Ghazal 88, Verse 6x


duzdiidan-e dil-e sitam-aamaadah hai mu;haal
mizhgaa;N kahuu;N kih jauhar-e te;G-e qa.zaa kahuu;N

1) the stealing of a heart inclined to tyranny is impossible/absurd
2) should/would I call them 'eyelashes', or should/would I call them 'temper-lines on the sword of fate/doom'?


duzdiidan : 'To rob, thieve, steal'. (Steingass p.518)


mu;haal : 'Absurd; impossible; that cannot be'. (Platts p.1007)


jauhar : 'The diversified wavy marks, streaks, or grain of a well-tempered sword'. (Platts p.399)


qa.zaa : 'Divine decree, predestination; fate, destiny; fatality; death; decree, mandate, judgment, order, charge, edict; office, or sentence (of a judge)'. (Platts p.792)


The meaning is that to steal the beloved's heart (to manage to take control of it) is impossible, because a guard of eyelashes is on her eyes-- and as long as eyes do not meet, how will hearts meet? The eyelashes are the temper-lines on the sword of fate because they are doing duty as sentries, and it's necessary for a sentry to gird on a weapon. The usage is hypothetical.

Or this: that the sentry is fate; his sword cannot be seen because it is the sword of fate. But the temper-lines of the sword are apparent, in the form of eyelashes.

This is all very well, but the construction of the verse is incomplete, and is insufficient for expressing the meaning.

== Zamin, p. 233

Gyan Chand:

The beloved's heart is inclined toward tyranny. To steal her heart, or move it, is impossible. On it is a guard of eyelashes, that seems to be the temper-marks on the sword of death. Outside a treasury, a guard of soldiers usually stands, swords in their hands. To give for eyelashes the simile of the temper-lines of a sword is suitable. Who would have the courage to pass through such a frightening group and steal the beloved's heart?

== Gyan Chand, p. 261


JAUHAR: {5,4}
SWORD: {1,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Gyan Chand has given a good explication. There's also the nice touch that the speaker is contemplating a crime, the act of 'stealing' a heart. The official who would judge such crimes and order punishment for them is the qaa.zii . His decree of legal judgment is called qa.zaa (see the definition above). The multivalence of qa.zaa thus becomes even more enjoyable.

For more on jauhar , see {5,4}; click on the image below for a close-up view of the jauhar on this sword-blade: