Ghazal 51, Verse 5x


do ((aalam kii hastii pah ;xa:t:t-e fanaa khe;Nch
dil-o-dast-e arbaab-e himmat salaamat

1) on the existence of two worlds, {draw / having drawn} a line of oblivion

2a) heart and hand of the lords of courage/spirit/resolve, wellbeing [to you]!
2b) the heart and hand of the lords of courage/spirit-- may they be well/safe!


himmat : 'Mind, thought; anxious thought, solicitude; attention, care; --inclination, desire, intention, resolution, purpose, design; --magnanimity; lofty aspiration; ambition; --liberality; --enterprise; spirit, courage, bravery; --power, strength, ability; --auspices, grace, favour'. (Platts p.1235)


salaamat : 'Safety, salvation; tranquillity, peace, rest, repose; immunity; liberty; soundness; recovery; health; --adj. & adv. (used predicatively) Safe, sound, well; --in safety, safely, securely'. (Platts p.668)


Draw a line of faithfulness [Asi's text has vafaa] on the existence of both worlds, and consider that they have no reality/substance. May the Lord grant that the heart and hands of the people of courage may remain well! That is, the hand that draws the line of faithfulness.

== Asi, p. 100


[A discussion devoted entirely to the metrical status of khe;Nch at the end of the first line.]

== Zamin, p. 145

Gyan Chand:

To 'draw a line' is to strike out something that is written. As for 'heart and hand', the idiom is 'hand and heart' [dast-o-dil], meaning courage/spirit [himmat] and strength. The heart is the location of courage, and the hand is the treasury of strength. The verse is clear. There is no existence either of this world, nor of that world. To consider both to be nonexistent, to become indifferent to this world and the next, is a task for the people of courage. May their courage remain safe/well!

== Gyan Chand, p. 175


WRITING: {7,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

For other examples of 'two worlds' imagery, see {18,2}.

The khe;Nch in the first line can be either an intimate imperative ('draw!'), or a short form of khe;Nch kar ('having drawn') with the kar colloquially omitted; for more on this see {58,7}. Either reading of course works excellently with the second line.

The second line surely has a strong sense of 'bravo, more power to you!' (2a), as in the second line of {51,3}. But if we read salaamat as an adjective meaning 'safe, well', then it could also be a wish or hope for continued wellbeing ('may they remain safe/well!'), as Gyan Chand maintains; this reading (2b) gives the line a more tentative, ominous feeling, and introduces some doubt or anxiety about the future of the 'lords of courage/spirit'. For more on this double reading see the discussion in {51,4}.