Ghazal 67, Verse 6x


mai;N duur-gard-e qurb-e bisaa:t-e nigaah thaa
beruun-e dil nah thii tapish-e anjuman hanuuz

1) I was a distance-traverser of the nearness of the expanse/spread of the gaze
2) outside the heart, there was no 'heat' of the gathering, now/still


duur : 'Distant, remote, ... —s.f. Distance, remoteness (= duurii ); —adv. Far, afar, far away, to a distance, beyond'. (Platts p.532)


gard : 'Going round, revolving; traversing, travelling or wandering over, or through, or in (used as last member of compounds)'. (Platts p.903)


qurb : 'Nearness, approach, propinquity, proximity, adjacency, vicinity, neighbourhood; —relationship, kindred'. (Platts p.790)


bisaa:t : 'Anything that is spread out; surface, expanse, expansion; carpet; bedding; chess-cloth or chess-board, dice-board; —goods, wares, &c. 


beruun : 'Without, on the outside, out'. (Platts p.208)


tapish : 'Heat, warmth; distress (esp. that caused by heat); affliction; agitation; palpitation'. (Platts p.309)


I was a distance-traverser near the spread of the gaze at that time-- that is, at that time it was in my gaze, when the 'heat' of the heart of the gathering hadn't managed even to come outside the heart. That is, when other lovers were not even present-- I am a lover from that time.

== Asi, p. 125


That is, although I had been expelled from the gathering of nearness and was far from glances, that radiance/appearance was still in my glances. Now after this, the theme is thirsty [for completion], and this speech remains required: that 'gradually I became absorbed in the spectacle of the wonders/deceits of the world'.

This arrangement has made the verse very eloquent [balii;G]. It has exactly the same aspect as if someone, while narrating the story of his former auspicious fortunes, would become affected and heart-afflicted so that silence and stupefaction would come over him, and his words would stop. This verse is a picture of just this kind of heartfelt emotions.

== Zamin, pp. 184-185

Gyan Chand:

duur-gard = far-wandering. bisaa:t-e nigaah = the extent/spreading of the gaze, or the range to which the gaze can reach. The gaze can be that of the beloved, or the speaker's own.

Now the gathering-- that is, the 'heat' of other people-- had not even gone outside the heart-- that is, the friends' hearts were not even acquainted with passion, when I was strolling around for great distances in the field of the gaze.

If it is taken as the speaker's own gaze, then it can be a sign of his wildness-wandering. If it is taken as the beloved's gaze, then the meaning will be that I always used to ramble around in the vicinity of beauty.

The gist is that I had become accomplished in the affairs/activities of passion at a time when other people's hearts were not even aware of this attraction/emotion.

== Gyan Chand, p. 211-12


GAZE: {10,12}

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}.

Two completely separate lines; and as so often, it's left up to us to decide how to put them together. They're both radically abstract and multivalent, so our range of choice is almost too unconfined.

And that first line, with its crazy, paradoxical, almost nonsensical claim! 'I was a distance-traverser of nearness' would be quite bizarre enough for most poets-- but not for the young Ghalib, he has to make it the 'nearness of the expanse of the gaze'. It's too much, the scaffolding that holds the verse together becomes rickety and threatens to collapse entirely. But still.

Asi and Gyan Chand view the verse as a boast of temporal primacy over other lovers, like the speaker's boast of superiority in ancient privilege over the Salamander in {38,7}.

But surely it can also be read as a celebration of the superiority of inwardness over social life, of the pleasures and pains of the mind over those of the outer world. Thus to me it seems to resemble {169,5}.