Ghazal 97, Verse 12

{97,12}

vuh si;hr mudda((aa-:talabii me;N nah kaam aa))e
jis si;hr se safiinah ravaa;N ho saraab me;N

1) that enchantment would not work in purpose-seeking
2) the enchantment from which a ship would move in a mirage

Notes:

si;hr : 'Enchantment, fascination, magic, sorcery'. (Platts p.644)

Nazm:

And for a ship to move in a mirage is intended to mean, for an event outside of normal experience to take place. (100)

== Nazm page 100

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says that magic doesn't achieve any purpose at all in the beloved's heart-- the magic by means of which a ship moves in a mirage. (151)

Bekhud Mohani:

[Comments on this verse are included in {97,11}.]

Josh:

This verse too is in harmony [ham-aavaaz] with the previous one. (191)

FWP:

SETS == TRANSLATABLES

This verse is treated by many editors and commentators as the second half of a two-verse verse-set. For discussion, see {97,11}.

On mirages, see {16,4}.

An enchantment, or piece of sorcery, or other magic spell or action [si;hr], was a concept with which Ghalib's readers were thoroughly familiar. In {29,3} he refers to a more specific kind of enchanted world, a :tilism , and in {22,7} he names Amir Hamzah, the greatest hero of the magic-filled Urdu romance tradition. Hamzah's greatest enemies were powerful magicians, or saa;hir -- literally, those who performed si;hr .

Like the previous verse, this one packs its punch in the second line, with its arresting image of the implausible, the dreamlike, the marvelous. And like the previous verse (and for the same reasons), this verse too is remarkably possible to capture in English. In the days when I wanted to translate Ghalib, I was planning to render the second line as 'the spell that could sail a ship in a mirage'.