Ghazal 85, Verse 10x


falak-e siflah be-mu;haabaa hai
us sitam-gar ko infi((aal kahaa;N

1) the low/ignoble sky is careless/unceremonious
2) to that tyrant/oppressor, shame-- where?!


siflah : 'Low, mean, ignoble, base, vile, sordid, contemptible; avaricious, miserly, stingy; envious'. (Platts p.662)


mu;haabaa : 'Partiality (for); lenient or gentle treatment, kind behaviour; respect, regard, friendship, affection; —caution, care'. (Platts p.1006)


infi((aal : 'An act which causes a blush (as its effect); shame, modesty; confusion'. (Platts p.94)


The vile sky is entirely fearless and unceremonious. It practices tyranny, and that tyrant never feels shame/embarrassment, and is never ashamed of its actions.

== Asi, p. 162


be-mu;haabaa = shameless, brazen/unveiled, without kindness/compassion.

== Zamin, p. 231

Gyan Chand:

The vile sky unhesitatingly practices tyranny. It feels no repentance. The dictionary meaning of mu;haabaa is kindness and thoughtfulness. be-mu;haabaa = without kindness, or without thought-- that is, without hesitation. In Urdu, this word is used in the latter sense.

== Gyan Chand, p. 302



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; for the sake of completeness, I have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Well, in this case there's not very much there there (with thanks to Gertrude Stein for her immortal remark). But since nine of the ten original verses were on the website, I felt sorry for the neglected one. I've now treated it in less of a be-mu;haabaa way than the sky, the source of disasters, treats us all.