Ghazal 46, Verse 2


raat din gardish me;N hai;N saat aasmaa;N
ho rahegaa kuchh nah kuchh ghabraa))e;N kyaa

1) night and day they're in [a state of] revolving/turning, the seven heavens
2) something or other will end up happening-- why would/should we be perturbed/agitated?


gardish : 'Going round, turning round, revolution; circulation; roll; course; period; turn, change; vicissitude; reversion; --adverse fortune, adversity; --wandering about, vagrancy'. (Platts p.903)


ghabraanaa : 'To be confused, confounded, flurried, or flustered (by, or in consequence of, -se); to be perplexed, bewildered, or embarrassed (by); to be perturbed, disturbed in mind, agitated, disquieted, distracted; to be alarmed, scared, dismayed'. (Platts p.930)


[1854, to Aram:] Here a major sickness is spreading, and is it any ordinary sickness? The fevers are variegated, usually recurrent. That is, if in a house there are ten people, then six will be sick, and four healthy. And if among those six three will get better, then those four [healthy ones] will fall ill. Up till today, the outcome was good. Now people have begun to die. A poisonousness has developed in the air. It's a story like this: {46,2}. (Arshi 188-89)

==Urdu text: Khaliq Anjum vol. 3, pp. 1153-54
==another trans.: Russell and Islam, p. 107


[c.1859, to Mirza Rahim Beg:] I've already said that I have no relish for spectacles, nor any respite from a host of physical ills and spiritual griefs. If formerly I had a courage that had not been defeated, and a hope for help from the Unseen, now this Urdu verse of mine is constantly on the tip of my tongue, and with this habit I constantly give voice to my sighs: {46,2}.

Now that the heart despairs of an improvement in my condition and of the achievement of my purposes, my temperament is well acquainted with the chanting [tarannum] of this verse from the same ghazal: {46,6}. (Arshi 189)

==Urdu text: Khaliq Anjum vol. 4, p. 1480
==another trans.: Russell and Islam, p. 211
==another trans.: Daud Rahbar, p. 260


It is an encouragement toward acceptance of God's will. (42)

== Nazm page 42


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {46}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In this verse is a high degree of acceptance of God's will. He says, the seven heavens night and day are absorbed in our affairs. Whatever is the Divine Command for us, all the things that are necessary for it will come together by themselves. Why should we be anxious and worried? (83)

Bekhud Mohani:

In our actions, or in connection with the ordinary circumstances of the world, what's the need to become anxious? Not one but seven heavens are constantly in movement, day and night. Something or other is bound to happen. That is, revolution is a part of the nature of the times. (104)


[See his comments on Mir's M{1044,2} and M{1768,3}.]


NIGHT/DAY: {1,2}
SKY {15,7}

This verse and {46,6} are the ones Ghalib quoted most often in letters, especially when he was in a bleak or pessimistic mood. And who can blame him? I find myself quoting this one too sometimes, usually in a hollow tone of voice. Whatever the seven heavens are up to, the verse suggests that they're up to no good; the sky after all routinely sends down disasters upon us (see for example {43,8}). In this context ghabraa))e;N kyaa implies not that we should be hopeful rather than anxious, but that we should be realistic-- we should recognize that (bad) things are sure to happen, and worrying will do no good.

But is the verse's tone one of fatalism? Of despair? Of detachment? Of pious resignation? Of morbid humor? How rhetorical, or how sarcastic, is that ghabraa))e;N kyaa at the end of the second line? You be the judge. It all depends on the tone. And of course Ghalib leaves us to set the tone ourselves.

For another verse about perpetual gardish , see {110,2}.

Note for grammar and translation fans: How can we explain ho rahegaa in English? It could be taken as a compound verb form of honaa , ho rahnaa , so that it would be parallel to ho jaanaa . Alternatively, it could be understood as a shortened form of ho kar rahegaa , 'having occurred, will remain'. But in any case the idiomatic sense is something like 'will firmly insist on happening', 'will manage to happen no matter what'. I used 'will end up happening', which isn't quite right but does convey a bit of the idiomaticness.