Ghazal 59, Verse 7


har-chand ho mushaahadah-e ;haq kii guft-guu
bantii nahii;N hai baadah-o-saa;Gar kahe ba;Gair

1) {although / however much} there might be conversation of the seeing/witnessing of God/Truth
2) [the speech/idea] doesn't succeed without saying 'wine' and 'flagon'


har-chand : 'Although, even if, notwithstanding; --how-much-soever; howsoever; as often as'. (Platts p.1222)


baat : 'Speech, language, word, saying, conversation, talk, gossip, report, discourse, news, tale, story, account; thing, affair, matter, business, concern, fact, case, circumstance, occurrence, object, particular, article, proposal, aim, cause, question, subject'. (Platts p.118)


baat ban'naa : 'To be successful, prove a success, answer well; to gain credit or honour, to prosper, flourish'. (Platts p.118)


The meaning of this verse is like that of the previous one. (55)

== Nazm page 55

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In this verse too, the meaning of the previous one has been expressed in different words. In the second line he's doubled the beauty by leaving the word baat omitted. That is, without saying wine and flagon, the baat won't be accomplished. (103)

Bekhud Mohani:

If you want to mention the seeing of God, then there's no recourse but to mention wine and flagon. Because wine and flagon are such words that upon hearing them the listener understands that the divine glory has made you self-less. (131)


SPEAKING: {14,4}

ABOUT har-chand : There's an explicit, clear, meaning possible here: 'although' in the logical sense ('although A, nevertheless B'). But there's also a sense in which quantity and style of activity are important, such that it seems to emphasize cumulativeness: 'no matter how much', 'no matter how often', 'no matter how' (see the definition above). The ambiguities of har-chand thus parallel those of the more common baskih . Both mean 'although', but then baskih offers as alternatives 'since' and 'to such an extent', while har-chand offers 'however much' and 'as often as'. In Ghalib's verses, both senses of har-chand seem fully available: {41,9x}; {62,5}; {62,7}; {119,3}; {133,4}; {143,2}; {148,6}; {167,6}; {196,3}; {196,4}.

This verse is a companion piece to the previous one, {59,6}, and much of what I want to say about it has been said there. Here too, the key word is guft-guu , 'conversation'. This is a verse about the persuasive strategies of rhetoric, not the nature-- much less the limitations-- of the ghazal.

Bekhud Dihlavi points out a clever touch: in the second line, the one that contains the refrain kahe ba;Gair , 'without saying', Ghalib has (surely deliberately) composed the line itself 'without saying' the extremely important word baat . Instead of saying it, he's caused us to infer its presence from the grammar, and from our knowledge that it's often colloquially omitted in such situations. For more on the colloquial omission of baat , see {59,2}.

Then, the excellently suitable idiom baat ban'naa basically means 'for a plan/task/idea to come to fruition' (see the definition above), which works perfectly well in the second line. But baat ban'naa can also literally mean 'for conversation/speech to develop', so that it echoes the concerns of the first line-- although there can be conversation, guft-guu , it depends on speech/conversation-- the cleverly missing but powerfully present, and obviously highly necessary, baat .

On the structure of kahe ba;Gair , see {59,1}.