Ghazal 54, Verse 3


ai ((aafiyat kinaarah kar ai inti:zaam chal
sailaab-e giryah dar-pa-e diivaar-o-dar hai aaj

1) oh Wellbeing, step aside! oh Arrangement, move on!
2) a flood of tears is in pursuit of walls and doors today


((aafiyat : 'Health, soundness; safety, security; well-being, welfare, freedom from evil or discomfort, &c.; success, prosperity'. (Platts p.757)


dar-pa-e : 'Following, after, close behind; in pursuit or quest (of); in prosecution (of), intent (upon)'. (Platts p.508)


It's as if Wellbeing is a woman, and Arrangement is a man; the poet says to them both that they should save themselves and leave, for fear that otherwise they might drown. (50)

== Nazm page 50

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, oh Wellbeing-- that is, the era of a life of rest and ease-- begone from me, and oh Arrangement, you too leave this house and make yourself scarce. My flood of tears-- that is, the typhoon of my weeping-- is now about to bring down my house. After today, the days of my life will pass in difficulties and troubles. Why do you both endure sufferings with me? (94-95)

Bekhud Mohani:

Today, because of the flood of tears, the door and walls are in poor shape. Oh Wellbeing, oh Arrangement, take your leave! That is, the turbulence of disaster, or the turbulence of illness, is about to bring life to an end. Now help is useless. (120)


HOME: {14,9}
WARNINGS: {15,15}

The divan form of this ghazal has no closing-verse; its original closing-verse was {54,6x}.

What a satisfying phrase it makes to say dar-pa-e diivaar-o-dar in the second line. The first dar means 'on', the second one means 'door', but juxtaposed in this way they not only provide fine alliteration, but also give a sense of emphasis and urgency. Then there's also the fine wordplay: dar-pa-e literally means 'on the foot of' (as in 'on the heels of' in English), so that the image is of one runner who is chasing another, and is quite close behind. Thus 'Wellbeing' is urged to step to one side, and 'Arrangement' to move off, just as would be prudent advice to bystanders in an actual chase scene.

When the lover warns off 'Wellbeing' and 'Arrangement' (Ghalib enjoys in such abstract personifications), is he acting for their sakes, since he fears for their safety in the coming flood of tears? After all, they're just the kind of entities that would be associated with an orderly, comfortable house-- one with its 'walls and doors' intact.

Or is he impatiently dismissing them, since he himself is sick of them and is eager to enjoy the flood? And of course, it may be a flood of tears-- one for which the lover himself is responsible, as in {111,16}. For a full range of the lover's possible reactions to the flood, see the spectacularly complex {15,10}.

Moreover, the walls and doors may themselves be eager to welcome the flood, which may be pursuing them in almost an erotic way; in {58,9}, their greeting to the flood takes the suitably ambivalent form of (what at least appears to be) a 'dance'.