Ghazal 65, Verse 3x

{65,3x}

asad kii :tar;h merii bhii ba;Gair-e .sub;h-ru;xsaaraa;N
hu))ii shaam-e javaanii ay dil-e ;hasrat-na.siib aa;xir

1) in the style of Asad, without dawn-cheeked ones, even/also my
2) evening of youth occurred, oh longing-destined heart, finally

Notes:

:tar;h : 'Form, description, sort, kind; manner, mode; air (syn. andaaz ); state, condition (syn. ;haal )'. (Platts p.752)

 

ru;xsaar : 'The cheek; the face, countenance'. (Steingass p.572)

 

;hasrat : 'Grief, regret, intense grief or sorrow; —longing, desire'. (Platts p.477)

Asi:

The way the evening of the youth of the wretched Asad passed, and that wretched one was never vouchsafed the dawn of union with a cheek/face-- in just that way, oh longing-destined heart, the evening of my youth too passed in non-attainment. In this there is the device of abstraction [tajriidii]-- that is, Asad is someone, and the speaker is someone else. (118)

Zamin:

That is, 'Listen, oh longing-destined heart-- the way the evening of Asad's youth finally occurred, in separation from dawn-cheeked ones (beloveds with the color of dawn), the evening of my youth too had just the same result'. That is, the youth of both was finally ruined by the pursuit of beautiful ones. The quality of beloveds is through the wordplay of 'dawn-cheeked', 'evening of youth'. In this verse the poet has versified himself as other than Asad. (170-71)

Gyan Chand:

'Oh my longing-destined heart, in the style of Asad the evening of my youth too ended without the dawn of the cheeks of beautiful ones.' That is, Asad and I were not able to play with the cheeks of beautiful ones, and our youth passed.

== Gyan Chand, p. 208

FWP:

SETS
NIGHT/DAY: {1,2}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself.For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

What a remarkable verse! The speaker is a lover, but he's not THE lover! How often does that happen in the ghazal world?! As far as I can recall, of course with my limited reading, just about never. There are plenty of closing-verses in which other people talk about the lover, to admire (as in {62,11}), or scold (as in {20,11}), or mourn (as in {7,7}) him. But these other people are not lovers themselves, and The Lover remains the center of their attention.

By contrast, here the speaker is concerned chiefly with his own grief and longing. Why does he describe it as 'in the style of Asad'? Perhaps as a high compliment, the way The Lover might invoke the legendary Majnun when describing the trajectory of his own life. Or perhaps just as a casual reference point implying no respect at all ('Oh hell, I've made the same mistake the guy before me made!'). The tone will be the deciding factor, and of course we're left to decide it for ourselves.