Ghazal 42, Verse 7x

{42,7x}

;xvud-parastii se rahe baa-ham-digar naa-aashnaa
bekasii merii shariik aa))iinah teraa aashnaa

1) through self-conceit, we remained non-friends with each other
2) my forlornness/friendlessness-- a partner/ally/friend; the mirror-- your friend/acquaintance

Notes:

;xvud-parastii : 'Doggedness in one's own opinion; self-sufficiency; self-conceit; self-indulgence'. (Platts p.495)

 

bekasii : 'Forlorn state, friendlessness, destitution'. (Platts p.203)

 

shariik : 'Sharer, participator, partaker (with); a partner, co-partner, an associate, a colleague, comrade, ally, a confederate, an accomplice, accessory; a member (of a community); a friend'. (Platts p.727)

 

aashnaa : 'Acquaintance; friend; associate; intimate friend, familiar; lover, sweetheart; paramour; mistress, concubine; --adj. Acquainted (with, - se ), knowing, known; attached (to), fond (of)'. (Platts p.57)

Asi:

We both, because of self-conceit, were not able to become friends with each other. The sharer in my condition remained forlornness, because I remained self-conceited; and you remained ready to die for the mirror, because you remained self-regarding. The gist is that self-regard created this separation. (68)

Zamin:

Within me, within you, friendship was not able to exist. You remained absorbed in the mirror, and I always lamented my forlornness. You had the arrogance of beauty, and I had a self-centered view. Neither did you take a step in my direction, nor did I, toward you. Both mutually remained non-friends.

Gyan Chand:

We two remained lost in our individual beings, thus we could not become familiar with each other. I had only forlornness. The meaning of forlornness is not to belong to anyone else. When there won't be any other sympathizer, then one's whole attention will remain fixed on his own individual being. You always remained absorbed in mirror-gazing, and this is exactly self-regard. In this way we both remained far from each other.

== Gyan Chand, pp.103-04

FWP:

SETS
MIRROR: {8,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

This was the original opening-verse of the ghazal, though it was not selected for publication in the divan.

The speaker's 'partner, ally, confederate' was 'forlornness'-- or more piquantly, his 'friend' was 'friendlessness'. (See the definitions above.) What does it mean to have 'friendlessness' as one's (only) friend? This is an enjoyably paradoxical problem that Ghalib has posed for us to think about. But then, what does it mean for one's (only?) 'friend' to be a polished metal object like a mirror? Is the beloved really that much better off than the lover? She's as fetishistically absorbed in her beauty, as he is in his misery.

The first line diagnoses them both as self-absorbed and solipsistic. Is the lover as proud of his suffering, as the beloved is of her beauty? Does his cult of suffering prevent him from seeing her, as surely as her absorption in the mirror prevents her from seeing him? The lover seems to embrace his own lover-like sufferings, to the point of (culpable?) self-regard or self-conceit.

But of course, he's located all this in the past, so perhaps he's now seen the error of his ways. And he's explaining to her the error of her ways, too. (But is she really listening?)

Compare this verse with its more fortunate, published cousin, {42,5}; and with its companion in rejection, {42,11x}.