Ghazal 104, Verse 2


dil-e naazuk pah us ke ra;hm aataa hai mujhe ;Gaalib
nah kar sar-garm us kaafir ko ulfat aazmaane me;N

1) for her delicate/brittle heart, I feel pity, Ghalib
2) don't make that infidel enthusiastic/'hot-headed' in testing love!


naazuk : 'Thin, slender, slim, delicate, tender, fragile; fine; light; brittle; nice; neat; elegant; genteel; subtle; —facetious; gracious; keen; sensitive, touchy, testy'. (Platts p.1114)


ra;hm : 'Mercy, pity, compassion, tenderness, kindness'. (Platts p.589)


aazmaanaa : 'To try, prove, test, essay, examine; to try conclusions with'. (Platts p.45)


That is, may it not happen that after you give your life, her heart would fail. (110)

== Nazm page 110

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, she's a tender-hearted person; that is, she has a soft heart. Oh Ghalib! I feel pity for her/it. If you incite her to a test of love, then-- may it not happen that after your sacrificing your life, her heart should endure some trouble from this shock. (160)

Bekhud Mohani:

Oh Ghalib, don't incite her to a test of love. I feel pity for her delicate heart. That is, if she is incited, then in this line God knows what tyranny she might perform, and you would have to endure it patiently. (211)


ISLAMIC: {10,2}
TESTING: {4,4}

This verse operates by implication. Why might her 'delicate heart' suffer if she became unduly enthusiastic in testing my love? The reasons are only implicit, but here are several possibilities:

=She might become frustrated because the lover was more able to endure torment than she was to inflict it, and this would cause her pain.

=She might become so enthused in the process of tormenting the lover that she would actually overtax and damage her heart.

=Even as her enthusiastic, sar-garm 'head' and her 'infidel'-like mischievousness were eager to torment the lover more and more cruelly, her delicate heart might feel that enough was enough, and this inner conflict might cause her pain.

=She might kill the lover, and then suffer regret when it was too late, which would cause pain to her delicate heart. (This possibility is also invoked in the brilliantly nuanced {17,8}.)

The really clever and enjoyable part of the verse is its tone of protectiveness and gallantry. The lover speaks as one who is stronger and more powerful, whose duty it is to be chivalrous. 'Poor thing, she has a delicate heart-- she should take care of herself, she should avoid over-stimulation, frustration, and aggravation of all kinds. At all costs, I don't want to let her get involved in the (frustrating, aggravating, dangerous) business of tormenting somebody like me!' Thus he enjoins himself-- or perhaps God?-- not to permit this to happen.

The lover is worried not about the effect on himself of being tormented or tested, but only about the effect on the beloved of tormenting or testing him. He's thus either entirely confident of his own powers (of endurance? of self-sacrifice?), or entirely indifferent to his fate. Or of course, in the classic Ghalibian style, both.