Ghazal 72, Verse 7


mar gayaa pho;R ke sar ;Gaalib-e va;hshii hai hai
bai;Thnaa us kaa vuh aa kar tirii diivaar ke paas

1) he died, having cracked open [his] head, the wild/savage/intractable Ghalib-- alas
2) [for] that coming and sitting near/beside your wall, of his!


pho;Rnaa : 'To break, crack, split, burst open, break open, break to pieces, to shatter'. (Platts p.292)


va;hshii : 'Wild, untamed; shy; unsociable; --uncultivated; uncivilized, barbarous; savage; untractable; fierce, ferocious; brutish; cruel'. (Platts p.1183)


It has been mentioned above [in his earlier commentary] that there's more pleasure in inshaa than in informative speech [;xabar]. That is, inshaa dwells in the heart/soul [qalb]; for this reason the practiced [mushshaaq] poet converts informative speech into inshaa . In this verse the author, rejecting the aspect of informative speech, has made the verse extremely eloquent [balii;G].... The gesture of 'that' [vuh] in the [second] line is a further excellence.... it points out that the beloved who is being addressed is not unfamiliar with this event of which the speaker reminds her.

And the words 'having come' [aa kar] prove that that madman's custom was that at those times when he hoped to see the beloved's face, or hear her voice, he used to come every day and sit down. If aa kar were not in the second line, then the meaning would have emerged that only his sitting there would be remembered, and the beauty of the verse would be lessened. (75)

== Nazm page 75

Bekhud Dihlavi:

What a peerless closing-verse he has written. (121)


In the second line, the words 'comes to mind' [yaad aataa hai] are omitted. This omission has given rise to a great deal of beauty in this line, and has doubled the glory of this closing-verse. (158)


Compare {60,12}. (204, 210)



This verse is indeed almost a replay of {60,12}. The present ghazal contains another, even more striking 'duplicate' verse, in {72,3}. However, by thinking of the verses in this ghazal as the derivative ones we'd be reversing history: both {60} and {52}, homes of the almost-matching verses, were composed in 1833, while {72} was composed in 1821. So the verses in the present ghazal would be, if anything, the 'originals' from which the later ones might have been borrowed, even though the later ones happen, because of alphabetization by refrain, to come earlier in the divan.

But in a case like this chronology doesn't mean much anyway, and 'borrowing' or 'copying' from one's own earlier verses is not a good description of the ghazal poet's creative process. Anybody who is interested in these questions should instead consider the very large penumbra of (mostly early) unpublished verses from which Ghalib selected the ones he wanted to have published.

One can argue, as Josh does in {72,3}, that one member of each pair should have been omitted from the divan. But the question of which one could surely only be decided on literary grounds, not chronological or alphabetical ones. Ghalib's muravvaj diivaan is thin enough anyway, and few people would really care to make it thinner.

Nazm does a good job on this verse. The shift from information to sorrow, the intimacy of recollection between the speaker (some confidant?) and the addressee (the beloved), do indeed carry such a colloquial ease. And the recollection is of his 'coming and sitting near your wall', as though that in itself were a death sentence-- to be near even her wall is to be haunted by her, and eventually to smash one's head against the barrier that blocks the way.