Ghazal 66, Verse 10


naadaa;N ho jo kahte ho kih kyuu;N jiite hai;N ;Gaalib
qismat me;N hai marne kii tamannaa ko))ii din aur

1) you are ignorant/foolish if you say, 'why does Ghalib live?'
2) in [my] destiny is the longing to die, for a few days more



You people are surprised that after sustaining the wound of Arif's early death, Ghalib lives on-- but you're very foolish. To keep longing for death for a few days more is written in my fortune-- how could I die prematurely? (66)

== Nazm page 66



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

Throughout the ghazal, tum has been Arif. Now, suddenly, it's not. It's some man or group of men (or mixed group), who is/are apparently close enough for familiarity and anger on Ghalib's part. (After all, it could have been hai;N and kahte hai;N without affecting the meter; but then the implied subject would have been the usual 'they', as in 'they say', and the second-person sense of engagement would be gone.)

What is written in Ghalib's destiny is not life, or a desire for life, but a longing [tamannaa]-- a longing for death, a longing that, because of the mighty power of destiny, can't yet be satisfied. Though it will soon be so, of course-- in only 'a few days more'. Arif suffered death, and Ghalib suffers the longing for death. As he says in {66,9}, one simply has to 'get through' life as one's destiny requires. (In his letters, Ghalib always lamented his domestic responsibilities; in his life, he always strove to fulfill them.) But 'living' shouldn't be equated with enjoying life, or callously or shallowly choosing to live on-- especially when that life has lost so much of its meaning. Only a 'foolish' person would make any such supposition, and thus incur Ghalib's disdain.