Ghazal 96, Verse 7x


kisuu ko z-;xvud-rastah kam dekhte hai;N
kih aahuu ko paa-band-e ram dekhte hai;N

1) we rarely see anyone liberated/escaped from himself
2) for we see the deer captive/'foot-bound' to panic/flight


az ;xvud (of which z-;xvud is a contraction): 'Of one's own accord, of himself; of itself; voluntarily; spontaneously'. (Platts p.45)


rastah : 'Delivered, liberated, saved; escaped'. (Platts p.592)


paa-band : 'Tied by the leg; clogged, fettered, bound, restrained; encumbered (with a family, &c.); — one who is restrained or bound, a servant; ... — paa-band honaa  , To be clogged or fettered, &c.; to be bound (by), be ruled or guided (by), to observe, follow, conform (to)'. (Platts p.213)


ram : 'Terror, scare; flight, elopement; concealment'. (Platts p.598)


We do not find in the world anyone who would have passed beyond the boundaries of self [;xvudii] and become free. Look at the deer, who although it is a wild animal is nevertheless a captive of panic. The gist is that captivity cannot be escaped.

== Asi, pp. 163-164


That is, no one in the world is free. A wild animal like the deer, too, is is a captive of panic. That is, it is naturally compelled to run away. Then where there is compulsion, how can there be freedom [vaa-rastagii]?

== Zamin, p. 234

Gyan Chand:

The truth is that no one is, in the true sense, 'gone from himself' [Gyan Chand's text has z-;xvud-raftah]. Everyone is aware, everyone is bound in customs and practices or some other kind of captivity (and consciously follows their restrictions). Apparently the deer constantly runs around, but it too is a captive of panic/flight-- that is, governed by a fixed principle to which it is bound; thus it did not become 'gone from itself'.

== Gyan Chand, p. 261


BEKHUDI: {21,6}
BONDAGE: {1,5}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

This is another opening-verse for the ghazal, in addition to the divan verse {96,1}.

Ghalib's verses often privilege a radical personal autonomy: they urge the use of one's own resources, and deprecate all forms of borrowing from others; for more on such verses, see {9,1}. Here is a bleak verse that rejects the possibility of any personal autonomy at all. For even the deer, who seems to run around freely, is actually compelled to run around: he is a captive of his inborn wildness and fear. Thus the elegantly paradoxical word- (and meaning-)play of the deer's being 'foot-bound' to run wildly in panic.

Compare {81,2}, with its even bleaker vision of human non-freedom.