Ghazal 58, Verse 7

{58,7}

vuh aa rahaa mire ham-saaye me;N to saaye se
hu))e fidaa dar-o-diivaar par dar-o-diivaar

1) when she came and stayed in my {neighbor / 'shade-sharer'} [house], then {because / by means} of the shade/shelter/protection
2) doors and walls became self-sacrificers for doors and walls

Notes:

saayah : 'Shadow, shade; shelter, protection'. (Platts p.631)

 

fidaa : 'Sacrifice; consecration, devotion; devoting oneself (to save another); a thing devoted'. (Platts p.777)

Nazm:

That is, the shade of my doors and walls sacrificed itself [balaa))e;N lenaa] for her doors and walls. (53)

== Nazm page 53

Hasrat:

The shadow of one house often advances and reaches to another house; from this, the idea was born. (57)

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, when she came and settled in my neighborhood, then the shadow of my doors and walls began to sacrifice itself for her doors and walls. (100)

Josh:

What a fine instance it is of 'elegance in assigning a cause'! (136)

FWP:

SETS == REPETITION
HOME: {14,9}
SOUND EFFECTS: {26,7}

When the beloved came to stay next door, not only did I almost die of joy, but the very doors and walls of my house adored (sorry, I couldn't help it) the doors and walls of her house. Why did they adore them? On one reading of the crucial phrase saaye se , it was because they fell under the spell of the exquisitely cool and sensual shade (and its metaphorical extensions, shelter and protection) that the newcomers provided to my house that had been for so long burning with passion.

And how did the doors and walls show their adoration? On another (and even more delightful) reading of saaye se , they did so by devotedly providing shade to the newcomers, self-sacrificingly interposing themselves between the cruel sun and the beloved's house.

As Josh observes, this verse is an example of 'elegance in assigning a cause'. The observed fact that the shadow of one house often extends over the house next door has now been given a far more romantic cause than a mere explanation of planes and angles.

There's also some conspicuous wordplay: hamsaayah , 'neighbor' or, literally, 'shade-sharer', is echoed in saayah , 'shade'. And look at the second line: fidaa dar-o-diivaar par dar-o-diivaar is made up of a mere handful of consonants and vowel sounds, combined and recombined.

Note for grammar fans: aa rahaa is a colloquially abbreviated form of aa kar rahaa ('having come, remained'). This kind of kar deletion is well established, nowadays as well as in Ghalib's time. More examples: {51,5x}; {60,8}; {68,6x}; {172,1} (an intriguingly optional case).