Ghazal 47, Verse 2


;hariif-e joshish-e daryaa nahii;N ;xvud-daarii-e saa;hil
jahaa;N saaqii ho tuu baa:til hai da((v;aa hoshyaarii kaa

1) the {self-possession / self-respect} of the shore is not {equal to / a 'rival' of} the agitation of the sea
2) where the Cupbearer would {be you, / be, then} false/vain is the claim of discretion/alertness/sobriety


hoshyaarii : 'Sense; prudence; discretion; --carefulness, caution, vigilance, watchfulness, alertness; --sobriety'. (Platts p.1230)


That is to say, the shore may draw itself back hundreds of thousands of times, but when the sea is in spate, then the shore cannot remain protected. In the same way, where you are the Cupbearer, there the claim of self-command cannot be sustained. This verse can be applicable to both the mystical and the human realms.
==Urdu text: p. 143 in Hali, Yadgar-e Ghalib


He has given for the Cupbearer the simile of the agitated sea, and by shore he means his own embrace: that having taken you in an embrace, and having drunk wine given by your hands, then where is self-command? Can the self-possession and stability of the shore go anywhere to escape the waves of the agitated sea? (43)

== Nazm page 43


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {47}


The way when faced with the turbulence of the sea, the shore cannot prevent itself from being drowned in water, in the same way where you are the Cupbearer, there no claim of self-command can exist. (46)

Bekhud Mohani:

Where you are the Cupbearer, there the claim of self-command is false. An example of this is the storminess and turbulence of the sea, which the embrace of the shore cannot restrain. That is, when the sea advances, then water cannot remain in the embrace of the shore. In the same way, when your intoxicated eyes do their work, then nobody's self-control, nobody's piety, can remain. (107)


This verse can be applied to True Reality [;haqiiqat] and Contingency [majaaz] both. (138)


An interesting thing is that Ghalib, at this same period, had composed a verse that was based on entirely an opposite theme from this verse. But its aspect and metaphors are precisely those of the verse under discussion: {12,2}....

[He chooses a reading of to instead of tuu in the first line.] In the same way, when the Cupbearer would come before them, then the rakish ones' claim that they are people of self-awareness [hosh] becomes absolutely false. When they saw the Cupbearer, then all their self-possession, all their respect for their honor, vanished like the wind, and the rakish ones became intoxicated and placed themselves before the Cupbearer. [2006: 60-63]



Faruqi advocates a reading of to in the first line. Although Arshi doesn't provide a diacritic, he does place a comma [one of his many-- such a pity!] after the word, so it's apparent that he reads it as tuu . Faruqi's reading would yield an unusual 'where-then' clause structure, but I defer to his judgment that it doesn't sound unacceptably bad. It doesn't seem to make that much difference, really.

This verse offers an unusual and fascinating pattern of internal rhyme. The ghazal is in the most regular of meters, simply / - = = = / repeated four times, but in this verse Ghalib has created a marked caesura effect in the middle of each line, and emphasized it with the unusual device of what might be called reversed internal rhyme. Here's how the feet break down

;ha rii fe jo / shi she dar yaa // na hii;N ;xud daa / ri ye saa ;hil
ja haa;N saa qii / ho tuu baa :til // hai da(( v;aa ho / sh yaa rii kaa

As can be seen, 'yaa' and 'kaa' echo each other, while 'saa;hil' and 'baa:til' do the same, in a sort of X-shaped pattern of allusion that is hardly likely to have come about by accident. In fact, the crossover pattern suggests what is imagined in the verse: the way the ocean and the shore would mingle, the way the resistant drinker would surrender to the rush of intoxication.

Faruqi is right to suggest a comparison with the present verse's mirror image, {12,2}.