Ghazal 68, Verse 6x

{68,6x}*

fareb-e .sa((nat-e iijaad kaa tamaashaa dekh
nigaah ((aks-farosh-o-;xayaal aa))inah-saaz

1) {see / having seen} the spectacle of the deceit/beguilement of the device/handiwork of invention/creation
2) the gaze, a reflection-{displayer/'seller'}; and the thought, a mirror-maker

Notes:

fareb : 'Deception, deceit, fraud, trick, duplicity, treachery, imposture, delusion, fallacy; allurement, beguilement, &c.''. (Platts p.780)

 

.san((at : 'Work, handiwork; art, craft, handicraft, trade, profession... ; a work of art; workmanship, skill (of a worker); make, work, manufacture, fabrication; a machine, engine; --a figure of speech; a mystery; miracle'. (Platts p.746)

 

iijaad : 'Creation, production; invention, contrivance'. (Platts p.112)

Asi:

Please just look attentively at this deceit of the device of invention. The gaze is a reflection-displayer and the thought is a mirror-maker. It's obvious that the reflection that falls on the eye is what makes things manifest. Or else, the gaze is constantly showing a reflection of the beloved and the thought goes on preparing a mirror. That is, in order to deceive me both have come together. (125-26)

Zamin:

That is, look at Nature's device-invention! What a net of trickery it has spread. Otherwise, the eye is a reflection-displayer and the thought is a mirror-maker. That is, the world and what is not in the world are nothing at all; it is only our thought that makes pictures of things and keeps taking their reflection into its mirror, and the gaze sells those pictures. That is, people, thinking they exist, resolves to experience them.

The relationship of the reflection-selling gaze with the mirror and the vision is that when light from outside falls on the eyes, what is reflected is those various forms/shapes that we experience outside ourselves. And the mirror-making of the thought is [that it devises whatever we see]. (186-87)

Gyan Chand:

In this verse is a philosophical illusion [maayaa]-- [as in the second line of] {141,7}. This is not a world of [real] beings, it is a deceit/beguilement of our inventive temperament. Thought has made a mirror, and the gaze is creating reflections. Otherwise, in reality nothing exists in the world.

== Gyan Chand, p. 213

FWP:

SETS == A,B; GENERATORS; IZAFAT
GAZE: {10,12}
MIRROR: {8,3}
TAMASHA: {8,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

On the meaning of farosh as 'displayer', see Faruqi's commentary on {67,2}.

Here's an almost morbidly open-ended verse, with such wide meshes on all sides of its net that meanings are constantly slipping in and out. The first line offers us two readings for the verb: either an intimate imperative ('see!'), or a case of kar deletion ('having seen'); for more on this see {58,7}.

Then we have something that's either an out-and-out 'deceit, trick', or else a seductive, perhaps even participatory, 'allurement, beguilement'. (On the complexities of fareb , see {71,3}.) Next we have a 'device, art, mystery, miracle, figure of speech'-- a huge spectrum of possibilities. And finally we have 'creation, invention, contrivance', with its own rich range of meaning. (See the definitions above.)

These three multivalent terms are joined by i.zaafat constructions, giving us the protean 'A of B of C'. The 'A of B' can mean either the A that is B, or the A that causes B, or the A that is caused by B, or the A that pertains to B in some other, unspecified manner. When we add on the similar permutations of the 'B of C', it becomes possible to create a very large chart of readings of this single phrase.

Then the second line takes a classic 'list' tack: 'A B and C D'. On such lists see {4,4}. We might read the list as 'A is B and C is D', or 'A becomes B and C becomes D', or 'A would be B and C would be D', or simply 'A and B and C and D'. (There could theoretically be an i.zaafat construction joining each pair, but I think they'd weaken the 'list' effect without strengthening the verse in any other way.)

Depending on the multifarious choices we make about the first line, different ones of these possibilities would leap to the mind. For example, 'having seen' a certain kind of spectacle, perhaps as a result 'A becomes B and C becomes D'. Or else we're urged to 'see' a certain kind of spectacle-- 'A is B and C is D'! Or perhaps the whole 'spectacle' is a mere 'deceit'-- in reality, we can't take any of it seriously, and 'A and B and C and D' are all illusory shells that are shuffled in a shell-game. And so on and so on, as long as you care to play the game.