Ghazal 84, Verse 4x

{84,4x}

;xvush uuftaadagii kih bah .sa;hraa-e inti:zaar
juu;N jaadah gard-e rah se nigah surmah-saa karuu;N

1) what a fine fallenness/wretchedness! {since / in that / while} in/with the desert/wilderness of waiting
2) like the path, from/with the dust of the road I would make the gaze collyrium-ish

Notes:

uuftaadagii is an archaic (and metrically convenient) spelling of uftaadagii .

 

uftaadah : 'Fallen, lying flat or horizontally; lying waste or untilled (land); poor, wretched, helpless'. (Platts p.61)

 

inti:zaar : 'Expecting, waiting (anxiously); looking out; expectation; expectancy'. (Platts p.87)

Asi:

Ah, how good is that fallenness-- that in the jungle of waiting I, like a path, would lie fallen, and would always put in my eyes the collyrium of the dust of the road! The gist is, how good it is to keep waiting for the beloved. (161)

Zamin:

The path, with regard to the gaze, has a great intentionality; thus the dust of the path becomes the collyrium of its gaze. Since there is a great ardor for the fallenness of the desert of waiting-- that is, for lying in the desert of waiting and watching the path-- there's also a need for collyrium to brighten the gaze; this has been obtained from this very dust of the path that is the collyrium of the eyes of the path. (229)

Gyan Chand:

How good is that weakness/helplessness, that in the jungle/wilderness of waiting I would keep my gaze continually fixed on the road! In my eyes the dust of the road would adhere like collyrium, and from this dust my gaze would become as collyrium-ishly dust-mixed as a road is. That is, in waiting for the beloved we sit beside the road, and are flinging dust [on our head]. We have no control over our state. The beloved's coming is not a matter within our power, but the dust of the beloved's path has become collyrium for our eyes.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 258-259

FWP:

SETS == BAH; KIH; MIDPOINTS
DESERT: {3,1}
GAZE: {10,12}
ROAD: {10,12}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Now after a couple of somewhat uninspired verses, suddenly we are in real Ghalib-land. The structure of this verse resembles that of {84,2x}-- but what a difference in the degree of the connection!

Here we have the wordplay of the gaze-- it's long and straight like a path, in an image that evokes {10,12}. And in, or through, or with, the 'wilderness of waiting' (which of course has the root of na:zar ), just as the beloved's gaze emerges from collyrium-rimmed eyes, the speaker's gaze will emerge from eyes rimmed with the dust of the road. Perhaps road-dust too will have the attractive, soothing, anti-glare properties of collyrium (on the nature of collyrium in general see {44,1}); but even if it doesn't, it will be an appropriate cosmetic for the eyes of a true lover.

But then, the range of possible senses of kih is multiplied by the possibilities of bah , so that as so often, it's left up to us how to put it all together.

Then when we get to the second line, there's that juu;N jaadah . But exactly who or what is 'like a path'? Here are some possibilities:

=the way the road itself is dusty-- my eyes would be dusty in the same way
=the way the path is constantly gazing off into the distance, looking out for you, waiting for you-- I would look out in the same way
=the way the path makes its gaze collyrium-ish with dust-- I too would do the same
=the way the path makes a 'gaze' for itself out of a long, thin cloud of agitated dust-particles-- I too would make such a gaze for myself
=the way the path lies fallen and prostrate amidst the 'wilderness of waiting'-- I too would lie fallen that way

And of course these aren't mutually exclusive possibilities either. The verse's clever construction means that the adverbial phrase juu;N jaadah is what I call a 'midpoint', with possibilities of being inserted at different points in the grammar of the verse, to modify different actions. Not bad for a nineteen-year-old poet.