Ghazal 46, Verse 5


mauj-e ;xuu;N sar se guzar hii kyuu;N nah jaa))e
aastaan-e yaar se u;Th jaa))e;N kyaa

1a) even if a wave of blood would pass over our head
1b) why wouldn't a wave of blood only/emphatically pass over our head?

2) as if we would get up from the beloved's doorsill!



In the second line kyaa is for contempt. (42)

== Nazm page 42


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {46}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

By 'the wave of blood', here trouble and suffering is meant. He says, no matter how much trouble may come upon me, I'm now fixed here on the beloved's doorsill; and I've made up my mind to it. So I wouldn't at all get up get up from here-- now I'll get up only when I've died. (84)

Bekhud Mohani:

In reply to someone's comment, or in his own heart, the lover says that now we've come and sat down at the beloved's door. Now to budge from here is contrary to courage. Now even if we lose our life, we won't get up. (105)


Compare {119,10}. (244)



The lover lies humbly prostrate on the beloved's doorsill (see {43,6}, in which the lover's prostrations actually wear away the doorsill). So a (literal or metaphoric) 'wave of blood' passing over his head doesn't imply a tsunami, but something closer to the ground.

The 'X hii kyuu;N nah [subjunctive]' construction in the first line is a sort of petrified phrase, a normal way of saying 'even if X would happen', as in (1a). But here its literal meaning, 'why wouldn't X emphatically/indeed happen?', is also perfectly suitable, as in (1b). Indeed, why wouldn't a wave of blood pass over the lover's head? It's just the kind of thing that would happen to him, and with his torrent of bloody tears he might be contributing to it, or even creating it, himself. And since he's lying prostrate on the ground, he can't avoid it; but he can hope that it would 'pass over' him and roll along in some other direction.

In any case, of course the lover disdains to 'get up' or 'stand up' [u;Thnaa] to avoid the wave of blood. He indignantly rejects the idea of rising, with a negative rhetorical question that repudiates the very thought. The beloved's doorsill is thus a form of anchor: he would clutch it with a death grip, to avoid being swept away by the wave of blood.

Ghalib has other 'wave of blood' verses: see {132,5} and {176,6}. Streams of blood too (see {111,6} for a juu-e ;xuu;N ) are nothing remarkable in the ghazal world, and a whole ocean of blood, ik qulzum-e ;xuu;N , confronts the lover in the far more somber and powerful {208,12}.

Arshi is right to single out {119,10} as an especially good verse for comparison.