Ghazal 72, Verse 3


mu;Nd ga))ii;N kholte hii kholte aa;Nkhe;N hai hai
;xuub vaqt aaye tum is ((aashiq-e biimaar ke paas

1) the eyes closed only/emphatically while I was opening them, alas--
2) at a fine time you came {near / to visit} this sick lover!


chashm-e biimaar : 'An eye that looks half-closed (from modesty, an epithet of beauty), a drooping or languid eye'. (Platts p.433)


kholte hii kholte is a description of the situation of waiting. Another verse with this same theme has already passed: {52,1}. (75)

== Nazm page 75

Bekhud Mohani:

Some confidant [raaz-daar] of the lover's complains to the beloved, 'The lover longed a thousand thousand times to to have a good look at you, but it wasn't able to happen. Fine, bravo! At what a very good time you've come to see him!' (156)


That is, because of the extremity of weakness, when he tried to open his eyes for the sight of beauty, he finished himself off, and his eyes closed (he died). Entirely this kind of theme has already come in: {52,1}. It would be better if 'this/that one' [it's not clear which one he means] had been removed from the divan. (157)


Compare {52,1}. (197, 210)


EYES {3,1}

The commentators point out the strong similarity with {52,1}, and rightly so; Josh in fact wishes that one of them had been stricken from the divan, and it's hard to blame him. Not much really differentiates the two. For more on this kind of repetition, see {49,1}.

There's another such 'duplicate' verse in this ghazal; see {72,7} for further discussion.

Note for grammar fans: On the transitive/intransitive pleasures of kholnaa , 'to open', versus mu;Ndnaa , 'to become closed', see {52,1}.

If this verse can claim any small extra merit beyond its companion, it's in the wordplay involving 'sick' [biimaar] and 'eyes'. The prime example is {22,4}, in which the lover expresses himself as content to be biimaar , because it means sharing a name with the beloved's eyes; the beloved's eyes are traditionally called 'the eyes of a sick person' [chashm-e biimaar] because they are lowered and unresponsive. In the present verse the eyes are in the first line, and are not chashm but aa;Nkhe;N , while nothing is done to connect them with biimaar in the second line. Still the connection is there, by implication at least, and it's hard to believe it never occurred to Ghalib, or that he didn't count on his original audience to enjoy it as a small extra dollop of pleasure.

For more on the beloved's visits to the lover, see {106,2}. Since the speaker's eyes have already closed, this verse belongs to the 'dead lover speaks' set; for more on these, see {57,1}.