily'. (Platts p.749)


For the weakness of my madness, at the time of 'heat', even the door seemed far away; thus it was necessary that there would have been a desert within the house as well.

== Asi, pp. 65-66


There was madness, and weakness as well. Madness wanted him to go out and roll around in the desert; weakness didn't permit him to go even as far as the door. Feeling anxious, he says, 'If only the house itself were a smallish desert, so that we could fulfill our ardor for desert-wandering!'

In the construction of this verse there are two flaws. Through 'the weakness of madness' the mind is drawn toward a deficiency/lack of madness, although the poet's intention is to express both situations, not that weakness would win out. Then, in the second line there ought to have been ghar me;N ek mu;xta.sar-saa bayaabaa;N .zaruur thaa , but the meter didn't permit this, and there was convolutedness in the structure.

== Zamin, p. 61

Gyan Chand:

The claim of the restlessness of madness was that one would run off into the wilderness and move around there. But the state of weakness was such that it seemed difficult to go even as far as the door. It was necessary [.zaruurii] that right inside the house there would be a smallish desert where in the time of agitation one would have moved around!

By this the poet does not mean that if because of weakness he couldn't go even up to the doorway, then in some manner he can contrive a desert in the midst of the house. Perhaps it might be that it's not for movement that he needs the desert; rather, only for desolation and solitariness, so that madness would be able to have a familiar atmosphere.

== Gyan Chand, p. 99


DESERT: {3,1}
HOME: {14,9}
MADNESS: {14,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

What an enjoyable, truly Ghalibian verse, and how remarkable that it wasn't chosen for the published divan! That second line, so simple in appearance, turns out to be astonishing in its complexity. Part of the work is done by ik , with its range of meaning from the belittling to the admiring (see the definition above). For is a 'compressed-ish' desert merely a pallid, inferior imitation of a desert, or something more intense and powerful than a normal desert?). Compare the ambivalent juxtaposition of 'house' and 'desert' in the brilliant {35,8}.

But an even more elaborate part of the work is done by .zaruur , which (as the definition above reminds us) has not only the adverbial meaning ('certainly, necessarily') that we first think of nowadays (2a), but also the adjectival meaning ('necessary, indispensable') for which nowadays we'd use .zaruurii (2b). So it's possible to read either 'a desert was certainly there', or else-- if we read .zaruur as equivalent to .zaruurii -- 'a desert was necessary' (and may or may not have been there).

And since the speaker is in the grip of a (physical?) 'weakness of madness', we can't be sure whether the 'heat' that oppresses his disordered mind, and that makes the door seem 'far away', has any real relation to any 'desert' at all.