Ghazal 91, Verse 5


har-chand jaa;N-gudaazii-e qahr-o-((itaab hai
har-chand pusht-garmii-e taab-o-tavaa;N nahii;N

1) {although / however much} there is life-meltingness of anger/violence and wrath/rebuke
2) {although / however much} there's no support/'back-warmth' of fortitude/'heat' and strength


har-chand : 'Although, even if, notwithstanding; --how-much-soever, howsoever; as often as'. (Platts p.1222)


pusht-garmii : 'Warm support'. (Steingass p.252)


taab : 'Heat, warmth; burning, inflaming; pain, affliction, grief; anger, indignation, wrath, rage; light, radiance, lustre, splendour; strength, power, ability, capability; endurance'. (Platts p.303)


Although [har-chand] her anger and wrath are melting my life, although fortitude and endurance responded to it-- even so, the afflicted one is saying, 'if some cruelty is left, don't hold it back, and even now I'm not asking for a truce'. (90)

== Nazm page 90


Although [har-chand] her anger is life-melting, and there's no strength for endurance in us, even so we don't ask for a truce from the anger; rather, we seek more wrath. (81)

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Although this anger and wrath is melting my life, despite this, the power of fortitude and strength has enabled me to respond [as in the next verse]. (142)

Bekhud Mohani:

Although her anger is life-melting, and my strength too doesn't stay with me, nevertheless my courage rouses my enthusiasm. Even now my spirit says,'If there are any troubles left, then bring them along too-- I still don't ask for respite!'. (185-86)



Isn't it striking that both lines begin with har-chand ? We can't really make grammatically complete sense of two 'although' clauses. Formally speaking, it's hard to see how this verse can be made to consist of a grammatically complete sentence or thought. Ghalib has presented us with a strange, oblique, suggestive fragment, with no possibility of grammatical coherence or closure.

But not to worry. This is the first verse of a two-verse verse-set. All the commentators read the two verses together, as a single grammatical whole, which surely seems the best approach. This is the first case of a Ghalibian 'compulsory verse-set' that I've seen. Usually the verses in a verse-set can fruitfully be read together, as parts of a larger whole, but each is also structurally complete on its own and makes at least some sense independently. Not this time, however. Since this verse is only a sentence fragment, it is inextricably joined to the next verse through grammatical enjambment.

In any case, the verse has excellent wordplay: pusht-garmii , or 'warm support', literally means 'back-warmth', so that it resonates with 'meltingness' and taab , which has among its numerous meanings 'heat'. The sound effects of ((ataab and taab also work well together.