Ghazal 84, Verse 8x


vuh raaz-e naalah huu;N kih bah shar;h-e nigaah-e ((ajz
afshaa;N-;Gubaar-e surmah se fard-e .sadaa karuu;N

1) I am such a secret/mystery of lament that, with the commentary of the gaze of weakness
2) through a 'dust-sprinkle' of collyrium, I would make a page/account/'individual-verse' of a voice


shar;h : 'An exposition, explanation, interpretation, a running commentary (on a work or text), annotation; description'. (Platts p.724)


((ajz : 'Powerlessness, impotence, weakness, helplessness, submission, wretchedness'. (Platts p.759)


fard : 'A hemistich, a verse; couplet (being the half of a four-line stanza); a single sheet or strip (of paper); a piece, fragment; the outer fold (of a quilt, &c.); a draft (of an account); a register, record, statement, account-sheet; a list, roll, catalogue'. (Platts p.778)


.sadaa : 'Echo; sound, noise; voice, tone, cry, call'. (Platts p.743)


I am a unique secret/mystery of my lament. And I am such a secret that for the commentary of the gaze of weakness I will sprinkle the dust of collyrium on the page of my voice. That is, I will protect the secret to such an extent that on the page of the voice too-- the work of which is the expression of secrets-- I will sprinkle the dust of collyrium; I will make it 'collyrium-throated' [surmah dar galuu] and ineffective.

== Asi, p. 162


He says that 'I am such a secret/mystery of lament that I do not lament with my voice, but I look with such weak, strengthless glances-- the way the page of a voice (for the voice, with regard to its spread, the metaphor of a page has been used) becomes sprinkled with collyrium dust (the collyrium that has been put in my eyes); and from that, the cloudiness of my heart can be known. That is, my silence and weakness of glance are a single 'lament' made of thousands of laments and complaints.

== Zamin, p. 229

Gyan Chand:

For ornamentation, they sprinkle on a piece of paper water of gold, silver, or some other color. The marks of ornamentation are called 'dust'. They call such a piece of paper a 'dust-sprinkle' [afshaa;N-;Gubaar]. Collyrium is the enemy of the voice. He says, 'I am such a secret/mystery of lamentation, that on the page of the voice I will scatter collyrium-dust'-- that is, the voice will not emerge. Why? For commentary on the weakness of the gaze, to remain silent is itself a great weakness. The intention is that because of weakness I am absolutely not lamenting. I am entirely silent. I have turned my lament into a secret/mystery.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 259-60


GAZE: {10,12}

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

This verse has the same basic structure as do {84,6x} and {84,7x}.

On the natural enmity between collyrium and the voice, see {147,1}; on collyrium in general see {44,1}.

The verse mingles literary imagery (commentary, decoratively 'dust-sprinkled' page, piece of paper, 'individual-verse') with use of the senses: the (audible) lament, the gaze, the voice.

But does it really cohere into much of a meaning? The elaborate chains of metaphors become so far-fetched that we can hardly tell how to read them; most crucially, given the wide spectrum of possibilities, how should we interpret fard-e .sadaa ? The possibilities range so far that they make the verse feel loosely structured and floppy.