Ghazal 66, Verse 9


guzrii nah bah har ;haal yih muddat ;xvush-o-naa-;xvush
karnaa thaa javaa;N-marg guzaaraa ko))ii din aur

1) didn't this time-interval pass in any case, the happy and the unhappy?
2) you who died young-- you should have passed/'gotten through' a few days more


guzaaraa is really guzaarah , with spelling changed to reflect the rhyme. This is a variant spelling of gu;zaarah , just as guzarnaa (source of guzrii in line one) is a common variant spelling of gu;zarnaa .


gu;zaarah : 'A passing, passing over, crossing; a passage; passing of time or of life; living, subsisting.... -- gu;zaarah karnaa : To effect a passage, to cross over; to get through or across; — to live, to subsist (on, - se ); to drag out (one's) days ... to subsist with difficulty'. (Platts p.900)


== Nazm page 66

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'The way up to now you spent your portion of life in the happiness and grief of the times, in the same way you should have spent more days in the world. Why did you die in your youthfulness?' (115)



For general comments on this most unusual ghazal, see {66,1}.

There's a word/meaning play between guzarnaa in the first line, and guzaaraa in the second line. In the first line it is the 'time-interval' [muddat] that is the subject, as usual: 'time passes' in Urdu just as it does in English. But in the second line, guzaaraa karnaa is an active, transitive verb: it is something Arif had a duty to do, yet he failed to do it, and Ghalib reproaches him for it. So what was it his duty to do? Literally, to 'pass' more days of life. But colloquially, something like to 'get through' life. The idiomatic uses of guzaarah karnaa have to do with earning a livelihood, managing to live, 'making it' from day to day, 'carrying on', 'getting by'.

The difference in tone is that the first line presents life passively (not in the literally grammatical sense, of course, since guzarnaa is intransitive rather than passive), as something that just happens to you, willy-nilly, with repetitive alternations of happiness and 'non-happiness'. The second line requires you to think of actively accepting your life, 'making it happen'. You ought to do this, for after all, we aren't talking about forever, but only of 'some days more'.

It is this commitment to life, in all its awkward multifarious 'life'ness, that Ghalib accuses Arif of not making. Of course, it's an unfair accusation, since there's no reason to believe that Arif didn't want to live. He certainly didn't commit suicide. But the reproaches in this whole ghazal ring so true to the mood of loss and mourning. Since when is deep grief reasonable?