Ghazal 100, Verse 5

{100,5}

;hasrat ay ;zauq-e ;xaraabii kih vuh :taaqat nah rahii
((ishq-e pur-((arbadah kii gau;N tan-e ranjuur nahii;N

1) sorrow/longing, oh relish/taste of ruin! --for that strength did not remain
2) the need/occasion of quarrelsome passion is not an afflicted/infirm body

Notes:

;hasrat : 'Grief, regret, intense grief or sorrow; —longing, desire'. (Platts p.477)

 

;zauq : 'Taste, enjoyment, delight, joy, pleasure, voluptuousness'. (Platts p.578)

 

((arbadah : 'Ill-nature, evil disposition; antipathy; dispute, conflict'. (760)

 

gau;N : 'Opportunity, advantage, occasion; need'. (Platts p.926)

 

ranjuur : 'Grieved, troubled, afflicted, sorrowful, sad; sick, infirm'. (Platts p.600)

Nazm:

'That' is a gesture toward the struggles of an earlier time, when there was strength in him such that in the capacity of a champion, he grappled again and again with passion. But at length he was defeated, and strength for the encounter did not remain. And over this very thing he expresses longing. (105)

== Nazm page 105

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, for the burnings of the turmoil of passion and love, it's necessary to have a great deal of strength. And in our worn-out body strength and power has not remained. For this reason, we address '[vain] Longing' and express our longing and despair. (156)

Bekhud Mohani:

That is, we had longed to depart from this world while constantly enduring the cruelties of passion, but what can we do? We simply don't have the strength to bear the pains of passion.... One elder says that gau;N is an Indic [hindii] word, and doesn't seem pleasing. A proper taste says that he has not placed a word, he has set a diamond. From the phrase 'relish for ruin' it's clear that destruction and ruination are the necessary results of passion. (205)

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION; IZAFAT

The lover seems to lament, though with entire resignation, his failure to 'die with his boots on' in the heat of the wild conflicts of passion. Instead, he's been left among the wounded, slowly bleeding to death from inner sorrows and sheer exhaustion. Ill-natured, hostile, strife-seeking Passion has been left to stomp around the field unchallenged, searching for a worthy foe, and not deigning to put a wounded sufferer out of his misery. Compare {7,1}, in which Passion is nabard-peshah , a 'professional in battle'.

But what exactly is the nature of the exclamatory word ;hasrat with which the verse begins? Does this mean that the lover can't participate actively in the sufferings of passion any more, and is forced to make do only with 'sorrow, longing' instead? Does it mean that the loss of bodily strength evokes a specific 'longing' for its return? Does it mean that the lover is now actively seeking out occasions for 'sorrow, longing', so that he can hasten his own ruin and death? The ambiguity of kih , which can introduce a clause of varying relationship to the one before it, is convenient here.

Then of course the 'relish of ruin' [;zauq-e ;xaraabii] who is being addressed could be, thanks to the multivalent pleasures of the i.zaafat , (1) a relish created by ruin (once you're ruined, you find that the condition has its own delights); (2) a relish for ruin (one that seeks out and cultivates ruin); (3) a relish that is itself a form of ruin; or (4) a relish connected in some other, unspecified way to ruin.

As so often in Ghalib's more exclamatory verses, the tone is everything-- and the tone depends on one's choice among the multivalent possibilities.